Nearly 90 sailors from the United States and Canada descended on Harrison Hot Springs for a week of sailboat racing on the lake’s shores.
The 2019 Hobie 16/20 North American Championships are being held in Harrison this year from Sept. 16 to Sept. 20. Between Monday and Friday, dozens of Hobie 16 and Hobie 20 sailboats lined the beach at Rendall Park, with races taking place throughout the day.
The first day of racing didn’t have enough wind to get the competitors out into the water, but from Tuesday on the sailboats were out on the lake competing for the top spot in the championship.
Conditions hadn’t been ideal over the week, with shifting winds and periodic rain showers, although sailors in both classes have worked hard to make their way to the front line.
The Hobie 16 class saw California’s Ben Brown and Sarah Isaak in the lead, which they managed to maintain on Wednesday. Tuesday saw a four-way tie in the Hobie 20 class, which was broken Wednesday by fellow Californians Mark and Tiffany Lewis.
Thursday’s races finally gathered enough wind for a perfect sailing day, with speed between 12 and 15 knots.
By Friday, Brown and Isaak had secured their lead in the Hobie 16 class and the Lewises had secured their in the Hobie 20. Rich and Carol McVeigh earned the dubious distinction of having the most spectacular crash and burn of the championships.
Don’t expect the see the sailboats back on the lake for next year: the 2020 Hobie 16 North American Championships will be sailed in mid-September on the southern end of Lake Michigan in Indiana.