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.
This was the first time David Hein and I ever participated in this regatta and on a F18 together and it was the first time, since I have had my F18, my boat has ever been raced in a regatta. After already getting a bunch of “nice” words from the wonderful and ever so epic Mr. Dave Ingram and Mr. Dick MacDonald about arriving late to the boat park, David and I quickly set up Big Booty for her debut race. We were going to make the start on time, until the jib zipper would not bind. Well that threw a pickle into the morning for sure. Luckily Dave Ingram’s better half (aka his wife) was nice enough to lend us a jib. We were off the beach; my boots not even zipped up, no gloves on but hey when you are 7 minutes late from the starting horn, who cares. We 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, I was mid-sentence/mid-word when next thing I knew I was in the water…got to love having your trap line break on you. Hein did a great MOB, and we were back at it again aka trying to catch up to the rest of the fleet. Well not 10 minutes later, I was trapping off the skipper’s trap line, and boom off into the water I go with no warning. I get back on the boat and go, “Well looks like we are hiking today.” And that is how we finished. I am pretty sure once Ingram and MacDonald hit the beach, they were wondering where us youngins where at. Well we came in a little under 2 hours, no trap lines, but in high spirits. The Ingram boys were the first to the beach in 1 hour and 40 minutes, followed by Matt and Gina MacDonald on the Falcon F16. 1st Place-David and Bob Ingram (AHPC F18), 2nd Place-Matt and Gina MacDonald (Falcon F16), 3rd Place-Dave Reed and Mark Herendeen (Falcon F18).
After fixing up the Big Booty while getting continual crap from Ingram and MacDonald, the fleet was off to Captain Hiram’s Sandbar for one of the coolest Halloween parties around. There was an awesome live band and people definitely went all out on the costumes.
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). Our start was a little off, just to make sure we were in enough water the whole time. We started making gains on all the boats and passing them left and right. We were finally able to pass Ingram once we got into narrower waters; I am sure he was mad 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 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, we came in fourth to the beach at 1 hour 48 minutes with both traps in tack. 1st Place-Matt and Gina MacDonald (Falcon F16), 2nd Place-David Hein and Arielle Darrow (AHPC F18), 3rd Place-Ryan Hager and Robert W (I 20). It was a great weekend of racing and thank you to Sail Series Promotion for putting on a fantastic event; I cannot wait to attend next year!