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Tom Whitehurst wins 2021 U.S. Multihull Championship

by US Sailing 5 Nov 2021 22:27 PDT November 1-5, 2021
2021 U.S. Multihull Championship © Gary Turman / Triple Tack

Tom Whitehurst (Pensacola, FL) won the 2021 U.S. Multihull Championship, sailed from November 1-5, and hosted by the Formula Wave Class and Corpus Christi Yacht Club. According to event Co-Chair Ben Wells, the Formula Wave fleet of 77 competitors was the largest U.S. Multihull Championship in recent history, with sailors representing 28 states and three countries.

Race organizers created four fleets for the preliminary races, which happened over the event's first two days. After six races, sailors were split into gold and silver fleets for the final two days of racing. By midday on Friday, Whitehurst had four bullets and one third-place finish in the gold fleet, vaulting him to the top spot and securing the Hobie Alter Trophy. Tyler Myers (Marmora, NJ) finished second place, with Jim West (Celina, OH) rounding out the top three.

"The competition was tough," said Whitehurst after racing concluded. "It was a little lighter and a lot of chop [today], so it's a little challenging when it gets that way. Corpus is a nice place, and we knew ahead of time that the wind would be moderate to heavy, and we expected some chop."

"Over the series, we had all kinds of conditions, from light wind to heavy air with boats tipping over yesterday, and lots of great stories," says Becky Ashburn, Deputy Race Officer for the event. Tuesday, the first day of racing, saw a light air start to the day, though moderate conditions filled in. The wind had filled in slightly by Wednesday, but a front that blew through Wednesday night brought consistently sporty conditions above 15 knots on Thursday. Conditions lightened again on Friday for the final day of racing, with 9-10 knots early in the day slowly fading to the end of racing time.

"We were able to get two races in before the wind started dying out, and we didn't feel like it was fair racing anymore," said Mark Foster, Principal Race Officer for the Championship. "But they got a throw-out in the championship series because of the five [completed] races."

"The most challenging part for me was the light air stuff," says Myers. "I'm much more comfortable in the heavier air on these boats, so today, when it got light and shifty, it was a bit more challenging for me."

"The competition was great," continued Myer. "It's some of the top guys in the country. You can't get a better crowd to race against and test your skills. From the events we had off the water to the racing on the water, everything was great. This is not an event I'm going to forget."

Tom Sinnickson (Carpinteria, CA) topped the silver fleet, followed by Gustavo Pinto (Greensboro, NC) and Roger Taha (Des Moines, IA). "This regatta had really good, and really tough, competition," said Taha. "Yesterday, when it was windy, was the most challenging but also the most fun."

Competitors enjoyed the festivities off the water as well, from a competitors' meeting at a local craft brewery to an ice cream social hosted by CCYC at event venue, the Emerald Beach Hotel. "Thank you to all of the people who came and all the support, energy, and effort that went into making this event happen here in Corpus Christi," said Foster.

Founded in 1985, the U.S. Multihull Championships has become one of the nation's major sailing championships, counting world champions from numerous classes, Olympic medalists, and several national champions from the multihull ranks as past and present competitors. The perpetual trophy was named the Hobie Alter Trophy in 1986 in honor of Hobie Alter, Sr., and his extraordinary promotion of one-design multihull sailing and racing programs. The event is sponsored by Regatta Craft Mixers.

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