Last January another member posted a question about the annual Everglades Challenge
(click to see website) under the "Hobie 14/14 Turbo" heading. I'd been unfamiliar with the 300-mile race, until a friend signed up as crew on a 17' WindRider trimaran. I answered the original poster's question, but kinda thought further discussion should be under this topic heading. I'll re-post some of that earlier information, and I'll continue any new posts here.
The event started this morning (unless you count last night's mandatory equipment inspection). According to messages relayed from the site, there are 40 boats competing in the various classes. I saw at least one Hobie Cat and an Adventure Island in the photographs taken at the start:
http://www.flickr.com/photo_zoom.gne?id ... hotostream
Two proa's had difficulties and one has withdrawn. A Sea Pearl has been dismasted and has withdrawn. Several canoes and kayaks capsized on the passage from Ft. Desoto across the mouth of Tampa Bay to Anna Maria Island. (Sorry, but I have no news about the Hobies.)
If the remaining participants get the winds the forecasters have been predicting, the sailboats will have a beam reach for two days followed by a broad reach/run for the final leg. With winds at 15 to 20, it looks like the sailors will have it alot easier than the paddlers.
If anyone is interested in seeing photos taken at the starting point, "Watertribe" uploaded an album to:
My friend's WindRider can be seen in image #1963 (with the blue/grey/white sail):
http://www.flickr.com/photo_zoom.gne?id ... eam&size=l
If anyone else has information, I'd like to hear more. Otherwise, I'll try to post information, as best I can, as I hear it.