Five former Hobie World Champions will be part of the colourful field for the Hobie 16 National Championships, which will be held off their namesake Hobie Beach later this month (March).
Hosted by the Algoa Bay Yacht Club and sponsored by The Boardwalk Casino and Entertainment World and Sebago, the event is expected to attract a field of 50 to 60 boats, according to Andrew Ward of the Algoa Bay Yacht Club.
“We once again have the opportunity to showcase Port Elizabeth as THE sailing/watersports capital of our country,” he says.
Hobie Beach will be the launching point for the event for three years, from 2013 to 2015 following the successful hosting of the regatta in 2012.
The Boardwalk and Sebago have committed to sponsoring it over the next three years, he says.
“This event promises to be very competitive with 50-60 boats expected (we had 40 entries last year) to take part from around the country, making up the fleet there will be no fewer than five former Hobie World Champions – Blaine Dodds, Colin Whitehead, Alan Lawrence, Steve Arnold and a former Youth World Champion Mathew Whitehead,” says Ward.
Heading up the Eastern Cape field will be Blaine Roxanne Dodds (second in 2012) and William and Lucinda Edwards (third in 2012) from Plettenberg Bay.
Both have won the title on “numerous occasions” (Blaine 15 times) and (William seven times), says Ward.
Port Elizabeth favourites include Andrew and Angela Ward (fourth in 2012) together with Robert and Alexa Archibald.
“Last year’s event in saw the Cape Town duo Alan Lawrence and his son Daniel repeat their 2011 win to take the event back-to-back. They are sure to be heading up a strong Cape challenge,” he says.
Top teams from Johannesburg are Mike and Stephanie Goodyear, and Mark Kopel and Mark Witjenberg .
“There has also been an excellent growth amongst the youth sailors in the Hobie 16 fleet and heading up the youth challenge will be Matthew Whitehead, Ewald Erasmus, Douglas Edwards and Brent Hayward,” he says.
The event will be sailed from Hobie Beach, and starts on Thursday March 21, 2013. Racing will take place until Sunday March 24, 2013.
Article source: http://mype.co.za/new/2013/03/hobie-cats-back-on-hobie-beach/