The 2016 North American Hobie Class Association Championships have been awarded to the Arizona Hobie fleets – Fleet 514 in Tucson and Fleet 66 in Phoenix, and sailors from all over North America, from Guatemala to Puerto Rico to Canada will compete in this sanctioned international five day regatta from October 10th to 14th. The races will be held off the beach in Puerto Peñasco, Mexico, the home of Hobie racing for the Arizona fleets. Both fleets have been hosting Hobie regattas in Puerto Peñsaco for the last 30 years, including the 1994 Multi-Boat Nationals.
Some of the best catamaran sailors in the world will be competing at the event on Hobie 16s and 18s. Each boat is sailed with a two person team consisting of a skipper and crew. The overpowered catamarans race on one hull upwind and on the edge of pitch-poling downwind, always at risk of capsizing and making for some spectacular crashes. In 2015, over 75 teams competed at the event in Florida and the hosts expect to accommodate a similar number in 2016. As with most open sailing events, amateur sailors can test their skill against professionals.
An easy 4.5 hour drive from both Phoenix and Tucson, the regatta site is just an hour south of the border. A working port, this small Mexican fishing village boasts warm water, a sheltered harbor, wonderful downtown and a beautiful sandy beach. The racecourse is in the Sea of Cortez off of Sandy Beach near Playa Bonita. This location offers preeminent sailing for beach cats, with an endless sandy beach, warm water, consistent winds, 350 days of sunshine, and fantastic people.
Leading up to the championship, Fleet 66 will host the Cinco de Mayo regatta April 30th/May 1st and Fleet 514 will host their Piñata Regatta October 8-9, the weekend before the Championship. Both regattas consistently have over 25 boats each year, and have hosted 100+ boat regattas in the past. All levels of lodging, from tent camping and RV hookups at the Playa Bonita RV Park, to hotel rooms at the Playa Bonita Resort, to deluxe condominiums, are within walking distance of the regatta venue. There are multiple food options within walking distance, and many more restaurants and shopping opportunities just a short 5 minute drive into town. For the non-sailors, there is plenty to do including shopping, fishing, four-wheeling, jet-skiing, or a cold Tecate on the beach.