We did the 50th anniv. race a few years back. It's a cool race, but the logistics can be a little daunting. It's a one way race, so you have to figure out how to get your trailer out to DI unless you want to sail all the way back. (I think there's another, lesser race back on Sunday, but that adds other logistical issues.) The starting area depends on which club is hosting (rotates among Fairhope, Moble, and Buccaneer), and finding a good place to launch can be a challenge. I don't know the best place to retreive on DI. I've heard they closed the area near the air strip that we used to use. No problem with other boats....they will quickly be spread all over Mobile Bay. You will be mostly on your own after the start, so be prepared. The H-16 base Portsmouth No. (D-PN) is 76.0 from this table:http://offshore.ussailing.org/Portsmout ... lasses.htm
There are other tables to modify your number if not class legal.
The year we did it, we got near the start area and the wind died. Spent several hours with little headway.....even drifted backwards with the current. When the sea breeze finally kicked in, everyone blasted off. We were flying....single- trapped....several tacks upwind to Middle Bay Light and then a reach to the bridge. Took a little over 2 hrs from the start line if i remember right.
Bill Harris (coastrat) or Butch G over on theBeachcats.com forums can probably help you more. Butch is still in the Mobile area, and coastrat does this one pretty much every year. You might also get some good info from the guys on the two H-16s in the picture on this page:http://www.fairhopeyachtclub.com/regatt ... /Index.htm
They are brothers Shane and Ron Gaston from the Mobile area. (Shane actually now lives in B'ham area.....the guys at B'ham sailing Club may know how to contact him.)
Ocean Springs YC (http://www.osyc.com/
) would only be a little further for you, and they have a handful of good regattas every year.