Steve and Dalaney Caron set up their Hobie catamaran before entering the waters of Boca Ciega Bay during the Gulfport Yacht Club’s Multi-Hull Regatta on April 30. They came from Daytona to participate. Dalaney also attends and sails at the University of South Florida in St. Petersburg.
his is the spring regatta,” Gulfport Yacht Club’s Multi-Hull Regatta organizer Beth Hesselton explained. “It’s an invitational and we ask as many multi-hulls in the area and put it out to the catamaran organizations.”
Hesselton said that there are several different classes of boats that participate in the races held last weekend.
Lillian Meyers and Sandra Tartaglino get ready to bring their F16 catamaran into Boca Ciega Bay to compete in this year’s regatta. “It’s a local regatta,” Meyers said when asked why she came from Sarasota to participate. Meyers also describes her boat as “really fast,” which must be true because they came in third place in their class.
“The Hobie 16s are in their own class and will race boat for boat,” she said. Other classes included falcons and F16s race as well, which are generally lighter, faster, and more modern as they were introduced in 2001. They have different shaped hulls compared to the Hobie’s “banana-shaped” hulls, which were introduced in 1971.
Conditions for the regatta were good, according to Hesselton. “It’s kind of calm, and winds are about 10 or 12 miles per hour.”
According to Hesselton, the race course is about three-and-a-half miles total, depending on the wind.
Bob Johnson and Jennifer Ehrhart set up their Hobie catamaran for the Gulfport Yacht Club’s Multi-Hull Regatta on Saturday April 30 in Boca Ciega Bay. “It’s a bouy race,” Johnson said. “You go into the wind on the first leg and then come down wind. You’re going back and forth and you finish where you start.”
According to fellow sailor Beth Langefeld, who has been racing for 15 years, the Hobie 16 is a “quintessential” catamaran. “It’s a beach catamaran that pushes right off the beach,” Langefeld said. “It’s a lot of fun. Today, we’ll get upwards of about 12 to 15 knots.” Fifteen knots is equal to roughly 17 mph.
Langefeld was the crew on her H16 class regatta. She and her skipper Jason Sanchez came in first place in their class.