One of sailing’s iconic events, the 20th Hobie 16 World Championships, was announced yesterday by the NSW Minister for Tourism and Major Events, George Souris, in conjunction with Hobie Cat Australasia Managing Director Steve Fields from the company’s Australian headquarters in Huskisson, New South Wales.
The world championship event will take place in Australia in 2014 with the opening ceremony on January 31 and competition continuing through to the open finals and closing ceremony on February 15.
In an exciting move Hobie Cat has taken the event away from the city atmosphere of the previous worlds in Weihai, China and gone for the charm and pristine environment of the spectacular, white, sandy Huskisson Beach in the small New South Wales township of Huskisson, which nestles on the edge of the pristine waters of Jervis Bay.
The magnificent beach is surrounded by the Jervis Bay Marine Park which extends along the eastern coastal edge of this typically charming, small Aussie township and is bordered to the west by the Jervis Bay National Park. Huskisson is located in the Shoalhaven region of New South Wales and is a pleasant two and a half hour drive south of the state capital city of Sydney.
Huskisson Beach looks out over ten kilometres of the sparkling waters of the Jervis Bay Marine Park, to the huge jutting, sandstone cliffs of Point Perpendicular which sit on the southern edge of the Beecroft Peninsular. Out across the lighthouse protected mouth of this expansive waterway is the fairy penguin colony and sanctuary of Bowen Island which lies within Booderee National Park and stands as a lone sentinel at the mouth of this huge and stunning bay.
Minister Souris said “The Hobie 16 World Championships is the pinnacle competition for the largest and most popular catamaran class in the world.”
“I’m delighted that this world class event will be held on magnificent Jervis Bay in the Shoalhaven region.”
From 2014 Jervis Bay will forever sit alongside previous H16 Worlds locations and international tourist destinations such as Suva, Noumea, Cancun, Guadeloupe, Dubai, Papeete and Honolulu.
Hobie Cat Australasia has been able to secure the world championships for the region with the support of the New South Wales state government through its events promotion arm Destination New South Wales and the Shoalhaven City Council via Shoalhaven Water and Shoalhaven Holidays.
The International Sailing Federation, the International Hobie Class Association and Yachting Australia have sanctioned the world championship sailing regatta. All competitors will compete for world championship titles on identical, purpose built Hobie 16 catamarans which will be supplied at the Jervis Bay venue and maintained by the event management team.
The Hobie Cat Australasia factory, which is located in Huskisson, will be the builder and supplier of more than 60 Hobie 16 catamarans and will also provide the logistical support for and organisation of the event.
Managing Director of Hobie Cat Australasia Steve Fields, has assembled an experienced and professional team to run the 20th world championships. As a team they have previously worked together to help run past worlds in New Caledonia, Mexico, Fiji and China.
It is estimated that 80% of the participants who will be attending will come from international destinations. Most competitors will be accompanied by a partner or friend and the Hobie 16 being a family orientated sailing class, it is common for all family members to attend though not participate in the racing.
Hobie Cat Australasia Managing Director, Steve Fields said “We estimate that Hobie sailors from more than 20 countries will attend the event in Jervis Bay. This means that more than 300 competitors, plus their families and supporters, will come to the Shoalhaven and surrounding regions.”
“The total economic impact on the community over the 15 day period of the regatta is estimated by Destination NSW to be around $3 million, which is absolutely fantastic for the local economy”.
Shoalhaven City Council Mayor, Joanna Gash said she was extremely pleased to see the Shoalhaven chosen as event hosts saying she was looking forward to witnessing all the action on the water.
“Shoalhaven is absolutely delighted to be the host venue the Hobie 16 World Championships Jervis Bay in 2014,” said Clr Gash.
“Jervis Bay is one of the most picturesque and remarkable waterways in the world, making it the perfect venue to host such a prestigious event.”
“I certainly can’t wait to see some of the world’s best sailors competing on the pristine waters of Jervis Bay in early 2014.”
Destination NSW CEO, Sandra Chipchase, is delighted that competitors for the Hobie 16 World Championships Jervis Bay will come from South East Asia, Europe, North America, South America and South Africa, as well as, Australia, for over two weeks, to participate in the event.
“It’s a great opportunity to showcase the terrific attractions of the Shoalhaven region to the international sailing community and to support regional tourism business and the NSW Visitor Economy.”
The 20th Hobie 16 World Championships Jervis Bay is set to be a flat-out, live-fast, have-fun adventure for international and Australian competitors as well as interested spectators. Situated in a brilliant location that has remained a relatively hidden