Hobie HavaMega – Better Beautiful than Perfect
Along with the "Better Beautiful Than Perfect" title I used from a song done by my favorite band, Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers, comes a fitting lyric; "…put your feet in the sand a luke warm beer in your hand and momma let down your hair." That pretty much sums up the weekend I just spent at Lake Havasu for the 2009 HavaMega Hobie Cat North American Championships.
To be quite honest though, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’ve never really had an opportunity to hang out with a mulithull crowd before and I was a bit nervous they would view me as "the outsider who sails one of those slow monohulls." Well, I was pleasantly surprised when I was greeted with hand shakes, smiles, open arms, and some questions about the Vipers I was all too happy to answer. I figured if they were going to try to get me to convert, I’d try to get them to convert too! As luck would have it though, the wind gods at Lake Havasu didn’t allow the cat fleet to convert me just yet. I’ve been sailing at Havasu off and on for the past 20 or so years and can tell you it blows dogs off chains, or it doesn’t. There isn’t much for an in between at that lake and unfortunately the Hobie’s are currently seeing the ugly side of it. Maybe they should go next door and get a bargain rental price on the paddle boards, set some marks, and have a go at racing those!
Despite the laid back attitude on the beach front, RC was busy behind the scenes making sure boats and crews were weighed, registered, and squared away. Saturday morning the B.I.M.B.O (Brotherhood of International Mark Boat Operators) meeting was in full swing with Matt Bounds leading the way. Though it seemed to be a mixed bag of Lake Havasu Yacht Club folks that had anything from some sailing experience, to some not so experienced, Matt did a fantastic job on explaining just what goes on out there on the course. We even got to witness John Williams nearly knocking trophies over with his stellar RC flag raising skills! Way to go JDub!
You see, the HavaMega regatta is a bit of a reunion for the Hobie fleet this year. Quite a number of years ago, the early 70’s to be exact, the Hobie fleet used to rule the roost at Havasu and now with 120 boats pre-registered, they are once again the fleet to be reckoned with! People from all over the world showed up including folks from Fiji, Puerto Rico, Australia and more. Though the racing wasn’t going to start until November 9th, they had some practice racing scheduled as well as a party or two scheduled for the beach area. As stated before, the Havasu wind decided it wasn’t going to show up for either Saturday or Sunday but that didn’t stop the new PRO for the event JDub from trying to set some marks out anyhow. I heard a rumor he was met with quite a few "full moons" though on the beach which quickly prompted the RC boat to turn right back around and go to their assigned dock space! Ha!
Of course the Saturday night gathering was superb and Surf City Catamarans hooked up everyone with a keg, some pint glasses were seen floating around with SCC logos on them and anything else you wanted! They also have a well stocked trailer with anything and everything Hobie and people were wandering in and out all weekend long looking for pins, shackles, tech shirts, booties, harnesses, sunglasses and anything else they craved. I repeatedly heard through the weekend how great it was to have a "parts trailer" there and what a great guy Jeremy was for hauling it over. I couldn’t agree more, it seemed the perfect fit for those last minute "forgot it at home" or "oooh, shiny new" moments people were having when they were rigging!
The other thing I heard through the weekend was how beautiful the weather was in Havasu compared to where they lived. Maybe racing sometimes is "Better Beautiful Than Perfect…" Thanks again to Lake Havasu Yacht Club for volunteering your time, Surf City Catamarans for hosting me and also thanks to everyone I met who welcomed me into the world of Hobie. I hope to one day see you all again and finally get that ride on a Hobie Tiger!