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Learn to Sail / Race, Uncategorized

What is a Pitchpole?

Have you ever caught an edge skiing, or skating?  Your moving along just fine and suddenly…. not so much? In Cat Sailing, this is called a “Pitchpole”. Otherwise known as, or referred to by those onshore as a “wicked crash”.

The Hobie16, the most popular Hobie class on Wood Lake has a design flaw, actually all cats have this to some degree, but the flat deck on a Hobie 16 makes for an especially good crash. What happens here is, in strong winds as the Hobie begins to heel up on one hull, that hull becomes dangerously close to submerging with the entire boat weight pushing the hull straight into the water. Heeling usually come with good speed… and this increases the awesomeness of this very special moment.  Avoiding letting the lower hull break below the surface is only combated by getting all the crew weight back towards the rudders to keep the tip of the hull up… but sometimes, you don’t get a lot of warning. Check it out…



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