BRIGHT blue sky above, crystal blue water below, skimming across Jervis Bay in tune with the wind in your face, that is the sort of thing sailors dream of and that is now on offer to the world’s best.
One of sailing’s iconic events, the 20th Hobie 16 World Championships, is coming to Jervis Bay.
The 15-day event over January and February 2014 will place Jervis Bay among previous Hobie 16 World Championship destinations like Dubai, Honolulu, Suva, Noumea, China, Mexico, the Caribbean and French Polynesia.
The Hobie Cat Australasia factory in Woollamia 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.
Hobie Cat Australasia managing director Steve Fields has assembled an experienced team to run the 20th world championships.
As a team it has previously worked together to help run past world championships in New Caledonia, Mexico, Fiji and China.
About 80 per cent of participants in the event will come from overseas.
Most competitors will be accompanied by friends and family.
Mr Fields estimated that sailors from more than 20 countries would attend the event in Jervis Bay.
“This means that more than 300 competitors, plus their families and supporters, will come to the Shoalhaven.
“The economic impact on the community over the 15-day period of the regatta is estimated by Destination NSW to be about $3 million, which is absolutely fantastic for the local economy,” he said.
Announcing the event NSW Minister for Tourism and Major Events, George Souris, said the Hobie 16 World Championships was 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,” he said.
Shoalhaven mayor Joanna Gash said she was extremely pleased to see the Shoalhaven chosen as event host.
“Shoalhaven City is absolutely delighted to be hosting the Hobie 16 World Championships in 2014,” Cr Gash said.
“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.”