Hobie 14 Worlds
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Thorin Zeilmaker crowned Hobie 14 World Champion

Thorin Zeilmaker from Holland is the 2003 Hobie 14 World Champion after winning the last race to seal the victory. With an OCS in Race 3 and only one throughout allowed, Zeilmaker kept his nerve throughout the remainder of the series scoring consistent top ten finishes in the mostly light and fickle conditions.

The top four sailors, Zeilmaker, Fran Suchanek (GER), Joachim Wegener (GER), and Peter Manvis (NED), were the obvious front runners, often finishing close together at the front of the pack. But it was Zeilmaker who always managed to find that extra breath of wind to get the win, or the top ten finish. While the conditions were fickle and mostly light, he was always able to finish at the right end of the fleet while others had mostly wide variations in their finishing positions.

Hobie meets Oktoberfest

The little town of Travemnude for 50 weeks of the year is a sleepy little holiday spot, some 45 minutes drive from Hamburg - 45 minutes that is if you travel at the usual 200 - 220 kph (around 130 - 140 mph) down the autobahn. But this little town is just lying in wait for the influx of tourists, both local and international who flock there for Travemunde Woche (week). Somehow the week seems to have grown a bit, but Travemnunde Fortnight just doesn't have the same ring to it.

Along with the tourists come almost 1000 yachts of all different shapes and sizes to compete in one of the oldest regattas in the world. The town itself is at the mouth of a narrow, but deep river and upstream is a large and very active ferry terminal. Several times a day, ferries glide in an out of the river, all under the control of the harbour master, sitting in a control tower that would look just at home at Heathrow airport as at the mouth of this little river. And the ferries are not tiny little 20 car ferries - these are huge ocean going ships carrying everything from German and Finnish tourists, to massive trucks and buses. As they move in and out of the river, there is not enough room for two of them to pass, and every little power boat, Optimist and Hobie has to stick close to the banks to avoid being run over. All makes "getting to the course" just that little bit more interesting.

On the banks of the river are hundreds of stalls selling everything from the best German and imported beers to every conceivable cheap plastic toy and gimmick. With the smell of roasting sausages constantly wafting across the entire area, it is difficult to remind onself that this is a Hobie World Championship and not Oktobest a few months early.

However, it didn't take Hobie sailors too long to find the hotspots, and after racing, a few beers in the beach tent a quick shower, and it was off to the "Highpi Bar" (don't shoot me for the German speling). This place was amazing. An old indoor swimming pool at the major hotel, it hadn't seen water for years, but instead the sloping floor of the pool was the hottest dance floor in northern Germany. Around the edges, a sort of waist-high wall had been erected entirely of cases of beer. People used this as somewhere to lean on, rest your beer and and watch the action on the dance floor below. Spilt some beer on the floor? No problems, it all just drains down to the deep end. Quite a fun place!

So the wind wasn't as strong as we would have liked it, and there were a couple of light rain showers, but what the heck, any regatta where you turn up, and within 30 seconds of getting out of the car, someone puts a beer in your hand, you know it's going to be a great event!

Event Short tacks

Sat 14:00 Thorin Zeilmaker wins the last race and the World Championship.
Sat 13:30 A lucky escape for the current leader, Dutch sailor Thorin Zeilmaker during the last race. After getting a good start, he tacked and while getting out on trapeze, fell off the boat and just managed to grab the sidebar and stop the boat from capsizing. He recovered well and was in 10th place at the first mark.
Sat 13:00 Third race of the day has just been started and it is all clear start. The breeze is steady 12knots and it will be the last start for the day. In a few hours we will know who is the next Hobie 14 World Champion .
Sat 11:30 Second race of the day has got underway in 12knots of breeze. At the top mark the breeze is a little lighter, 8knots. The Race Committee have advised 3 races today.
Sat 10:00 The first race of the day has now just commenced. The breeze is steady 12-14 knots and no recalls
Fri 19:00 The Tiger sailors that were disqualified yesterday for sailing through another sailing course were today reinstated after the Jury found that although they sailed through the course, they did not interfere with any boats that were racing.
Fri 13:00 2 races completed today in 8 knots of breeze. A third race has just started, but there was a call of "INDIVIDUAL RECALL" unfortunatley no boats returned. There will a disappionted sailor tonight.
Fri 09:30 The boats have left the beach and are heading out to the race course. The breeze is 5-8 knots with the race committee going for 3 races. News from the Tiger course has a request for redress scheduled tonight after the disqualifications yesterday. This will alter the results. Stay tuned for more information as it comes in.
Thur 16:00 Race 5 has been completed and all boats are ashore and waiting for the storm.
Thur 14:00 Race 5 started in 10 knots of breeze a call of indivdual recall from the Race Committee. Three boats were over, and all returned to start correctly. This is the last race of the day scheduled as the thunderstorms are approaching and due in a 2 hours.
Thur 13:00 Race 4 started and several boats missed the start as they were too far from the start boat and the wind line. 4 minutes after the start the breeze eased to 4 knots. The breeze is now increased to 8 knots. More news as it comes in.
Thur 11:40 Race 3 has started in 9 knots of breeze there was an individual recall but nobody returned. The weather forecast does not sound promising 30 knots with a thunderstorm predicted at 3pm. More news as it comes in from the start boat
Wed 20:30 After a long wait, there were two good races in 10 - 12 knots of breeze starting just after 5pm and finishing at 7:30pm. With a long sail back to the beach, it will be a late dinner for all the sailors. Results are available for all classes from the menu at left. No word yet on any protests for the day. Even if there are protests, they will not be heard until tomorrow morning.
Wed 16:00 A tough day on the race course. After sending the boats out onto the course in a building offshore breeze, the wind eventually did the inevitable and gradually died, leaving all the boats milling around the committee boat for over an hour. Eventually a light sea breeze filled in over the course and the race committee started the race in 5 - 8 knots anticipating that it would build for the rest of the afternoon. Naturally the wind did the exact opposite and gradually died with the leading boats 75% of the way down the leeward leg, and with many boats stranded trying to round the first mark. The Race Committee eventually abandoned the race and all competitors were towed to shore.

The announcement has just been made that racing will start again at 5pm. As a result of being so far north, and with "daylight saving" in force, it doesn't get dark until 10pm, so there are several hours left in which to get some racing. More later .....

Wed 10:15 The postponement is down, and the first race is scheduled to start at 11:30am. As your webmaster will be on the water for the next few hours, the first results will be available around 4pm this afternoon.
Wed 9:30 The sailors have arrived, the boats are rigged, the sun is shining and is time to go racing.

The only problem is the wind is a bit light and the race committee have signalled a postponement. The forecast is for afternoon sea breezes, so there is sure to be racing.


Welcome to the website of the Hobie 14 World Championships and the Europeans for the Hobie Tiger, Fox, FX-One and the Hobie Youth Challenge.

This is the second time that the prestigious Hobie 14 World Championships have been held in Germany, the first in 1995 on the island of Fohr where local sailor Kai Kroger was crowned World Champion. In looking at past Hobie 14 World Championships, it is interesting to note that the first eight World Champions all represented the USA while the last four have been shared with one each to Australia, Germany, South Africa and most recently Brazil - no country or region has managed to dominate this event in recent years. This makes for a very open event, with no clear indication as where we will find the next World Champion.

In conjunction with this event, is the European Championships for the Hobie Tiger, the Eurocup for the Fox and FX-One, and the 2003 Hobie Youth Challenge for our up and coming sailors.

The Tiger has dominated Formula 18 sailing in recent years and also enjoys a strong one-design class racing element. With the top sailors such as Mitch Booth sailing the Tiger, the competition is World Class and promises to be a hotly contested event.

Newcomers to the Hobie stable are the Fox and more recently the FX-One. Although relatively new, a great deal of interest is being generated in these two exciting new classes.

We hope that competitors enjoyed the event at Travemunde, and for those that couldn't make it, that the website provided them with a feel for the event, as well as up to date information and results.