Hobie Team Engineers and Planners-
Last weekend I put my relatively new Adventure to the test in a local kayak race (Battle on the Bayou in Ocean Springs, MS) thanks to the Fairhope Alabama dealer (Tony) who was able to swap a bad pedal on my drive unit with a good one while the replacement part is in transit. Link to the race site: http://www.battleonthebayou.com/
You can see a couple photos from the race by clicking the link here: http://mobilepaddler.blogspot.com/2010/03/362010-battle-of-bayou-race-ocean.html
There were a few other Hobie mirage boats in the race including a Revolution and a Tandem. Hobie was represented.
I pedaled and paddled at the same time most of the race, with the rudder up - a great combo for an aerobic workout. The curvy 9.7 mile race course had very little current and there was a little headwind from time to time on some of the northward turns. I'm happy to report that the Adventure, with ST Turbo Fins, sped past almost all the kayakers paddling plastic boats, including some with narrow widths like 21 inches. The Adventure has a 27.5" wide beam and it was still on the tail of a surf-ski (less than 20" wide) after several miles. Some said I had a distinct advantage pedaling and padding at the same time and asked if that was fair or if I'd be disqualified. Problem is, it is a distinct DISADVANTAGE to race a 27.5" wide kayak against a 21" wide kayak. I have to work much harder to go as fast.
Unofficially (official results not yet available), I crossed the finish line in 17th place out of 120 kayaks/canoes. That's in the upper 15 percentile. The average speed was 5.3 mph for one hour and 49 minutes. Several people were stunned that the Hobie pedal boat blew them away so bad and they are now taking a closer look at Hobie. Not a bad for a senior citizen over 50. Boy, I can only imagine the results if there was a longer narrower Mirage racing kayak version available...HINT HINT
Please entertain the idea again at one of your boardroom meetings. Thanks.
I keep saying, if you make it available, the racing sport will develop. Ten years ago it was an oddity to see a kayaker on the water around here. Now seeing a kayaker on the water is common. In 2003, I was about the first one in this area to have a Hobie pedal kayak. Seven years later pedal kayak popularity continues to grow. The evidence of the popularity of Hobie Mirage Pedal Boats for Fitness (besides fishing) is clear. Did you know that the 2010 Mississippi State Games (June 19th) has a Kayak Race category and it has a "Hobie with Pedal" boat class? http://www.stategamesofms.org/site1/?q=node/139
Are you getting any ideas yet?
Yes Hobie - there is a need for Speed...