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26 October 2005, 09:39 am
46 Knots On First Day
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Hobie 16 World Championship 2005
Port Elizabeth, South Africa

On Tuesday 25 October, the Hobie Cat 16 World Championships 2005 presented by Chevrolet started with wind gusts up to 46 knots. The Indian Ocean in the Nelson Mandela Bay in Port Elizabeth, South Africa looked sunny, but very rough, and all races were cancelled due to the extreme conditions.
Some competitors hung around at the Port Elizabeth Beach Sailing Club and others did some sightseeing in the beautiful South African area. It was supposed to be the first racing day for three classes: 53 masters, eleven women and 19 youth Hobie 16 teams.

Over the last couple of days, Hobie Beach has been transformed into a real Hobie Cat scene, with sailors from all over the world, of all ages and abilities. 60 brand new 16s are assembled and ready to go. Since 24 hours, all boats had to be dismasted due to the high wind.

Not all youth are competing in the youth class, as several have been drafted as crew for the masters, due to their light weight. That is why ten year old Erich RICKENS from Cape Town will race with his father. Despite it being his first World Championship ever he is not in the slightest bit intimidated, 'We just came up for the fun.'

Diana Bogaards
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