IT doesn’t matter which hat he is wearing; Hobie Cat production manager, commodore of the Vincentia Sailing Club or Hobie 16 world and Australian champion sailor, Mick Butler is excited in every way about the world championships coming to Jervis Bay.
In 2007, with his sailing partner Sue Etheringerton, Mr Butler won the Hobie 16 World Championship in Fiji.
It is the same event that Jervis Bay secured for January-February 2014.
“The event is unbelievable. Until you have seen it, the size of it, the numbers of people and boats, you can’t comprehend how big it is,” Mr Butler said.
“There will be 60 Hobie cats built here for the event. They will be lined up along the beach. Each boat is shared by two crews and at some points they will all be there at once.”
Mr Butler spends a fair part of his life thinking, dreaming, working and playing with Hobie cats.
Apart from being a keen and competitive sailor, as the production manager at the Hobie Cat Australasia facility in Woollamia, he has a big task ahead ensuring the race boats are built to exacting standards.
“I like the fact that everyone sails on identical boats. It means the racing is more about skill and experience,” he said.
“The wind and sea conditions mean the racing will be close to shore which means spectators at Huskisson and Vincentia will see spectacular action.”
Mr Butler will team up with a WA sailor known as Worst News, to compete in the Open Division and the title of world champions.
“Now I’ve been given the golden opportunity to win another one, and in sailing there is definitely a home-town advantage.”