Ocean Springs hosts national catamaran event

Ocean Springs hosts national catamaran event

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - The Ocean Springs Yacht Club has a great reputation among sailors who race catamarans. That's why the facility is hosting the Hobie 20 National this week.

More than a dozen teams from across the country are taking part in the competition.

One participant calls the Ocean Springs venue "the most catamaran-friendly yacht club in the country".

The sailors had time to share stories and ready their boats Thursday morning while waiting on the wind.

"We have to have wind, and we have to have clear skies. We want enough wind, but we don't want the bad weather coming in to give it to us," said Chris Minke, of Ocean Springs.

Finally, Mother Nature provides the welcome sea breeze, and the competitors hit the water for an afternoon of racing.

Teams are visiting from as far away as Oklahoma, Iowa and the Virgin Islands.

"I am fairly recent at this kind of sailing on this kind of boat, so it's been very much a learning experience for me. We've got some absolute wizards out here from all over the place," said Jay Shuman, with the Ocean Springs Yacht Club.

Participants include a former national champion from Ocean Springs.

"It was my goal in racing catamarans to at least win one national championship, and I was finally successful in 2004," said Mark Ederer.

Since all competitors in this event have the same boats, it's strictly sailor vs. sailor. The sport is far more physical than you might imagine. Battling wind and waves with sails and lines.

"We have a little saying on this particular boat. When you get off racing at the end of the day, if you're not bleeding, you're not racing," said Ederer.

They look so graceful on the water, yet to properly sail one of these catamarans, there's a lot of nuance involved.

"While you're out there on the water, between where you place your weight and the various control lines you use to shape the sails, all dictate how fast you can make the boat move," Shuman explained.

The catamaran sailing continues through Saturday.

Copyright 2016 WLOX. All rights reserved.