A record number of 60 brand new Hobie 16's, rotating between 200 entries, will be at the starting line-up of the Coca Cola Hobie 16 World Championships, May 4-14 in Cancun, Mexico.
The boats are all being supplied by Hobie Cat Company, the Oceanside, California manufacturer of the Hobie 16. Hobie Cat Company president, Doug SKIDMORE, stepped up to the plate by giving race organisers the extra boats they needed to accommodate the outstanding racer turnout. "It is our way of encouraging as many people as possible to get out on the water and enjoy Hobie sailing and racing,"
The 2004 World Championships promise to be the most exciting ever. The Open, Grand Masters, and Masters entries have already reached maximum capacities. There are still limited entries available for the Youth and Women's divisions, but they are quickly getting filled. While other sailing classes may be struggling, this unprecedented enthusiasm proves that the Hobie 16 class, the largest catamaran racing fleet in the world, is only getting stronger.
The entry list is an impressive one, including sailors from 25 different nations. Defending champions Gavin COLBY and Simone MATTFIELD (AUS) will be back to try and reclaim their title in the open division, as will the current Women's World Champions Lauren PELEN and Lea JEANDOTT (FRA) and Youth World Champion Robbie LOVIG (AUS).
Other entrants include Enrique FIGUEROA (PUR) who is ranked 11 in the Tornado in the ISAF World Sailing Rankings, up and coming young Australian match racer, Katie SPITHILL and Taylor BOOTH (AUS) the 2002 silver medallist crewing for his father Mitch who is now helming with Murray WRIGHT as his crew.
Every sailor will get half an hour to prepare and then will get to sail one of the new Hobie 16's one time during the race. This rule promises to match the skill of each racer with the proven performance of each Hobie 16.
Coverage will be posted on the event website via the link below.