The 2021 Hobie 16 North America Championships is being conducted by the Ocean Springs Yacht Club: June 5 to 11, 2021. Entries were down slightly due to the travel restrictions and the friends from Canada unable to attend. Though 45 Hobie 16 teams lined up to join the Hobie fun. Being a qualifier for the 23rd Hobie 16 World Championships added some extra excitement to the championships.
Unfortunately, the weather didn’t playout for the sailors. With gusts, up to 20 knots and an afternoon thunderstorm prevented the practice race. Though it did give all the teams a leisurely time to register. Also, prepare for the welcome party and catch up with all their friends before the racing started. A few of the sailors did go out and enjoy the 20 knots and had fun before the seriousness started tomorrow.
Day 1 Racing underway
The first day of racing delivered winds starting at 8 knots that slowly built to 12 knots. Five races were held in the good sailing conditions. A strong outgoing tide swept boats over the start line creating some challenging starting conditions. A fair number of competitors ended on the unfortunate side of the UFD flag at the start. With the moderate winds, racing was very tight with the fleet sailing in a herd. Keeping your lanes clear and finding the pressure was the winning play today. Racing continues through Friday.
After five races Mark and Grace MODDERMAN (USA) lead followed by John and Dylan TOMKO (USA) and Jason SANCHEZ, Heather MATHEWS (USA) in third.
The second day of the Hobie 16 North American Championships continued with spectacular weather. Sunny conditions and SSE wind of 10-13 knots allowed four more races to be completed, however the pressure wasn’t always consistent requiring continuous management of the wind as well as big fleet tactics. The outgoing tide continues to challenge competitors on the start line and it’s quite easy to get swept over the start line. Racing continues to be very tight in these conditions. Choice as to whether to go left or right is a challenge as the right is protected by a headland which make it smooth but gusty or the left which is in the channel and current, slightly better pressure but bumpy, which way to go? Makes for interesting sailing. Racing continues through Friday.
After five races Mark and Grace MODDERMAN (USA) lead followed by John and Dylan TOMKO (USA) and Rich and Carol MCVEIGH (USA) in third.
After racing the sailors were greeted with local oysters as after race snacks.
The Hobie 16 North American Championships continued with some early storms that delayed the start of racing a bit. The wind started quite nicely at 15 knots but quickly got light, dropping to 8 for the second race of the day before finally settling at 12 knots from the south. Four additional races were completed. The strong ebb tide continues to challenge sailors on the start line with a few more earning UFD’s, although overall the fleet is getting better at managing the current here. The lead positions continued to be tightly fought with some shuffling of positions in the top ten. Racing continues through Friday.
After five races Mark and Grace MODDERMAN (USA) lead followed by John and Dylan TOMKO (USA) and Ben BROWN/Casey ASTIZ (USA) in third.
The Hobie 16 North American Championships continued after a one hour morning postponement due to a large off-shore fishing tournament that was about to traverse our sailing area. After letting all the motor boats go by, racing got underway in 6 knots of breeze from the southwest with a strong adverse current. Shrimp season just started here in Mississippi and there was a large shrimp boat anchored right in our sailing area complicating the sailors’ decisions. Three races were completed in building breeze that topped out at 12 knots. The course configuration today and location kept the fleet quite compacted all day with everyone managing a lot of boat traffic. Racing continues through Friday.
After three races John and Dylan TOMKO (USA), lead followed by Mark and Grace MODDERMAN (USA) and Ben BROWN/Casey ASTIZ (USA) in third.
Day 5 and final day
The final day of racing of racing at the Hobie 16 North American Championships was yet another day of 10-12 knots from the south west. The wind was a bit twitchy today with puffs and holes but overall another great day of sailing. Four more races were completed for a total of 20 races over five days of competition. At the front of the fleet, a tight battle was took place between the first and second place boats. Mark and Grace MODDERMAN turned in some impressive finishes but John and Dylan TOMKO stayed close behind them and ultimately covered their lead to become the new champions.
John and Dylan TOMKO (USA) are the 2021 Hobie 16 North American champions followed by Mark and Grace MODDERMAN (USA) and Ben BROWN/Casey ASTIZ (USA) in third.
Next year’s event will be held in September 2022 in Michigan City, IN on Lake Michigan.
Photo credits Kim Rivard
Drone footage courtesy of Sydney Swan
More photos on the IHCA Instagram Page