The history of the Hobie 16 Worlds shows that the Australians have been the most successful with six victories. 14 Aussie teams will go for a seventh victory, with Bob ENWIRDA and Anna WENMMO and Tim SHUWALOW and Cameron HOOPER as the strongest candidates. They can expect tough competition of many other top sailors, like the current Hobie 16 Youth World Champion Jerome LEGAL (FRA). He is now too old to defend that title, therefore he and Mickael SIRET are aiming at the next one in the open class. Christophe Renaud DE MALET and Alban ROSSOLLIN, also from France, will try to better their sixth position of last year.
Other top ten potentials are Mark LARUFFA (ITA), Stephan RUMPH and Kim LIEDTKE (GER) and 1994 World Champion Enrique FIGUEROA with Carla MALATRASI (PUR). FIGUEROA has had a wonderful season already winning the Hobie Tiger Worlds earlier in the year. He then followed that up by winning the North American Hobie 16 Championship. A dark horse, from Guatamala, is young Juan MAEGLI, who finished fourth at the Cancun Hobie 16 Worlds last year.
The womens fleet is competitive as well, with last year's winners Pamela NORIEGA of Mexico and Marie DUVIGNAC and Pauline THEVENOT (FRA) who won the Women's Europeans this year. Other favourites are Morgane LAURANCY and Marion PENNANEACH (FRA) and Inge SCHUBORT (RSA).
The Hobie 16 Youth World Championship 2005 will be exciting with several potential winners. The battle for gold will most likely be between France, Great Britain and Guatemala. Tom PHIPPS and Jon COOK (GBR), the 2004 ISAF Youth World Champions in the Hobie 16, against Europe's best team Cedric BADER and Yann MONTOYA (FRA) with Guatemala's Juani MAEGLI and Cristina GUIROLA fresh from their second place in the North American Open Hobie 16 Championships. The first Hobie Dragoon World Champions ever, Richard and Andrew GLOVER from Great Britain, have switched to the Hobie 16 and will try their luck in South Africa.
South Africans, are in general very competitive Hobie 16 sailors, so it is not surprising that two past World Champions of this country are racing for the Master title. In 1978, Colin and Matthew WHITEBREAD took the victory in the second Hobie 16 Worlds in Texas. 20 years later, Blaine and Roxanne DODDS triumphed, in Sotogrande, Spain.
Hobie Beach, part of the Nelson Mandela Bay of the coastal city of Port Elizabeth, will be the event's venue. The sailing conditions are excellent with calm and warm waters and fair breezes. For those who do not compete, the area offers many opportunities to explore. It is the gateway to the garden route, a highly regarded coastal stretch with natural lagoons, bustling wildlife, abundant forests and friendly people. It leads to Cape Town, some 800 kilometers to the west.
The 17th Hobie Cat 16 World Championships start on Tuesday 25 October with the Women, Youth, Master and Grand Master series. The competition takes three days until Thursday 27 October, when the three day Open Qualifier begins. The top 112 teams will go to the semi finals from 31 October-2 November. The best 56 competitors sail the finals on the last two days. The Organizing Authority is the International Hobie Class Association (IHCA) in conjunction with Worldsports and the South African Hobie Class Association under the authority of South Africa Sailing.