's Gravenzande / Netherlands - The Hobie 16 & Hobie Dragoon Europeans 2007 will be sailed off the Dutch coast of ‘s Gravenzande, close the The Hague and Scheveningen. From July 28 until August 4, about 150 teams will face the elements of the North Sea in their battle for European titles in five classes: Hobie 16 with spinnaker youth, master (from the age of 45), women, Hobie Dragoon youth and Hobie 16 Open. So far, the organization has received 33 pre-entries, representing 11 countries in the Open class. For the Dutch Hobie Cat community, it is definitely a revival of the more that thirty years old Hobie 16 competition. Twelve young crews with eight nationalities have registered for the Hobie 16 with spinnaker, the ISAF youth catamaran. This fleet is expected to increase up to thirty until fifty participants. Registration is open until July 1st.
It all starts with the two-day Women and Master (from the age of 45) championships on Saturday July 28th. Youth sailors in the Hobie 16 with spinnaker and Hobie Dragoon will race from July 28 until 31. The qualifications for the Open Class will start on July 30 and the finals on August 1st. “If you look at the pre-entries, it is obvious that many former Hobie 16-sailors use the opportunity as a come-back”, says Ute Vrijburg, Event Director on behalf of the European Hobie Cat Association (EHCA). “In that perspective, it is like a revival of the Hobie 16 in the Netherlands.” This most popular catamaran ever, was introduced to the American market in 1969 and it dominated the Dutch catamaran sport for years. The coastal sailing club ‘s Gravenzande (KZVG) and the EHCA may organize the 33rd edition of the Hobie Cat 16 European Championship, under the leadership of Race Director Rob Hoogstra. The challenge for competitors is about fighting the elements, such as current, tides, waves and surf. It is also about competition and socializing with fellow sailors from all over Europe.
The Hobie 16 with spinnaker is an ISAF recognized youth catamaran and therefore one of the classes at the ISAF Youth Sailing Worlds. That means this multihull is worldwide the training boat for sailors under the age of 21, who are aiming at a career in the Olympic Tornado. The Hobie Dragoon is a new youth catamaran with spinnaker and double trapeze. If both crew members are under the age of 16, they compete in the junior class. It is also possible to race with a parent in the open class. Subscription for the Hobie Dragoon Europeans 2007 has started in May.
Professional training sessions
In order to maintain the level or to improve it, the organization offers professional training sessions prior to the start of the races. From July 25 until 27, top trainers Brian Phipps (GBR) and Cédéric Bader (FRA) are ready to help participants. Phipps is a former RYA coach. Nowadays he trains sailors all over the world, works as youth co-ordinator for the Hobie class and is the British national coach for the Hobie 16 with spinnaker and Hobie Dragoon. Bader won the 2005 Europeans Hobie 16 and Hobie 16 with spinnaker. In 2006, he added the Youth World Title Hobie 16 with spi to his performance record. The training sessions in ‘s Gravenzande are open for Hobie 16 and Hobie Dragoon. During the weekend of July 28-29, the Hobie 16 teams are welcome to warm up at the Westland Cup, also organized by KZGZ.
Race schedule Hobie 16 & Hobie Dragoon Europeans 2007
Hobie 16 Spi, youth 28 July – 31 July
Hobie Dragoon, youth 28 July – 31 July
Hobie 16 Master 28 July – 29 July
Hobie 16 Women 28 July – 29 July
Hobie 16 Open, qualification 30 July – 31 July
Hobie 16 Open, finals 1 Aug. – 4 Aug.
The Hobie 16 & Hobie Dragoon Europeans 2007 are sponsored by: I-Drukker, Carrier Airconditioning, the Greenery, Autobedrijf Schoenmeijer, Vakantiepark Vlugtenburg aan zee, Tomselect, Ernst Olieman BV, Hogenboom vakantieparken, AfvalisHipenSexy.nl, Wealco Systemen BV, Westland Energie Services, ProfMedia BV, Rabobank, Boekestijn Transport Service, De Parel, Center Line, Hoeve de Viersprong, Colour XL, IkSloopGoedkoop.nl, Kwekerij Rozenhof, Ariën Hofman, Combifleuren Hobie Cat Holland BV.