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#28282 - 01/26/04 08:40 AM NAHCA bans all non-Hobies from events *****  
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Mary Offline
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I am just copying this post over from the Old Forum. Any comments?

Posted by Eric from 128.223.208.121 on January 26, 19104 at 00:17:27:

The IHCA has banned all X-class boats at Hobie events. Open class multi hull racing is not allowed at Hobie class sanctioned regattas according to the IHCA constitution. A letter has been issued ordering this, written from IHCA to the NAHCA which will likely be posted on this site within the next few days. The NAHCA and Hobie divisions have no choice in whether they will allow other boats at their events. The NAHCA has acknowledged the mandate and indicated they will absolutely comply with the rules. If the NAHCA wants to allow open class racing they must petition IHCA and ISAF to receive approval but at this time they will fully enforce the IHCA rules.

-- Have You Seen This? --
#28283 - 01/26/04 09:17 AM Re: NAHCA bans all non-Hobies from events [Re: Mary]  
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Tracie Offline
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I really hope that is not true.

Tracie

#28284 - 01/26/04 09:29 AM Re: NAHCA bans all non-Hobies from events [Re: Mary]  
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IT's OFFICIAL! Here are four letters/press releases we just received from NAHCA:

RELEASE NO. 1:
From NAHCA Chairman
There will be a number of announcements coming from the Hobie class in the coming months. Since many of these will be of general interest to the sailing community we would like to send them to you as press releases. The following information can be released immediately.

There are several changes on the horizon that we are particularly excited about. First, we are changing our name. One of our focuses in the coming year is promotion of the Hobie class - and changing our name is the starting point. Currently, the name NAHCA is not one that is easily identifiable in the sailing community. So in the coming weeks you will begin to see the name "Hobie Class Association" being used. We believe this shortened version is more easily understood and more identifiable with the Hobie class.

In 2004 we will also be offering a Hobie class sponsored insurance package designed to provide general liability coverage to regattas and other events. The policy is an umbrella policy we have very recently negotiated and will offer basic liability coverage to many of our events at a nominal fee. While this policy may not be appropriate for all, it will be most useful for the "paper fleets" running events on public property. Detailed information on this policy will be available through the Division Chairman in the near future.

The attached letters discuss a situation with our current practices of allowing non-Hobie boats to participate at Hobie class sanctioned events. To better understand the situation at hand, it is important to start with IHCA letter.doc followed by HCC Letter.doc and lastly Rich Letter.doc.

More announcements about other exciting changes will be forthcoming.

Sincerely,
Rich McVeigh
Hobie Class Association Chair

* * * * *

RELEASE NO. 2:
From Hobie Cat Company
October 24, 2003

Mr. Rich McVeigh
Chairman
North American Hobie Class Association
14813 Fireside Drive
Silver Spring, MD 20905-5502

Re: Open Class Racing

Dear Rich,

For ten years I have followed with interest the decision to allow open class boats at Hobie regattas and the effect of that decision on the North American Hobie Class Association. When the decision was made, I was—like others at the time—reluctant to allow other multihulls to attend Hobie events for fear that it would negatively affect the Hobie Class Association over time. The argument then was that one-design racing, which made the Hobie racing class so successful, was not attracting enough sailors in many areas to be financially viable. One answer was to allow a single “open class” start at Hobie regattas. This single start was meant to allow not only open class boats, but Hobie boats that did not have adequate numbers for a single start. The goal was to allow more sailors to participate and to create the income required to run a regatta.

Unfortunately, looking back at how this decision has affected the Hobie Class, my feeling is that we made the wrong decision ten years ago—especially considering some recent developments associated with open class boats.

When this topic first arose, it was a difficult decision for many people to make; it was also difficult to manage. I have witnessed the effects of this decision on various regions of North America. There are regions that have been relatively unaffected and they remain nearly 100% Hobie participation. There are regions that are mildly affected that have only a few open class boats participating in regattas. Then there are regions where Hobie regattas are no longer Hobie regattas, as the majority of boats are other brands. In some cases, the Fleet Officers and/or Division Officers are not even Hobie owners. As the manufacturer of Hobie Catamarans and a major supporting partner of NAHCA, we have reached a point where we must re-evaluate our current support of the Class in light of these recent developments.

I am sure you understand that Hobie Cat Company has its foundation in the manufacturing and sale of Hobie Cats. To remain in business, we must base our decisions on those premises.

It seems obvious to me that for the continued health of the Hobie Class in North America, there is a far greater chance of this happening if NAHCA, Hobie Cat Company and our Hobie dealers are all successful and thriving. When Hobie Cat Company is financially healthy, we are better equipped to support NAHCA, and you have witnessed this over the past several years. Our support and willingness to help have certainly increased, and I trust that this has been beneficial to the organization. However, there have also been indications in the past few months that make us question our continued support of NAHCA and regattas; i.e., the decision to allow open class boats and the effect that decision has had on the Hobie Class.

As you know, we provide financial assistance to NAHCA for both day-to-day expenses and for special purposes as they arise. In addition, we donate items to Hobie regattas when the organizers request giveaways or raffle items. We do this because we believe that promoting regattas and the Hobie Class helps to maintain active Hobie sailors. Many of our Hobie dealerships also provide another level of support to NAHCA events. In some cases our dealers actually run events themselves; in others, they provide financial assistance or manpower.

On several occasions this year we were informed that at some regattas that had open class boats sailing, the organizers were promoting the purchase of boats other than Hobie Cats. We have to look at this very seriously, as we are not in business to promote our competitors and we do not want to support regattas or organizations that do not support us in return.

When the majority of boats at a Hobie Cat regatta are not Hobie Cats or when other brands of boats are promoted, we need to reconsider our support of these events. In the past, we were assured that if we supported a Hobie regatta with giveaways or raffle items, they would end up in the hands of Hobie sailors. This is no longer the case. As I mentioned, it is our intention to support Hobie sailors and Hobie events.

I understand that you have received a directive from the International Hobie Class Association to discontinue allowing open class boats at Hobie events. I am certain that this is a difficult decision for you, and it will likely have far-reaching ramifications. However, I want to express that Hobie Cat Company is in full agreement with this change in policy for NAHCA, and we are prepared to help where needed. We look forward to rebuilding the Hobie Class Association and the challenges that will present. In the long run, we believe that this course is appropriate for the long-term health of the North American Hobie Class Association and Hobie racing.

Yours respectfully,


Doug Skidmore
President
Hobie Cat Company

* * * * *

RELEASE NO. 3:
From International Hobie Class Association
October 15, 2003

Rich McVeigh, Chairman, North American Hobie Class Association
14813 Fireside Drive
Silver Springs, MD 20905-5542
USA

Dear Rich McVeigh,

It has come to our attention that the NAHCA is allowing open class multi-hull racing at regattas that are designated for Hobies. Please be advised that this practice is in complete violation of the goals, purposes and intent of the IHCA as defined in the IHCA constitution and rules book. As you know, the NAHCA is a region of the IHCA and is bound by the international association’s constitution, bylaws, rules and ISAF contract. Should the NAHCA wish to allow open class racing, it would have to make a submission to the IHCA requesting a change of the constitution and rules. Until such a submission is approved by both IHCA and ISAF, the NAHCA is hereby given notice that open class multi-hull racing at Hobie regattas must cease.

The current situation, as it has been presented to the IHCA executive, arose about a decade ago out of an annual general meeting of the NAHCA where members proposed a motion to allow open class racing at Hobie regattas. The NAHCA’s chairman at the time assured the membership that approval of open class racing had been obtained from the IHCA. A review of IHCA records has shown that no such approval was ever granted, and in fact was never even requested. Had the approval been requested, the IHCA would most likely have denied it for many reasons, not the least of which is we are partially funded and strongly supported by the Hobie Cat manufacturers. In the absence at the AGM of accurate information regarding IHCA approval, it became obvious that the motion would carry, so some of the more traditional class members insisted on a set of criteria, which were adopted, including that no open class member could become an officer of a fleet, division or region.

Since this time some Hobie regattas have included open class racing, mostly in Michigan, Florida and a few other places on the east coast. The practice has diminished Hobie classes throughout the east, particularly in Divisions 8 and 10. In both divisions Hobie fleets were infiltrated by open class members who eventually became officers contrary to the NAHCA’s criteria described above--and took over the administration of these fleets. In some cases they dissolved the Hobie fleets to create new multi-hull associations composed of open class fleets. There is a strong indication that this practice is starting to spread to other divisions as well, and in the interests of our members we feel strongly about stopping it.

We fully understand that after 10 years of allowing open class racing at Hobie regattas it may be extremely difficult for the NAHCA to implement this directive to stop the practice. Recognizing the far reaching and immediate negative results the implementation will no doubt have for your organization, we request that you develop a plan for meeting this directive and submit it to the IHCA Executive Director by December 31, 2003.

The NAHCA phase out plan must include several IHCA imposed conditions, specifically;
The plan must terminate by December 31, 2004.
• Open Class boats permitted to participate under a phase out program will be restricted only to boats that have previously participated in a Hobie event prior to August 1, 2003 i.e Only Skipper and boat combinations that were raced in Hobie events prior to August 1, 2003 will be permitted to race in any 2004 Hobie event.
• No new Open Class boats will be permitted to participate.
• Skippers of all Open Class boats eligible and desiring to participate in this phase out program will be required to obtain IHCA or Regional Annual Membership for 2004.

This has been a very difficult decision, but we are bound by the constitution, rules and the ISAF contract. There is no other choice. It is now a matter of when and how you implement this directive. Thank you in advance for your attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

Paul Ulibarri, IHCA President
Lori Mohney, IHCA Vice President
Brian Phipps, IHCA Vice President
David Brookes, IHCA Vice President and Executive Director

* * * * *

RELEASE NO. 4:
From NAHCA
A change has come.


Upon reading the accompanying letters, it is quite apparent that a situation has developed with the IHCA and the Hobie Cat Co. regarding the NAHCA’s practice of permitting the participation of boats other than Hobie Cats at Hobie Cat regattas. This presents a difficult situation for the NAHCA and for me as chairman.

As a regional body of the International Hobie Class Association (IHCA), NAHCA must comply with the IHCA class rules and constitution. Additionally we receive substantial financial support from the Hobie Cat Co., without which we would be hard pressed to continue providing the services to which our members have become accustomed. With these facts in mind, it is not a question of whether we will comply with the wishes of the IHCA but how we will go about doing so.

The NAHCA officers are fully aware of the different situations around the region regarding the open class issue. This subject has been debated for some time. The class officers and I have held some long discussions with the IHCA and the Hobie Cat Co. on this issue and we know this is going to be painful for some regions, and yet a non-issue for others.

For some time I have heard arguments regarding fleets in which more than half of the fleet members, including the commodore, do not own Hobie Cat boats and the majority of the boats at their regattas are not Hobie Cat boats. For these groups the solution is apparent. These fleets will need to reconsider whether their organization is a Hobie Cat fleet in name only or a catamaran club. Similarly these fleets will need to reconsider how they will be running future Hobie Cat regattas.

In the dinghy world there are class-sponsored events and there are invitational events. Using the Laser class as an example. There are Laser events, which are sanctioned by the class association. At these events you will see Lasers and only Lasers competing. In comparison many yacht clubs offer dinghy regattas, at these regattas Lasers may be one of several dinghy classes invited to participate. I believe this is the direction we will now be moving as well.

The Hobie class will continue to sanction regattas throughout the North American region through the division and fleet structure. To be a sanctioned regatta the host will have to comply with IHCA class rules and constitution. Specifically, non-Hobie Cat boats will not be able to participate in Hobie class sanctioned regattas. Organizations that run events, which include non-Hobie Cat boats, simply will not be running a Hobie class sanctioned event. Additionally these organizations will no longer be able to utilize the Hobie Cat name, the NAHCA name or Hobie Cat trademark in their Notice of Race or event advertising. In short, these events will no longer be considered "Hobie Cat” regattas. Organizations that elect to organize an open invitation regatta rather than a “Hobie Cat” regatta are no longer required to follow the Hobie class standardized racing program and all we can say is that we wish you well. Alternatively if an organization chooses to offer a “Hobie Cat” regatta, the Hobie class and the Hobie Cat Co. will continue to do all we can in offering our support to you and the event. We have some successful and popular programs available and we are continuing to pursue other avenues of event support, such as our new insurance program. Our class has been successful by offering a standardized one-design racing program and we will continue this in the future.

Is there a happy medium? Can a Hobie fleet continue to exist within a larger organization? Sure and there are plenty of examples of how this can work. In many cases Hobie fleets exist within a yacht club or other organization. This is entirely appropriate and does not need to change at all.

We know this will be a painful decision for some. We fully understand that the Hobie class will lose some events and likely some members over this issue. While we will be a slightly smaller organization we will be an organization more focused on our mission of promoting Hobie Cat sailing. This is a mission we are going to purse with vigor to foster the sport of Hobie Cat sailing. In recent years, the Hobie class has become more mainstream with respect to the rest of yachting world. We are becoming more involved with all the national sailing authorities in North America as well as ISAF. The level of professional race management offered at our premier events is second to none. We recently had a professionally run championship event with 70 boats. How many other sailing classes can offer that?

The IHCA has agreed to give us one year to make the necessary changes to be in compliance with the class rules. The IHCA agreed to this as we have been in this situation for some time and it is unreasonable to expect it to go away overnight. For 2004 we will continue to operate in a manner similar to past years but under the following IHCA directive (as stated in the accompanying letter from the IHCA):
• Open Class boats permitted to participate under a phase out program will be restricted only to boats that have previously participated in a Hobie event prior to August 1, 2003 i.e Only Skipper and boat combinations that were raced in Hobie events prior to
August 1, 2003 will be permitted to race in any 2004 Hobie event.
• No new Open Class boats will be permitted to participate.
• Skippers of all Open Class boats eligible and desiring to participate in this phase out program will be required to obtain IHCA or Regional Annual Membership for 2004.

The IHCA and the Hobie Cat Co. are expecting us to be in full compliance with regard to this issue after January 1, 2005.

If you are thinking of switching to a Hobie Cat, please also know that in 2004 we will make every effort to make loaner or charter boats available. If you are interested in sailing at a regatta please contact your Division Chair and dealer in advance.

Sincerely,


Hobie Class Assoc. Chair


#28285 - 01/26/04 09:42 AM How is this different from their current policy? [Re: Mary]  
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David Ingram Offline
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The local fleets will still do what they do. The only regattas that I know of in the US that are NAHCA sanctioned are Midwinter’s and Nationals and both of these events don't allow X-boats now.

In the southeastern US I don't think we have any Hobie only regatta's with the exception of Hobie Midwinter’s. The NAHCA has become a non-entity as far as my sailing goes.

Dave


David Ingram
F18 USA 242
http://www.solarwind.solar

"Do or do not. There is no try." - Yoda
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"You don't have to be a brain surgeon to be a complete idiot, but it helps"
#28286 - 01/26/04 10:03 AM Re: NAHCA bans all non-Hobies from events [Re: Mary]  
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Tracie

You and Dennis should go the the preformance mid winters instead of the Hobie mid winters. You will have a bigger class of F18's to sail against.

What is Hobie going to do about F18 they need to get with the new program. With Hobie not making the 14,17,18 it does not leave you very many boats to race against in the south east 1 or 2 Fx one's, I have seen 2 fox's in the last 2 years, may be 10 or so tigers 4 or 5 16's at most regattas.
That sounds real fun to me. I am sorry I even own a Hobie when the company acts like this. Can we even vote?

#28287 - 01/26/04 10:22 AM Re: NAHCA bans all non-Hobies from events [Re: Mary]  
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You mean, *GASP* I can't win the H16 nationals in a tornado!!??!?!?

INJUSTICE, INCREDULITY, AND OTHER WORDS THAT START WITH IN- !!! I CAN'T BELIEVE IT!!! I WANT HEADS TO ROLL!!!!

#28288 - 01/26/04 10:30 AM Re: NAHCA bans all non-Hobies from events [Re: Dlennard]  
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Tracie Offline
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Tracie  Offline
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Hi David,

I am so very disappointed.

I spent a lot of time gathering input from the Tiger sailors on that very subject (F18 racing) to give to the NAHCA...I have no idea what they concluded from it but will try to find out.

While I am not defending Hobie Co. actions, I can understand that they are business. Pepsi is not going to financial support an event where Coke products and merchandise are being sold and consumed, so why would Hobie. I get that part. I might not completely agree with the way it has come about, but I can see their point.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out on a local level.

In any event, it looks like I’ll have a lot more time to devote to the F18 class.

Tracie

#28289 - 01/26/04 10:45 AM Re: NAHCA bans all non-Hobies from events [Re: Tracie]  
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Dlennard Offline
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Tracie

I am very disapointed too. As for the money and door prizes Hobie can keep it if that is the problem I just throw or give away that stuff any way (beach balls, key chains,and other stupid stuff)

I have not even been to a Hobie Mid Winters. Why would I drive 12 hours each way to sail in a Hobie only event with maybe 5 Tigers when I could go F18 at Preformance Midwinters and sail with twice as many boats. It just does not make any sense.

#28290 - 01/26/04 10:46 AM Re: NAHCA bans all non-Hobies from events [Re: Mary]  
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flounder Offline
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Neb
I knew this would eventually happen. It doesn't suprise me in the least that Hobie is pushing non-Hobie boats out of events. Hobie has a history of poor judgement.

Why this is bad:

1. Division race support. Weekend club racing will not be effected, but without a doubt the Division points events will long term. Many of these races are supported by non-Hobie sailors. The help and support of all sailors are what make some of these events go off so well. Now, telling them "We would love your help, but you can't race" is pretty bad.

2. The "Hobie way of Live"... yea right. This is something that was drilled into me by a couple books I read when I was 14 just getting into sailing. The all inclusiveness of the beach, sand, sun and sailing community. Well, it is offically dead. Hobie is attempting to make things exclusive. They are trying to drive a wedge between Hobies and other boats.

3. Greed. Not suprising. They are the 400lb gorilla.

I like the idea of everyone involved in something. The only way that happens is not to put restrictions on things. Welcome everyone. Be a gracious host. Don't worry about the little things. I am dreading this discussion at the fleet meeting already.

#28291 - 01/26/04 10:57 AM Re: NAHCA bans all non-Hobies from events [Re: Tracie]  
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KMarshack Offline
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Dave,

Yes, the local fleets can do what they want, but they can not use the Hobie name, emblem, etc. in any of their NOR's or regatta flyers. It was suggested that noncompliant fleets can not include events in Division regatta books or schedules. They also can not take advantage of the regatta insurance program. Divisions that do not comply will not be allowed to send individuals to North American Championships (according to IHCA President). The theme is that Big Brother is now watching, and they will prosecute any violations.

Ken

#28292 - 01/26/04 11:05 AM Re: NAHCA bans all non-Hobies from events [Re: KMarshack]  
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Tracie Offline
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"Divisions that do not comply will not be allowed to send individuals to North American Championships (according to IHCA President)."

Ken, can you clarify that. It seems like you were there for this meeting?

Tracie

#28293 - 01/26/04 11:17 AM Re: NAHCA bans all non-Hobies from events [Re: KMarshack]  
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flounder Offline
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Neb
Lets say I didn't own a Hobie, but have always been a member of the local fleet. So now, why should I pay my fleet dues? Any race we run has to comply with the Hobie Company or we are to go it alone so to speak. This will also drive out the "good" racers who are looking to get to the next level.

It is amazing...

#28294 - 01/26/04 11:33 AM Re: NAHCA bans all non-Hobies from events [Re: Tracie]  
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Mary Offline
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Tracie, I don't understand that, either. Right now ANYBODY can go to a Hobie Continental Championship. You don't have to even own a Hobie. You can pay your dues and charter a boat and race in the event. It has been many years since you had to accumulate points to be "sent" to the Continentals by your Division.

#28295 - 01/26/04 11:37 AM It really is a non-issue [Re: flounder]  
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As you can see from the press releases Division 8 (my former division) and Division 10 were identified as the bad apples that spoiled the bushel.

We have been going it alone for years and if anything participation has improved. As for the PRO's that the IHCA have access to, there are a lot of high quality professionals outside the Hobie organization that can run on hell of a race.

If I were still sailing my H20 I would have a real issue with Hobie trying to tell me who I can and cannot spend my free time with.

Dave


David Ingram
F18 USA 242
http://www.solarwind.solar

"Do or do not. There is no try." - Yoda
"Excuses are the tools of the weak and incompetent" - Two sista's I overheard in the hall
"You don't have to be a brain surgeon to be a complete idiot, but it helps"
#28296 - 01/26/04 11:41 AM Re: It really is a non-issue [Re: David Ingram]  
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Now that Hobie is declaring no boats allowed at their regattas other than Hobies, could this be the time to utilize NAMSA?

NAMSA is already set up to conduct operations with incorporation, bylaws, and officers. Why would it not be a natural transition for all classes to unite into NAMSA and make that the North American infrastructure?

They are already is a position to sanction events and offer liabillity insurance.

Your thoughts?
Rick


Rick White
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#28297 - 01/26/04 11:48 AM Re: NAHCA bans all non-Hobies from events [Re: flounder]  
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KMarshack Offline
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Tracie,

No, I was not at the meeting last week in Atlanta. We did have our Division meeting yesterday, and we had the pleasure of the attendance of the IHCA president (Paul Ulibarri). Basicly, noncompliance is not an option. What we would need is for HCA (formerly NAHCA) to ask IHCA for the option of X-class. With enough pressure (votes?), that may happen someday, but for now...
Fleets that allow X-class can not use Division books to advertise (IHCA interpretation), or advertise with any reference to Hobie or the registered trademarks. They will not be allowed to take part in the yet to come (soon?) insurance program. Divisions that look the other way as far as the fleets go will be in violation, and one option is to withold the right of registration for any individual at North Americans (formerly Continentals).
This trickles all the way down to fleet fun sails that include X-class. We were told that we can not list these events in the regatta schedule.

Ken

#28298 - 01/26/04 11:57 AM Re: NAHCA bans all non-Hobies from events [Re: Mary]  
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The Hobie "open rule" adopted 10 years ago was an attempt to increase attendance, which had dropped dramatically. With the reversal of this rule, I would predict "the Hobie Way of Life" will disappear all together.

I recall a Hobie 16 regatta from around 1976 that had approx 300 entrants and covered about 3 miles of beach front. This was at Sarasota, maybe Lido Key, not really sure.

The last Hobie points regatta I attended had fewer than 25 entrants, not all of which were Hobies.

Folk, this sport is withering, if not dieing. Whatever Hobies hopes are they are in vain. This is a small sport that will only be practiced by the few who genuinely love it. That, of course, will never die.


"Cat Fest Sailor" Pete in Cape Coral
#28299 - 01/26/04 12:02 PM Re: NAHCA bans all non-Hobies from events [Re: KMarshack]  
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KMarshack Offline
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Posts: 62
Rick,

Liability insurance? This is possibly the major issue for the small fleets that want to put on an event. The carrot that Hobie is offering (along withn the Hobie Way Of Life, of course) is the insurance program. If NAMSA can also offer the coverage at a reasonable cost....

Mary,

They are working on some new points system to be put into place at some future date. National ranking system, details to be in the next Hobie Class News (magazine formerly known as NAHCA News).

Whats up with all these name changes?

Ken

#28300 - 01/26/04 12:03 PM Re: NAHCA bans all non-Hobies from events [Re: KMarshack]  
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 285
Tracie Offline
enthusiast
Tracie  Offline
enthusiast

Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 285
Hampton, Virginia
Thank you for responding, Ken.

So is it your understanding that, let's say in Division 9, someone holds a Hobie points regatta and they allow a couple open class boats to participate. The Chairman of Division 9 is there and knows it is going on and allows it. In the meantime, the NAHCA or the IHCA gets wind of it, (maybe from another sailor who is upset with the RC or just upset that there is an open boat participating), they can in turn deny any sailor who resides in the Div 9 area from attending a Nationals?

I wonder how many Div Chairs and officers are willing to participate in such activites. I wonder how many Chairs/officers even KNOW they are to become the watch dogs of the IHCA. I'm not doing it.

Tracie

#28301 - 01/26/04 12:13 PM Re: NAHCA bans all non-Hobies from events [Re: KMarshack]  
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 5,558
Mary Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Mary  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 5,558
Key Largo, FL & Put-in-Bay, OH...
Ken,
I always thought their biggest mistake was dropping the points system to qualify for Nationals (Continentals). That change in policy made it possible for anybody to go to a Hobie Nationals Continentals), without ever having attended a single Hobie regatta during the year and without even owning a Hobie. To me, the desire to qualify for Nationals was the biggest incentive to own a Hobie and race in the points regattas. I'm glad they are thinking about reinstating that system -- but is it too late?

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