It is always nice to see a strong brand continuing the legacy left by its founder. The death of Hobie Alter in 2014 (see: Hobie Alter: 1933-2014) marked the end of an era, coming in the same year as foiling catamarans such as the Flying Phantom and the Whisper exploded on to the scene. However, as the flying machines steal the limelight in terms of performance and edgy style, there is still plenty of room for family sailing fun in the non-foiling cat classes, such as the brand-new Hobie T1.
The Hobie T1 can be sailed singlehanded by someone weighing as little as 12 stone (76kg). However, the beauty of the multihull is that two children and an adult can just as easily spend an entire day messing about on the wide forgiving trampoline without losing that much speed or performance. The trapeze on the Hobie T1 is optional, as is the spinnaker set up. The loose-footed main and tough rotomoulded hulls make time spent on the water hassle-free and safe.
Of course, despite everything, extreme cat sailing is great fun to watch – take a look at this video of Ben Ainslie Racing pitchpoling a Nacra F20 while training for the America's Cup World Series last year.