Having a Hobie World Championship

Published on November 16th, 2019

The first Hobie 16 World Championship was held in Hawaii in 1976, and since the 1984 edition in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, the biennial (sort of) kumbaya has traveled to such destinations as Fiji, South Africa, Australia, China, and Spain.

For the 2019 Hobie 16 Worlds, the 22nd edition returned to the USA after a 35 year absence with a host of titles to compete for from November 2 to 16 in Captiva Island, Florida.

The Hobie 16 is the only one design class in the world to supply brand-new identical boats for its World Championships, reinforcing the foundation of the organization that it is about the people, not customized equipment, which remains its strength.

The 2019 edition hosted 16 days of sailing with two days lost due to weather (one with no wind and one with too much). Here’s a summary:

• The first stage of the 2019 Hobie 16 World Championship was completed with the 54-boat Hobie 16 Master’s International Cup on November 2-5. Eligible for helms 45 years and older, Rod and Kerry Waterhouse (AUS) won the 12-race series, finishing six points ahead of Mark and Grace Modderman with Darren Smith/ Claire Bisgood (AUS) four point further back in third. Results.

• The focus on November 6-8 shifted toward age and gender World titles, with the winners being Mike Montague/Kathy Ward (USA) in the Great Grand Masters (65 and older), Rod and Kerry Waterhouse (AUS) in the Grand Masters (55 and older), Annie Gardner/Sarah Kraft (USA) in the Womens, and Vladimir Sola Dias/Marc Selfa (CUB) in the Youth division. Details.

• Competition for the open title extended from November 9 to 16, beginning with several qualifying stages before the top 56 teams advanced to the final two days to determine the 2019 Hobie 16 World Champions. Full on conditions characterized the first day with six races completed, and when the wind and sea state were too extreme on the final day, it would be Yamil Saba and Gonzalo Cendra (VEN) to claim the title. Details.

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