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September 22, 2015

Jason Hess/Irene Abascal win largest Hobie 16 N.A. championships this century

Day 1

73 Hobie 16 teams started competition today at Pensacola Yacht Club in gusty north winds that varied from 8 to 25 knots. The wind came from off shore making the wind a bit gusty and shfting. Four races were completed with most of the races sailed with winds in the upper teens.

A large school of jellyfish at the windward mark caused a problem for the sailors. Many sailors had their rudder kick up causing them to lose steering.

The race committee is using a split fleet format with competitors divided into four groups. The groups rotate sailing against each other with two starts for each race. After three days the fleet will be cut into gold and silver for the remainder of the competition.

After four races, Jason HESS/Irene ABASCAL (GUA), lead followed by Mark MODDERMAN/Grace MODDERMAN (USA) and Rich MCVEIGH/Carol MCVEIGH (USA). Racing continues through Friday.

 Day 2

The Blue Angles the US Navy’s flight demonstration squadron put on a show for the sailors at the Hobie 16 North American Championships. The Blue Angels team was formed in 1946, making it the second oldest formal flying aerobatic team in the world. Pensacola is the home of the Blue Angels.
On the race course the wind was light with a strong current. One race was sailed in the light winds. A second race was started but with the strong current sailors couldn’t round the windward mark. The Race Committee abandoned the race and cancelled additional racing for the day.
With the warm weather the sailors all headed for the pool. Racing will continue tomorrow with a better sailing conditions predicted.
After five races, Jason HESS/Irene ABASCAL (GUA), lead followed by Mark MODDERMAN/Grace MODDERMAN (USA) and Rich MCVEIGH/Carol MCVEIGH (USA). Racing continues through Friday

Day 3

Strong wind greeted the sailors first thing in the morning. Unfortunately when racing started the wind started to ease to 6-12 knots. The racing was close throughout the day with the fleet sailing in tight groups.

Three races were sailed and after the races the fleet were slit into a Gold and Silver fleet. The top 37 sailors advanced to the Gold Fleet.

After eight races, Jason HESS/Irene ABASCAL (GUA), lead followed by Francisco FIGUEROA/Jolliam BERRIOS (PUR) and Mark MODDERMAN/Grace MODDERMAN (USA). Racing continues through Friday

Day 4

The races started earlier today so the sailors could get the early morning breeze. The first race was sailed in 10-12 knots with a lumpy sea state. After this the wind followed the same theme of dropping to 5-8 knots for the rest of the day. A total of three races were completed challenging conditions with significant current. The second race of the day was abandoned.

Unfortunately the Florida jellyfish moved from the windward mark to have a look at the start line. A few rudders kicked up that made steering a little difficult at the start line.

After eight races, Jason HESS/Irene ABASCAL (GUA), lead followed by Mark MODDERMAN/Grace MODDERMAN (USA) and Francisco FIGUEROA/Jolliam BERRIOS (PUR). Racing continues through Friday.

Day 5

Jason Hess/Irene Abascal from Guatemala retain their Hobie 16 North American Championships.

Three races were completed on the final day in 6-9 knots. It has been the same weather pattern all week except for the first day when there was more breeze.

In the gold fleet Jason Hess/Irene Abascal (GUA) successfully defended their title as North American Champions with a win in 2014 and 2015. Jason and Irene were also the gold medalists at the 2015 Pan AM games in the Hobie 16 class. Past North American champions Francisco Figueroa/Jolliam Berrios (PUR) finished in second, followed by 2015 Pan Am games silver medallists Mark Modderman/Grace Modderman (USA) in third.
In the silver fleet, Adam Atherton/Diane Bisesi (USA) finished first followed by Kat Porter/Caitlyn Froeb (USA) and Jim Sadjek/Tina Pastoor (USA).
This was our largest Hobie 16 North American Championships since 1999.

Results