Sometimes I ask myself why do I do this? Trying managing a one-design class, organizing a world championship, maintaining my real job and being involved with my family is a challenge. Why do I do it? For the love of Hobie sailing! I have never been the one to just stand around and complain; instead I try to fix it.
There are many assumptions about how the Hobie Class Association operates and most of them are not correct. Many years ago, the class was run by paid employees of the Hobie Cat Company. Today, the Hobie Class today is run by volunteers. The volunteers engage and work in cooperation with the manufacturer. The class has one paid employee our executive director, David Brookes. What role does the manufacturer play? We are partners. We support them and they support us. Our goals align and we collectively agree on how to proceed, our biggest cooperative venture is the Hobie 16 World Championships. The regional class officers are also volunteers who put in a huge amount of time managing Hobie sailing around the globe. We do it for the love of the sport and a desire to see Hobie sailing grow and prosper.
Some other myths are that we are a huge class and have a lot of money. The reality is that we are one of the larger class associations but we certainly are not huge nor are we the biggest. We actually operate on a very small budget. IHCA membership dues are only 10 USD per year and frankly that doesn’t go very far.
One thing we have in our favor is the many Hobie Cat sailboats have been manufactured over the years and sure some have gone to landfills but vast numbers are still our there being sailed in countries around the world. One of the approaches we have taken to promote the class worldwide using all the outlets we can. Class officers spent hours writing and posting information but we aren’t everywhere. We need your help in getting photos, videos, races results, stories and just information about what is happening your part of the world. You can help grow the class by simply communicating with us about what is happening.
A great example is Joseph Bennett from Wildwind in Vassiliki, Greece. Joe has been posting lots of videos on YouTube about Hobie sailing. Some are educational others are just fun. This is great promotion for the class, well done Joe and Joyrider TV. I have never been to Greece but I have to meet this guy.
How do we achieve the goals of having a healthy class that is known to be fun and to be growing around the world? I’ve started a conversation on Facebook about what sailors like to see/do/experience at events. Tell us your opinion.