OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - The Hobie Wave Mid-Winter regional had seven sailors from Mississippi, Florida, Illinois, Minnesita and Louisiana competing...including Mark Ederer from the Ocean Springs Yacht Club.
Scott Raines from Santa Rosa Beach, Florida says he's familiar with the Mississippi Sound. He's been competing here on the coast since before the casino's arrived in 1992. However, Raines says he just recently launched his sailing career in the Hobie Wave class.
Raines said, "I'm a very newcomer to this class. So, I'm still learning the boat. I've been sailing since I was a kid. It's always fun to get on the water. It's a very simple boat, 14 feet long, one sail, one line. Not a whole lot to it. The idea is they're all exactly the same."
Sailing is a thing of majestic beauty. Just to be out in the Mississippi Sound and to watch the sailboats glide over the water with their colorful sails, is peaceful and special.
It may not be as peaceful for the sailors competing this week in Ocean Springs. Most of them have a goal of being the best, but they still spend time balancing their desire to win and their goal of relaxing, and mixing their sailing passion with others.
Greg Rabon of Shrewsbury, New Jersey says he generated interest in sailing after college and purchased his first Hobie Cat. He says sailing has become his second family.
"It's just part of our life, "said Rabon. "It's like, hey, where is the next one. All the guys know each other well. You get together with your family once a year."
Rabon summed ot up best. "It's a lot of fun."
Phil Collins of Piedmont, Oklahoma captured the 2018 Hobie 17 North American Championship. Greg Rabon did his best and finished in fourth place.
In the Hobie Wave Class, Scott Raines of Santa Rosa Beach, proved he's someone to keep an eye on. Despite a lack of experience in this class, Raines sailed his Hobie Cat to first place.
Mark Ederer of Mobile and a member of the Ocean Springs Yacht Club was right behind Raines with a second place finish in the Hobie Wave Class.