Colourful competition to put wind in Jervis Bay’s sails

ONE of the world’s largest sailing events will be officially opened in Jervis Bay tonight.

Here are some numbers to help convey how big an event the Hobie 16 World Championships is.

There are 504 competitors making up 384 teams from 27 countries and they are right here in Jervis Bay now.

This week the 60 locally-built Hobie 16s were racked up and rigged on Huskisson Beach.

Even without the rainbow of sails they will sport throughout the next fortnight the sight is impressive and one not likely to be repeated in the near future.

The US Hobie staff here for the event said it was a luxury having the boats already on the beach ready to rig when they arrived.

“So far the lead-up to this worlds has been top notch,” Jacques Bernier said.

“Having the Hobie Cat facility just up the road was great. Normally, we have to ship everything to the site and build them on the beach. That takes about three days.

“We made the metalwork and the sails in our loft at San Diego, so when we got here we just had to put the rigs together.

“The local guys did the pre-assembly.”

He said it took a lot to put a world championship event together but said two vital ingredients were a location that could cater to the people and the weather.

So far Shoalhaven has provided both.

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