Hiram’s Haul started 15 years ago and has continued on every year after that. It is a two day, round trip, 30-mile distance race from POW/MIA Park in Melbourne, FL to Riverside Park in Sebastian, FL. This regatta is open to all classes of beach catamarans from 16-22ft in length (they use the SCHRS handicap system). The regatta is typically scheduled on Halloween weekend, in order to take part in the awesome Captain Hiram’s Sandbar Halloween Party. There were 4 F18s registered, 10 spinnaker boats total, 13 boats total.
This was the first time David Hein and Arielle Darrow ever participated in this regatta and on a F18 together and it was the first time, since Arielle has had her F18, the boat has ever been raced in a regatta. After arriving at the boat park, David and Arielle quickly set up Big Booty for her debut race. They were going to make the start on time, until the jib zipper would not bind. Well that threw a pickle into their morning for sure. Arielle asked the wife of the skipper she sailed for for 2015 and 2016 F18 Nationals if they could borrow a jib; and in luck there was an extra one! David and Arielle were off the beach; Arielle did not even have her boots zipped up and had no gloves on but hey when you are 7 minutes late from the starting horn, who cares. They went under the first bridge and already saw 2 boats capsized. Winds were out of the NE 18-23 knots with some gusts over that. Not even half way through the race, Arielle was mid-sentence/mid-word when next thing she knew she was in the water…got to love having your trap line break on you. David did a great MOB, and they were back at it again aka trying to catch up to the rest of the fleet. Well not 10 minutes later, Arielle was trapping off the skipper’s trap line, and boom off into the water she went with no warning. She got back on the boat and went, “Well looks like we are hiking today.” And that is how David and Arielle finished. They came in a little under 2 hours, no trap lines, but were in high spirits. The first place boat finished in 1 hour and 40 minutes.
The next day was blowing ENE around 14-16 knots with some added gusts. Everyone was on time to the start and ready to rock in roll. Nothing like starting between a pier and an island that has a nice size sandbar off it (thanks to Matt MacDonald who found that one year). HDsailing’s start was a little off, just to make sure they were in enough water the whole time. David and Arielle started making gains on all the boats and passing them left and right. They were finally able to pass Arielle’s Nationals skipper (Ingram) once we got into narrower waters. Arielle was pretty sure Ingram was mad by getting passed by a bunch of youngins that were borrowing his spinnaker and jib. Definitely a much harder race today when you got to where the island blocks a lot of the wind from the course. Matt and Gina MacDonald (a Falcon F16) soaked lower to the mainland and seemed to fair better than others who stayed closer to the channel. The Nacra 20 Carbon was first to the beach this round, HDsailing came in fourth to the beach at 1 hour 48 minutes with both traps in tack. David and Arielle finished in second place for Sunday’s race and sixth place overall.
David and Arielle are excited about the next events for Big Booty (AHPC F18) and the Nacra 17. After securing a second place finish with a 2011 boat that has never been raced before and not being on a catamaran since January, we expect to see great things come from these two in the future.