Over 200 entries have been received for the 17th 17th Hobie Cat 16 World Championships in South Africa

The organisation of the 17th Hobie Cat 16 World Championships 2005 which takes place from Tuesday 25 October Friday 4 November at Nelson Mandela Bay of Port Elizabeth in South-Africa, has received over 200 pre-entries. These teams represent 28 countries, of which 10 are European.

The line up includes current and past champions, such as Cedric Bader / Yann Montoya (FRA) who won this year’s Hobie 16 Europeans Youth, as well as the Open, but equally so, the 13 time South African Champion Blaine / Roxanne Dodds. They won the world title in 1998. And former Hobie 16 World Champion Shaun Ferry from South Africa will also keep the top runners honest.

The history of the Hobie 16 Worlds shows that the Australians have been the most successful with six victories. Fourteen Aussie teams will go for a 7th victory, whereas Bob Enwirda/Anna Wenmmo and Tim Shuwalow/Cameron Hooper are 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 6th position of last year. Other top ten potentials are Mark Laruffa (ITA), Stephan Rumph/Kim Liedtke (GER) and former World Champion (1994) Enrique Figueroa with Carla Malatrasi (PUR). Enrique Figueroa has a wonderful season winning the Hobie Tiger Worlds earlier in the year. Then following that up by winning the North American Hobie 16 Championships. A dark horse, from Guatamala, is young Juan Maegli, who finished 4th at the Cancun Hobie 16 Worlds 2004.

The women’s 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 Europeans 2005. Other favourites are Morgane Laurancy and Marion Pennaneach (FRA) and former ISAF Women’s World Champion 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 Hobie 16 ISAF Youth World Champions 2004, against Euope’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 2nd Hobie 16 Worlds in Texas. Twenty years later, Blaine and Roxanne Dodds triumphed, in Sotogrande, Spain.

The event starts on 25 October with the Women, Youth, Master and Grand Master series. The competition takes three days until Thursday 27 October, whereafter the three day Open Qualifier begins. The top 112 teams will go to the semi-finals from 31 October until 2 November. The best 56 competitors sail the finals on the last two days. The Organising 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.