Hobie 16 Worlds- Palm Beach attract biggest entry ever for a Worlds

Palm Beach SC 2013 Bullets Regatta Day 1
Linda Renouf
The 20th Hobie 16 World Championships, being held on the South Coast in Jervis Bay from January 31 to February 15, have attracted an entry of over 500 competitors from 27 countries. Local sailors will have the opportunity to compete alongside legend Hobie Alter Jr. from California and a collection of Olympics sailors from around the world to defend their titles is a dream come true for some.

The current Hobie 16 World Champions come from the Northern Beaches and sail from the Palm Beach Sailing Club, at Sandy Point Palm Beach. The sailing club celebrated its 50 year anniversary in 2013, and has inspired Olympic sailors including medalists John Forbes and Mitch Booth.

Weihai, China hosted the last Hobie 16 World Championships where several teams represented Palm Beach Sailing Club, bringing home three gold medals in the Grandmaster, Master and Youth Divisions. The local world champions include Anthony Duchatel and Evelyn Curtis, mother of Olympic gold medal winner Nina Curtis, Rod and Kerry Waterhouse, and their son Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darminian.

This year the World Championship has attracted 504 competitors, making up 384 teams from 27 countries and 6 continents. It's the largest Hobie World Championship in history. The first Hobie Worlds were in Hawaii in 1976 and past venues included Asia, Fiji, North America, Europe, South Africa, Carribbean, and Dubai. The local sailors have been training for the event every Saturday at Sand Point with a fleet of various beach catamarans. Anyone is welcome to join and no experience is necessary.

For more information about Palm Beach Sailing Club, contact Dick Clarke at commodore@pbsc.com.au and event info here.