Oceanside, CA, November 20, 2019 – Hobie, the leading manufacturer of premium kayaks, sailboats and watersport products, is pleased to announce Venezuelan sailors Yamil Saba and Gonzalo Cendra as the 2019 Hobie 16 World Champions.
The pair sealed their victory on Nov. 16, the final day of the 22nd edition of Hobie 16 Worlds, a 16-day sailing competition that attracted top talent from across the globe. A total of 504 athletes, representing 25 countries and six continents, competed in the prestigious event, which took place Nov. 1 – 16 off the coast of Captiva Island, Fla. at the South Seas Island Resort.
The event featured three world championship divisions: Women’s, Youth and Open; and three additional disciplines: Masters Cup, Grand Masters Cup and Great Grand Masters Cup. All competitors raced on brand-new Hobie 16’s, Hobie’s signature 16-foot catamaran sailboats, issued specifically for the event.
Saba and Cendra took top honors as victors in the Open World Championship, just one point ahead of Nicolaj Bjornholt and Michelle Jensen from Denmark. Gav Colby and Worst News from Australia rounded out the podium for the premiere category, finishing third.
Vladimir Sola Dias and Marc Selfa from Cuba took first place in the Youth World Championship, while Annie Gardner and Sarah Kraft from the United States won the Women’s World Championship on home soil. Rod and Kerry Waterhouse from Australia finished first in the Masters Cup, in addition to taking home the title of Grand Masters Cup champions. Finally, Mike Montague and Kathy Ward triumphed in the Great Grand Masters Cup.
Captiva Island delivered a full mix of conditions across the event’s 16-day duration, with two days conclusively deemed unsuitable for racing – one due to excessive winds combined with unsafe sea conditions, and another due to lack of wind. But ultimately, the pristine tropical venue proved an excellent location for this year’s event, which marked the first time in 35 years that Hobie 16 Worlds took place in the United States.
“The 22nd Hobie 16 Worlds was a tremendous success,” said Steve Fields, Hobie Worlds team director. “Fierce competition and tight racing made for an exceptional showcase of just how skilled these sailors are, as the best catamaran racers in the world in their respective divisions. Simultaneously, this event also highlights the extraordinary connections and friendships made through sailing. The camaraderie and spirit exhibited out there, both on and off the water, was just incredible.”
For a complete list of event results and additional information, please visit the official Hobie Worlds website at hobieworlds.com.
About Hobie: Since 1950, Hobie has been in the business of shaping a unique lifestyle based around fun, water and quality products. From their headquarters in Oceanside, California, Hobie Cat Company manufactures, distributes and markets an impressive collection of watercraft worldwide. These include an ever-expanding line of recreation and racing sailboats, pedal-driven and paddle sit-on-top recreation and fishing kayaks, inflatable kayaks and fishing boats, plus a complementary array of parts and accessories. To learn more, visit hobie.com
About The Beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel: The Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau represents The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel, which also includes Captiva Island, downtown Fort Myers, Bonita Springs, Estero, Cape Coral, Pine Island, Boca Grande and Outer Islands, North Fort Myers and Lehigh Acres. Visit fortmyers-sanibel.com.
About South Seas Island Resort: South Seas Island Resort is located on 330 acres on tropical Captiva Island on the west coast of Florida, just off the beaches of Fort Myers. South Seas is an iconic resort village combining a natural wonderland with modern resort amenities and accommodations. Visit southseas.com.
About The International Hobie Class Association: The International Hobie® Class Association (IHCA), exemplifies the “Hobie Way of Life,” a tradition that Hobie Alter, founder of Hobie Cat Company, started over 50 years ago. The IHCA organizes World Championships for Hobie catamarans, including open, women’s, master’s, grand masters and youth championships. The organization also issues the worldwide standard class rules for all Hobie classes. For more information visit hobieclass.com.