Legendary multihull sailor, Randy Smyth (Fort Walton Beach, Fla.), won his record-setting fifth career Hobie Alter Trophy for the U.S. Multihull Championship this weekend in his hometown of Fort Walton Beach, Fla.
The 2018 U.S. Multihull Championship was hosted by the Fort Walton Yacht Club in conjunction with the WetaFest.
Smyth earned the title following three days of exciting racing on Choctawhatchee Bay in the Weta trimaran. Sunday’s fourth and final day of racing was canceled due to incoming storm fronts and Smyth’s one-point lead over Mike Krantz after (Flowery Branch, Ga.) stood for the victory.
The 39 competitors (33 singlehanded, 3 doublehanded) tallied 10 races this week, Thursday through Saturday, in a variety of conditions. Smyth finished with 20 points, won three races, and never placed worse than fifth (throw-out) in any race. The performance was one point better than Krantz’s 21 points, who won four races, but his lone throw-out score was a 20 in race five.
Robert Hodges (Covington, La.) finished in third place with 37 points.
“It was a learning experience for us all as we were learning the Weta, and we were learning from each other all week. We had all the players on the same playing field at the same time,” said Smyth. “We had so many conditions as well – smooth water, choppy water, high wind, medium wind, light wind – it was really quite a test.”
“There was a lot of enthusiasm here this week with new faces and world class caliber sailors,” he added.
Smyth, a National Sailing Hall of Famer, is one of the most prolific multihull sailors of all time. He is a Two-time Olympic silver medalist (1992, 1984) in the Tornado. He is also a two-time Tornado World Champion (1981-82) and seven-time National Champion (1980-86). He won the America’s Cup as helmsman for Stars & Stripes in 1988. Smyth last won the U.S. Multihull Championship in 1999.
Results – Top Five
- Randy Smyth, 2-3-3-3-1-4-1--2-1- ; 20
- Mike Krantz, 1-2-1-4--1-7-2-1-2- ; 21
- Robert Hodges, 3-4-2-5-4--2-4-3-10- ; 37
- Jonathan Weston, 7-5-4-2-2--9-3-5-4- ; 41
- Keith Rice, 5-6-7-6-3-2-6--6-3- ; 44
On Saturday, the race committee attempted four races, but completed three. “It’s completely rare to start a race day with 20 knots of wind and big waves, and then end the day towing everyone back to the club in zero winds,” said Smyth after Saturday’s racing.
West coast sailors, especially Jonathan Weston (Gold River, Calif.), accustomed to high wind conditions really took off in the first two races, but the winds died off and he and other sailors excelling in the conditions had to compete in the lighter winds.
The real story of this class and the ability to learn to sail the Weta was exemplified by 17-year-old Fort Walton High School junior, Cam Farrah (Destin, Fla.). She placed 10th overall and mixed it up with the experienced multihull sailors admirably all week.
On Friday, three races were completed in 4 to 7 knots of breeze. The first race started in a dying northeasterly and was shortened by one leg due to the breeze steadily dropping. After about an hour wait, racing resumed with the wind shifting to the southeast and holding steady at 5-7 knots.
On Thursday, the opening day of the Championship, sailors were blessed by “champagne” sailing conditions and a 10 to 16 knot seabreeze on Choctawhatchee Bay. Four races were completed on Thursday, as Krantz took an early lead.
For the first time in event history, the U.S. Multihull Championship was raced in trimarans.
Results and Coverage
- For social media coverage, results and standings, photos, and more information from the 2018 U.S. Multihull Championship, please visit the event website.
- For breaking news and real-time results from the water, follow@USSailing on Twitter or use #Alter18 to search for updates from the race course.
- The U.S. Multihull Championship was conceived by the Multihull Council in the spring of 1985 as a service to the multihull racing community.
- The perpetual trophy was presented and named the Alter Trophy in 1986 in honor of Hobie Alter, Sr. and his extraordinary promotion of one-design multihull sailing and racing programs.
- World Champions from numerous classes, Olympic medalists and several national champions from the multihull ranks have raced for the Hobie Alter Trophy.
- The Championship rotates in discipline each year to showcase the depth of classes in multihull racing in the United States.
- Previous Winners and Results
For more information go to: 2018 U.S. Multihull Championship.