At the beginning of the year, there were all the good conditions for a windy season full of events! And instead comes this cursed covid19: “but it’s so far away in China”, they used to say. The attention was minimal: someone drew the coronavirus stigmatizing with the hulls of a well-known brand of beer. At the same time we met in the first months of the year at the home of some 808 hospitals for a general review of the regatta rules: the calendar of the activity was almost ready, the last details were missing, but unfortunately, the first government law arrived, then the ordinances regional, then municipal ones in a tangle of regulatory chaos.
Lockdown!! So everyone to post and / or vote on the web for the Hobie Contest photo contest created by the AIHC Association Italian Hobie Cat, waiting to read the first order that allowed at least to return to the nautical base for first maintenance. In the meantime, locked at home, we fantasized with the most bizarre ideas of the entrepreneurs (umbrellas inside the plexiglass!) on what the “Palm of the Fleet” should be like, to be happy together when returning after going out to sea in the usual true spirit of the Hobie Way of Life.
The infection curve begins to decrease and therefore the 808’s, as in surfing on the epidemic wave in descent, together with the various revocations of the bans, resume activity, fortunately, have not had consequences of infection.
Even if the virus has lost its strength, the gatherings are still avoided: reluctantly, the “Raid” (already organized six times in previous years, with the maximum participation of 23 (twenty-three) catamarans in the year 2016), one of the events most expected and felt for the Hobie Way gathering, this year does not take place. Also avoided the famous “808 atolls” (meeting off cats stuck together for the crew party). Even the Cozzolino trophy, in memory of Paolo, after four editions, and also due to adverse marine weather conditions, is deleted. However, the outings are made (even at night), always distant but united. As our most illustrious fellow citizen, the poet Gabriele D’Annunzio taught us: “Remember always to dare. Even with headwinds “.
At the end of July, our federal minister Mauro gives us great news: considering the actions of the sailing club of Arco on Lake Garda and of Dervio on Lake Como who are with the organization of the Italian HC16 classic and the youth FIV, in agreement with the national federation and class leaders, accepts the invitation to organize it as Svagamente Sailing Club.
The training intensifies, we do our utmost in the membership, arriving as every year in number among the Italian fleets with the most members; 808 hobiewayèpersempre t-shirts are made by Paolo & Diana, creating pins, stickers and flags for the occasion and for a busy September.
The championship is masterfully organized, as usual, by the Svagamente sailing club with its magnificent staff.
Lots of youth crews in the Dragoon class: Giulia, Pietro, Alice, Caterina, Marcello, Camilla, Damiano, Chiara, Enrica, Maria Sofia, Beatrice, Vincenzo, Matteo (I hope I haven’t forgotten someone!). Yet another Italian title is won as proof of the excellent sailing school.
But even in the Hobie 16, the 808 Fleet responds, as usual, in the massive participation: 13 crews with a percentage of 41% of the total registered in this class (percentages always high over the years: 20% in 2019, 25% in 2018, 36% in 2017, 28% in 2016, 33% in 2015)
The results in the standings are not exciting, but in the spirit of the HOBIE WAY OF LIFE, the Pescara fleet is NUMBER ONE! At the end of the championship, after the big crews have been awarded, there is the “Beato Ultimo 808” award ceremony, a special ranking only for fleet 808 read backwards, that is, reading the sheet upside down as in a 180° capsize! Classification usually made up of letters (dnf, dns, …) rather than numbers: but the special regulation, jealously guarded by the friend and sponsor Paolo, excludes the youth crews, those who are at the first regatta and more … there is also a special guest crew of the 302 Bracciano 3V fleet that did not start immediately after the conclusion of the championship. The evening takes place in an atmosphere of great harmony, entertainment and teasing, in an obviously smoky atmosphere of local kebabs “arrosticini”!
Even in the usual Velandiamo, the famous “Barcolana” of the people of Pescara, the participation of the local Hobiecatters is numerous.
Everything is ready for “HOBIE 16 Le Mans”, a non-competitive 808 playful event at the end and “greeting” of the summer: however, you have to wait for the shoreline to be free from bathers, which is not easy in a city that uses the services of bathing establishments up to end of September. The formula of the event is the same as the famous car start of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In this case, the Hobie cat 16 is held on the shoreline by the bridles by the bowman while the helmsman runs from a certain distance to reach his companion to leave. An event already held many years ago with a spectacular departure of about 20 cats towards the open sea without the funnel of the cliffs or with the “sunset cup” (match race with 4 sixteen at sunset in summer). This time the crews compete in qualification heats (maximum 4 boats) to avoid critical issues entering and exiting the breakwater cliffs. Then repechage losers “last chance” for passing around, final and final seeds. The primary purpose is to bring together many owners and crews who are not lovers of competition, those who are not racers, however involving them in the Hobie way of life, hoping to see them also aggregated in future regattas.
A test of departure is carried out the week before the set date but there are still too many people on the beach. In effect, the city of Pescara can boast among the few in Italy to have a coastline and therefore a beach that can be used in the city centre. The bathing season is also getting longer because it is a late game for the lockdown. Unfortunately, then the weather will not be favourable (rain and unusual first cold) for its development. There will be an opportunity to compete with the beautiful trophies already developed by Massimo.
Autumn comes in, like the cold north wind from the north and its high wave, at the time of writing the second wave of this damn virus arrives! The eleventh law arrives from the government ….
Hobie way of life!
Sandro Marino, 808’s Commodore