Wildwind IHCA sponsorship update

Simon Morgan Hobie 16

Simon Morgan here, founder of Wildwind, as any many of you will know already, an avid Hobie 16 racer, who will once again be participating in the European championships in Garda in July. We have just come to the end of Wildwind’ s 18 month commitment to sponsor and support the IHCA through a rather difficult patch but for the next while we are going to focus on our own endeavours, and we will continue to support the British Hobie Cat class association among others.

Largely due to the exposure of Wildwind’s superlative conditions for cat sailing in Vassiliki bay, Joe’s Joyrider videos have brought fun and excitement to tens of thousands of people, many of whom have discovered, or rediscovered their love of Hobie cat sailing. What’s more, from a business perspective, this exposure has generated new guests coming to us from all over the globe, even though the travel may be more demanding that from Europe where flights to our local airport, Prevesa (PVK) can be found from most cities.

At the moment of writing we do have some special promotions available for sailors over 65 and under 26 or who still have a student card; where we have spaces in July and August we are offering 30% discount. We are already completely full the weeks of 3rd August and 18th August and almost all of September, but on most other weeks while we still have room capacity, we would be delighted to welcome you. If you are lucky enough to have any time free then please call your local agent or contact me directly at simon@wildwind.co.uk quoting IHCA and we’ll take care of you.

My connection with Hobie goes back some 40 years when, following a divorce, one of my best friends suggested we buy a Hobie cat together and from then on whenever it was windy we used to race down to the south coast of England and rig up. This was the time that the first Hobie 16 European championships took place at Highcliffe Sailing club, organised largely by the Annels family who were the UK dealers at that time. My first major event was the second of the Hogs Breath races from Miami to Fort Walton , 727 miles pretty much non stop taking 4 and a half days and finishing next to last – who were the then European champions so we weren’t that disappointed. I then entered my first World championships in Scheveningen, Holland in 1988 and have taken part in a shed load of Nationals, European and World Championships ever since – including the first ever major catamaran event in Greece, the 2001 Hobie 16 Europeans held here in Vassiiki and with 118 boats entered and the final day of gold fleet having 3 races of between 25 and 40 knots it was quite a spectacle!

The world is a small place. My best mate Ian, a London East ender, sailed with me an epic journey across to Cherbourg in France, some 60 miles as the crow flies and resulting in a certain quantity of French wine being imbibed upon arrival – there’s more to this story that should only be told in private, and again after some amount of beverage, but Ian, who had no sailing experience to speak of had met a young woman I his capacity as a management who he is still with some 35 plus years later – who just happens to be Paula Alter, Hobie’s daughter. Recently my father Tony passed away, and he was quite well known in his own sailing sphere being the crew to Keith Musto and winning a silver Olympic medal back in Tokyo in 1964 – and to complete the circle, Paula agreed to be the celebrant at his funeral. It was a wonderful service, and I carry with me some rather ridiculous sailing experiences with him – like him sending me and my two younger brothers out aged 6 and younger in our first boat, without any lessons or experience into the Thames Estuary. The boat….an Olympic Finn! What a start to my sailing career!

I’ll sign out now and is customary, wish you all a wonderful Hobie day! If you haven’t yet visited us in Vassiliki you’ll always find a warm welcome


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