Full write-up copied/pasted from the 2014 Hobie 17 North American's Facebook page:
Hobie 17 North Americans – Day 5 and Final Report – Friday, June 20, 2014
Nobody could have predicted what happened on the last day of the Hobie 17 North Americans. To recap: at the end of the fourth day, Dan Borg led with 16 points; Matt Bounds and Phil Collins were tied in second/third with 21 points.
Like Thursday, the day started dreary, with overcast skies. Rain showers were making their way across Michigan and promised to get the sailors wetter than they would be already, since there was already a 16 kt. breeze (gusts to 21) out of the east. The wind had a fetch of over 100 miles across Lake Erie, kicking up a 3-4 foot chop on top of big, rolling waves. The first challenge of the day would be just getting off the beach into the onshore wind and surf. Dan was first off the beach – almost as bad a jinx as winning the practice race. The rest of the fleet followed shortly thereafter, generally without incident, but it was tiring, especially after the four races the day before.
Race 11 started right on time at 10:05 AM with the wind locked in at 095°. John Bauldry took the pin with Phil on his hip and both put their height and weight to good use to lead the fleet around the course. The wind/waves were so big, you could point the boat nearly dead downwind and have enough speed to catch the waves. It took eight minutes to get the weather mark, but only six minutes to get back to the gate. Phil got the win and Dan filled out the top 3. Matt had traveler issues at the start, got flushed out to the right side of the course, then lost his footing on the wing in the big waves and nearly capsized. He rounded the first weather mark in the back half of the fleet, but fought back to 5th. It looked like the battle for the North American Championship would be between Dan and Phil.
Race 12 was a bit of déjà vu, with John Bauldry again on the pin, Phil on his hip, then Bill Kast and Matt. An individual recall sounded; John, Bill and others peeled off to return. The X-ray flag remained flying. Phil’s worst score was a 4, so he kept going. With a big point spread between 3rd and 4th, Matt had nothing to lose (except a chance at first), so he kept going, too. It turned into an epic battle between the good friends, with the lead changing several times during the race. Matt eventually took the bullet by only half a boat length when he caught a wave at the finish line. Neither was OCS, so the scores stuck. Stuart Hill was third; Bill Kast was fourth and Dan ended up fifth (which would end up being his throwout).
In the 13th race, Dan and Phil mixed it up at the signal boat, leaving Matt, Bill Kast and John Bauldry to the pin. Bill led around the weather mark, but Matt was able to pass him downwind for another bullet. Phil would eventually pass Bill for second place. Dan ended up fourth. The rain had arrived, and the wind was beginning to slack off a bit.
Have you been keeping track of the scores? The sailors had lost track, too.
By Race 14, many competitors had had enough of the wind, waves and rain, so they headed in. With no races to start after 2 PM, everyone knew that this would be the last race. John Bauldry had gone in, so the pin was free for a change. Matt took the pin and just bolted out on the fleet, leading the whole race by a wide margin. He thought that despite winning the last three races, his 5th in race 11 had relegated him to 3rd place overall. But the RC was keeping track. When Matt finished, John Hooper on the signal boat yelled, “Wait! Watch!” Phil Collins and Bill Kast were having an extraordinary jibing duel coming down to the finish line. Matt didn’t know it at the time, but the outcome of that duel would determine the championship. When Bill finished ahead of Phil (for the first time all week), Matt and Phil were tied with 29 points each; Dan finished 4th in race 14 and ended up with 31 points. The tie-breaker would be on the number of first place finishes – Matt had 6; Phil had 3. Matt would be the winner of his 3rd Hobie 17 North American Championship.
However, none of the competitors knew that – they just knew they had to help each other get up the beach in breaking surf. There’s a photo that shows both Phil and Matt, still dressed in their sailing gear, helping Stuart Hill haul his boat up the beach. This is the International Hobie 17 class – which truly epitomizes the Hobie Way of Life – “Fierce competition among friends.”
Many thanks to North Cape Yacht Club, for being such accommodating hosts; Beverly Collins and Bridget Quatrone, for helping us get on and off the beach; the race committee – PRO Steve Harris, John Hooper, Barbara Shaffer, Steven Attard, Kathleen Acquart, Denny Dieball, NCYC Commodore Rich Cherry, Mike Scott, Dave Snider, Jim and Chris Davis; and the crew that kept us fed - Laurie Bounds, Leslie Hill and Julie Wilson; Jim Glanden for the trophies (created from a dead cherry tree in Matt Bounds’ yard) and Tom Burnley for delivering them to the venue.
Special thanks to Hobie Cat Worldwide, Jim’s Sailing Center (Des Moines, IA), Avon Sails (Rochester Hills, MI), Salty Dog Marine, and Whirlwind Sails for providing raffle swag and general support.
Most of all, thanks to the competitors for coming out to play.
“Make them a toy, and give them a game to play with it.”
Full results can be found at: http://www.regattanetwork.com/clubmgmt/ ... ta_id=8311