Dobie returns home to become world champion

JERVIS Bay’s Hobie 16 World Championships provided a welcome homecoming for former Huskisson local Jesse Dobie last week. 

Dobie, who grew up and went to school in Huskisson before relocating to Brisbane, was back in familiar territory when she and partner Bella Zanesco, who is based in Darlinghurst took out the women’s world championship on Friday. 

It all came down to a thrilling finish in their final race after they found themselves sitting on equal points in second. 

Dobie said they did not realise they were in second going into the race and their only aim was to go out there and win it, which they managed to do. 

“We’re not very good with maths so we couldn’t work it out until we got back to the beach and everyone was saying, ‘you won!’

“I was always hopeful, but you can never be quite sure,” Dobie added. 

Dobie has been sailing since she was 10-year-sold and said to be able to win a world championship has always been the ultimate goal and to do it on her home turf made it that little bit more special. 

The win is an impressive result for Dobie and Zanesco given they had only been training together for a few months before the regatta and apart from that they had only raced together once in Europe a number of years ago.

Zanesco only returned to sailing three months ago after spending several years out of the sport and said she was ecstatic to finally become world champion after several previous attempts. 

“We crossed the line and I said, ‘oh my God, I think we’ve actually done this’,” she said. 

“I actually made a bucket list about three weeks ago and one of the things on it was to win a Hobie World Championship, so I guess I can tick that off now,” she laughed. 

While neither could say for certain if they will continue to race together, they did not rule out the possibility of coming back to defend their crown at the next world championships.

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