Story by Lee Wicklund -- Initially I had planned on doing this race with Chris Green as we had talked about doing it for the past few years on my Nacra 20 beach catamaran, 20 feet long, 8.5 feet wide, 390 pounds with no cabin, just a trampoline between the hulls. Usually something came up and we scrapped the idea. This year, I was hell bent on doing it. Unfortunately Chris has a job and couldn't get out of some previously scheduled commitments.
I contacted Wendy Simkins of Spanish Fork, Utah since she had expressed great interest in doing more of this type of racing at Ruff Riders in South Padre. She bought a ticket and headed down Wednesday evening before the race. I stopped by the Green's for a few last minute items and picked up Wendy at the airport then headed to Galveston. The forecast wasn't looking to favorable for a beach cat doing this in the dark and I was contemplating my escape routes should it get too rough. Initially it was looking like the weather wouldn't get rough till mid day Friday, so we should be ok.
Hobie Fleet 48’s Second Annual Memorial Day Pirate Treasure Race Treasure maps will be given out at the Saturday morning Skippers meeting. Wearing a life jacket is required while on the water. You may carry as many pirate crew on your boat as safety allows. Water balloons, squirt guns, and hand paddling allowed. The treasure hunt race will start at 1PM and continue until 4PM, at that time all boats will return to Hobie Central and exchange their gold doubloons for prizes.
Saturday morning began with setting up Hobie Central & helping everyone get their boats off the trailer and set up. Three club members headed out on the water in search of four different locations & skill level areas to plant their flags & place the doubloons. That afternoon the wind was calm & a few of the pre registered families did not have their boats ready, so the board decided to reschedule the Pirate Captains meeting until Sunday morning at 10 AM. Then about 3PM the wind came up to 5-8 mph steady, & we decided to fly hulls until dinner.
The Saturday evening dinner, Frito Pie, with 4 different chili recipes to choose from, and the potluck side dishes brought by the members, made a delicious buffet spread. The silent auction gifts, graciously donated by the Hobie Cat Company USA, and several fleet members, were displayed after the meal was finished. The auction to officially take place during the Captain & Crew meeting Sunday morning. The evening camp fire is lit early enough for little campers to toast marshmallows before bed time, then old tales of sailing past are embellished by those taking advantage a captive audience.
Canadian national Mike Dobbs and American national Glenn Brown, both full time residents of Southern California, attended the U.S. Tornado Nationals in San Diego. They sailed on Mike’s Marstrom Tornado “Full Tilt.” Mike immediately follows the Nationals with the Olympic Pre Trials. Mike began Pre Trials with a fellow Canadian as crew but was looking for a new crew when Glenn Brown made this post to Catsailor.com.
" Mike Dobbs broke his crew, and another team may have, too. If you're in the San Diego area, and you can crew for him tomorrow and/or Sunday, give me a call..., and I will put you in touch. I'd do it myself if I didn't have prior commitments. (I crewed for Mike in the Nationals this week.)"
A genuine tale of the underdog gaining new ground, you should find these reports a very pleasant read. Thrills, spills, and collisions with beasts are all contained herein. Here are their reports, so far:
Fri Oct 6, 2006 9:20 am
I'm dragging the boat on the tilt trailer there tomorrow morning...should be quite a sight as I pull in to the yard with the Mini Cooper rig!
The new Carbon mast is already there as is a new main to go with it. From the registrant lists, looks like the usual suspects will be there, including the Canadian team of Alain & Eve-Marie from Montreal and Martin & Ben from Michigan...these boats are our nearest rivals, so far I've only beaten them rarely.
We have high hopes...got a day of pro coaching under our belts now...though we now have a better idea on what to improve, it remains to be seen if we can execute on those things in a race situation.
I plan to make race reports nightly if time permits...starting Monday. Mike
My niece who was about 9 years old at the time, was a good swimmer, body-surfer, and had taken some kind of a junior life saving swimming pool class. The two of us had swum like fish together in the ocean surf, many times. So I invited her along for a possible boat ride. I invited my parents too. It was a ploy. I could tell them that they were needed to baby-sit my niece in case I found it unsafe to take her on the boat. This way, I did not have to admit that I wanted my father there in case I couldn't raise the mast or get the boat back onto the trailer.
I had sailed my friend, Dan's Hobie 16 in a lake and had sailed my 12' mono hull in another local lake. Both experiences were lacking much wind. I knew where to find wind; the Pacific Ocean. I was familiar with where all the public motorboat launches were and I chose the one that I thought looked like it had best access. I was not too far from a well-known catamaran beach at Claremont Street but did not know anything about Claremont.
Los Angeles harbor is huge, a hundred square miles. It seemed like a good place to get ocean breeze while not being too affected by the surf. I headed to Cabrillo Beach public boat launch in San Pedro. When I got there, the wind was already blowing pretty hard and I was noticeably intimidated. I spoke to one of the locals and asked about how windy it gets there. He found out that I was a rookie and immediately told me that I was at the wrong place. I did not know that I was at the windiest hole in Los Angeles that carries the nickname "Hurricane Gulch!"
Damons Note: Recently a Hobie 18 was listed in our classified ads which claimed to be the "last Hobie 18 to ever leave the Hobie factory". I was intrigued by this claim and contacted the seller to find out how he ended up with such a special catamaran. Here is his story.
In the fall of 2004, I was looking for a new Hobie 14 Turbo. I did not know that Hobie Cat USA had discontinued selling the 14 in the states here some years ago. When I called Hobie Cat to inquire about the 14, I not only learned that the 14 had been discontinued, but was also told that Hobie had just announced the discontinuance of the 18 as well.
I had been tracking the wind speed, from the office, at 12-16 knots steadily from the southwest all morning. Around noon, I was able to get a crew to head out to the lake at 2:00 PM - Friday July 25, 2003.
I should have known was not a good sign that on the way to the lake there was a major accident. An driver had crossed the center lane of the highway and hit another car, forcing us to detour and delay launching.
My Hobie 18 Magnum catamaran is kept mast up on a catamaran beach inside the Muskegon Harbor breakwater, so we quickly got it rigged and launched. The acceleration out of the harbor was GREAT! After clearing the lighthouse, that is where we ran into a slight problem.