The Central Okanagan Sailing Association (COSA) is preparing to host two unique and major sailing events later this month.
From June 26 to 29, COSA will stage the Hobie 16 Trapseat and the Women’s Hobie 18 North American Championships.
The Hobie 16 Trapseat is an adapted catamaran supporting an able-bodied crew and a disabled skipper. At least three Paralympians and one Pan American champion will participate on these boats.
COSA last hosted the Hobie 16 Trapseat World Championships in 2002 and 2005. The Hobie 16s, with a disabled skipper at the controls, can reach speeds of 20 to 25 mph.
“These are boats that have been modified but they sail exactly the same as a normal Hobie and they are extremely fast,” said COSA director Devin Rubadeau.
“If the winds get up, there can be lots of crashes, the boats will tip over…it can be quite dramatic for a Paralympic sport, and pretty interesting to watch.”
The Women’s Hobie 18 championship was created to encourage the participation of more women skippers, and now boasts some of the continent’s best sailors. The Hobie 18 is one of the world’s fastest high performance sailboats.
Among the competitors in the women’s event will be former world champion Gillian Thomson from Kelowna.
“The racing will be fast, these boats can reach close to 30 miles an hour,” Rubaduea said. “The great thing is the racing will be right in front of the spectators, only about 100 metres away so that’s something you don’t see too often in sailing competition.”
The competition will take place between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. daily beginning on Friday, June 27, just off the COSA dock at 4220 Hobson Road in Kelowna.
This event has been made possible by a generous donation from Odlum Brown, and grants from the Province of B.C., the City of Kelowna, and the North American Hobie Cat Association.
For further information, contact Devin Rubadeau at 250-868-5108.