Hobie world championships set to sail on island
The South Seas Island Resort is gearing up to host the 22nd annual Hobie 16 Worlds – the first time in 35 years Hobie has held its world championship in America – and spectators are invited to come out.
Organized by the International Hobie Class Association, the top sailors from around the world will compete on Nov. 1-16 in the three championship disciplines of Women’s, Youth and Open, and three additional disciplines of Masters Cup, Grand Masters Cup and Great Grand Masters Cup. In the Open Worlds competition, there will be three rounds, which will include a qualifier, semi-final and final.
“We could not be more excited to be bringing this iconic event back to the U.S. this year, where the Hobie Worlds legacy first began, and where the Hobie 16 sailboat itself was created,” IHCA President Rick McVeigh said in a prepared statement. “Thanks to the generous support of The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel and Lee County, we are confident this year’s event will offer competitors the best Hobie Worlds experience yet. The competition has attracted top talent from across the globe, with one of the strongest fields ever assembled. The racing is going to be incredible.”
The event is set to feature more than 400 athletes from over 20 countries and six continents.
“We are so excited to bring world-class sailing to our destination’s stunning Gulf waters,” Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau Executive Director Tamara Pigott added in the statement. “We look forward to welcoming the sailing community to our slice of paradise.”
For the competition, the Hobie Cat Company is supplying new Hobie 16s – its signature 16-foot catamaran sailboat – to all of the competitors to race on the course off of Sunset Beach. It will ensure the world championship awards the best sailors, not just those with the most expensive equipment.
“Captiva Island is a perfect location for the Hobie 16 World Championships and South Seas Island Resort is the perfect host,” Hobie Cat Company Chief Executive Officer Doug Skidmore said in the statement. “The water, white-sand beaches, weather, people and location offer some of the best sailing conditions I have seen. As a company, we are proud to be a major part of these world championships.”
In past competitions, as many as 7,000 people have attended. Over the 16 days, there will be plenty of opportunities for the public to take in the action from the South Seas Island Resort’s Sunset Beach.
For spectators, the cost is $5 per carload or vehicle at the resort’s Entry Gate.
Food and beverages can be purchased at Sunset Beach; only cash will be accepted.
There also will be restrooms available at the site.
For more information or the schedule, visit www.hobieworlds.com and click the “Spectators” tab.
South Seas Island Resort is at 5400 Plantation Road.