Finally, after a more than 20 year hiatus, Hobie Sailing came back to Hout Bay when the Hout Bay Haul Beach Cat Regatta was held on Saturday 3 May.
‘The Hobie Way of Life’ is the by-line of the Hobie sailing community, and this ethos was evident in abundance as 24 Hobies and one Mosquito were rigged on the beach by their enthusiastic sailors, amongst much light-hearted banter. The bay was lit up with colour and action as the boats sped off in warm sunny conditions from the beach, rounded the breaker off the Chapman’s Peak, and headed out towards the Admirals Cup keelboat fleet that was racing off Kommetjie.
Unfortunately, with the light wind conditions came a rolling fog bank out to sea off Slangkop and mist shrouding Klein Leeukoppie. In the interests of safety, the Race Officer shortened the planned long haul course to the Crayfish Factory near Misty Cliffs, and so the fleet turned around a yellow buoy in the middle of the Noordhoek bay to head back to the beach.
The finish was at the timekeeper’s table situated, ironically, just below the sand dune that submersed the original Hout Bay Yacht Club! The crews leapt from their boats and sprinted up the beach to the finish, amid much cheering from the large group of spectators that had gathered to watch.
By all accounts this fun regatta, which was hosted by the Hout Bay Yacht Club and made possible through generous sponsorship from the Hout Bay Super Spar, was a resounding success and these brightly coloured racing boats will be back again next year. Most importantly, the event routed out and inspired many ex-Hobie sailors to want to return to the sport.
The net proceeds from the event will be donated to the Hout Bay NSRI Station, who provided their usual professional backup support and wisdom.