Latest test sail and pictures of the new Hobie F18 Wild Cat
Hyeres/France, April 3 april 2009 - Team Zwitserleven Booth/Nieuwenhuis (NED) had the chance to test sail the new Hobie Wild Cat in preparation for the 2009 season. The Wild Cat is nearing completion after a long winter development program and is expected to debut in Carnac, France during the Eurocat regatta at the end of April. The new Hobie is a state of the art F18, created to race at the highest level in the ever-expanding Formula 18 class. Booth and Nieuwenhuis will contest Eurocat, Zwitserleven Race Week (including the Round Texel Race), Duc D'Albe and Formula 18 World Championships in Belgium.
Mitch Booth and Pim Nieuwenhuis were excited about the performance of the new machine and looking forward to the race season to kick off. Nieuwenhuis commented on returning to the beach: 'This boat feels great to sail and very responsive in the gusty conditions we had today." Booth added: "The helm on this boat is a dream and feels like you are gliding on ice. We have put the Wild Cat through some tough testing conditions and she has come out with full marks.'
The Wild Cat, designed by Hobie Cat Europe in conjunction with Martin Fischer (AUS), is along similar lines to the other current F18's with its wave piecing shape and reverse bow stem giving it a very distinctive look. The hulls are the most visible update for the new Hobie, but when looking closely every component has been developed to the latest and highest quality. The extreme high aspect centerboards and the super slick wing mast section just all add to the whole package of a great race boat, which is built by Hobie Cat Europe in Toulon/France.
The Hobie class has been involved with the Formula 18 since its beginning in the early 90's and with the Tiger class won 6 World titles. Now with the new Wild Cat, Hobie hopes to continue their record in what has become the most competitive beach cat class in the world today.
Multihulls and the Olympics
The Olympic catamaran question still remains open. Booth: "While we are waiting for a clear decision, the F18 circuit offers the best form of multihull racing to maintain the sailing skills at the highest level. There are lots of keen young sailors itching to have a go at Olympic racing on a multihull and hoping for its inclusion back into the 2012 games." As for Booth and Nieuwenhuis, there is still a burning desire to compete at the Olympics and they are ready to tackle the challenge of a new campaign for the London games.