My question, perhaps a fellow sailor can explain. Why is Dean running the Daggerboards only part way in, almost all the time. Is it less drag, more speed?
Dean Froome is/was a legendary Hobie Sailor - Hobie 16 world champion, Worrell 1000 competitor (back when it was a non-stop race), extreme Hobie 18 sailor/surfer/waterman - definitely a Hobie Hero in my book.
Regarding the daggerboards, I doubt it had anything to do with speed. When this film was shot, the Hobie 18 was still very new. These guys were used to sailing Hobie 16s. They probably just wanted to put the board in a set-and-forget position and sail the boat like they normally did. They weren't racing, they were power reaching, jumping waves, sailing through the surf - so a middle position on the board gave them one less thing to worry about. Plus, in one part of the video, it is mentioned that the coral heads were just "inches below the water surace," so better to pull the boards up and whack a rudder than take out the board/hull if they hit bottom. This is all just speculation on my part of course.