Please select your home edition
Naiad 728x90px_Rescue

An interview with Robin Keller about the 2019 U.S. Multihull Championship

by David Schmidt 4 Jun 2019 08:00 PDT June 7-9, 2019
US Multihull Championships/WetaFest © Fort Walton Yacht Club

While all championship-level regattas boast their share of high hurdles, the annual U.S. Multihull Championship tests sailors on multiple levels as they compete for the Hobie Alter Trophy. This year’s regatta, which will be hosted by the Spray Beach Yacht Club and sailed on the waters off of Spray Beach, New Jersey (June 7-9), will be contested using a bring-your-own fleet of Hobie 14s…even though last year’s regatta was contested using a BYO fleet of Weta Trimarans, and the year before the trophy was determined using Hobie 17s.


Don’t be. Along with venue, the U.S. Multihull Championship intentionally rotates through a variety of different multihull classes, year-on-year, to test the true depth of the country’s multihull-sailing talent. For the faithful, this requires mastering a different boat each year, but—in addition to possibly lifting the Hobie Alter Trophy—this non-stop learning curve promises to help round out one’s multihull skills and resume.

Not surprisingly, this challenging format event has long attracted World Championship- and Olympic-level sailing talent from a variety of high-performance mono- and multihull classes, and this year’s fleet is shaping up to be as quick as always.

I checked in with Robin Keller, the event’s co-chair, via email, to learn more about this demanding and highly competitive multihull regatta.

How many boats are you expecting on the starting line?

Typically, 20-30 – the entire fleet starts at the same time.

Where do most of these boats/sailors come from? Are there any pronounced geographic concentrations? What about from the New Jersey area? Are you expecting much local turnout?

Combination of local and national. There is a strong multihull fleet in division 11 which is where we are, but there is also national attention to this.

How would you describe competition levels at the event?

Very high – these are probably the most experienced sailors in multihull vessels.

What kind of course shapes can sailors expect?

We use cylinders and tetrahedrons depending on the course layout. Windward and Leeward marks are set usually a mile apart depending on wind and wave conditions.

Does the event event/RC resect or enforce any wind limits or will they start races in a serious blow? What about on the low-end of the spectrum? Is there a minimum wind speed needed? And finally, what kind of conditions are common off of Beach Haven in early June?

The minimum windspeed is usually less than five knots. In June that is an unusual condition unless under dense fog – hot sunny days are always windy due to a thermal that fills in from the South daily after noon that peaks to 12-15 knots – the water is shallow so the swells are minimum with that wind, 6-12 inches max.

If a cold front is moving in or has moved in then the prevailing winds are more based on that system, the clearing wind on a front is always a NE blow about 10-20 knots. We have canceled sailing at our venue when it is deemed unsafe to have patrol leave the harbor or where we are concerned about too many boats going over in a gust, but if patrol and RC feel comfortable leaving the harbor the race will be held – in any condition it is the responsibility of the skipper alone to determine whether he [or she] is racing or not.

What kind of evening/onshore entertainment can sailors look forward to, once the finishing guns fall silent?

We will have dinner each night, and Saturday Night is our famous annual pig roast – with food and entertainment – always fun and all the members attend!

Related Articles

Erika Reineke on the 2020 World Cup Series Miami
An interview with Erika Reineke ahead of the 2020 Hempel World Cup Series Miami I checked in with Erika Reineke, who is one of the USA's top-ranked Laser Radial sailors, via email, to find out about her preparations ahead of the 2020 Hempel World Cup Series Miami. Posted on 16 Jan
Playing for keeps on Puget Sound
Man Overboard in the Duwamish Head Race off Seattle I knew I was in for an adventure when I woke up at 0430 hours on Saturday for the annual Duwamish Head Race, only to discover that NOAA had issued a small-craft advisory for the section of Puget Sound where our race would be unfurling. Posted on 14 Jan
That man Lilley
Latest Sail-World Australia newsletter from John Curnow When he won the medal race at the recent Finn Gold Cup, it was not some random event. Jake Lilley has been at it for a while. It's called work ethic... Posted on 12 Jan
Luther Carpenter on the World Cup Series Miami
An interview with Luther Carpenter ahead of the 2020 Hempel World Cup Series Miami I checked in with Luther Carpenter, US Sailing's recently named Olympic head coach, via email, to learn more about his challenges and preparations ahead of the 2020 Hempel World Cup Series Miami. Posted on 8 Jan
Looking ahead to two great retro sailing races
Golden Globe Race 2022 and the 2023 Ocean Globe Race 2020 may have only barely begun, but already entire groups of adventure-minded sailors are looking forward to 2022 and 2023, which is when the Golden Globe Race 2022 and the 2023 Ocean Globe Race are slated to begin. Posted on 7 Jan
Highs and Lows
They go together in a symbiotic circle to form our weather patterns They go together in a symbiotic circle to form our weather patterns. In life, they also seem to always be in close proximity to one another, as well. Normally, this is a truly a wonderful time of year in Australia. Posted on 5 Jan
Keiran Searle on the state of the Melges 20 class
An interview with Keiran Searle about the state of the Melges 20 class I checked in with Keiran Searle, who serves as the Melges 20 North American Class Manager, via email, to check in and learn more about the state of affairs in this popular One Design class. Posted on 2 Jan
Luke Scott on the Cape to Rio Transatlantic Race
An interview with Luke Scott about the Cape to Rio 2020 Transatlantic Race I checked in with Luke Scott, race chair of the Cape to Rio 2020 Transatlantic Race, to learn more about this exciting offshore race. Posted on 1 Jan
Embracing 2020
Pondering ways to make it a happier and more peaceful year Sail-World wishes all readers a happy, healthy and successful New Year, and we look forward to seeing you out on the racecourse…hopefully a lot more frequently than we did in 2019. Posted on 31 Dec 2019
Let's start with a round of applause
During the busy Sydney-Hobart period, readership of was up 20%... Thank you. During the busy Sydney-Hobart period, readership of was up 20% over the same period from last year, and that's all because of you. So thank you. Posted on 29 Dec 2019
iSails 2020 - Spinnaker Spring Discount - FOOTERMelges IC37 2019 FooterNaiad 660x82px_Superyacht