The Hobie 16 worlds championship sailboat races are back in the United States. And they’re not going just anywhere—they’re coming to Captiva Island.

More than 500 sailors compete in the Hobie 16 World Championship. They come from 25 countries and six continents. The Hobie 16 Worlds will feature three world championship disciplines—pen, Youth and Women’s—along with three additional disciplines: Great Grand Masters Cup,  Masters Cup, and Masters Cup. The races begin at the north end of Captiva at South Seas Island Resort, and the public and the Southwest Florida community is invited to attend.

Royal Shell has vacation rental homes available at the resort along with a variety of homes to rent on the island itself. If you’re thinking about visiting for the competition, let one of our Vacation Planning Advisors know. We’ll try and accommodate you at South Seas if you’d like to be closer to the action, or we’ll work on finding you the perfect island bungalow, large single-family home on the beach, or anything in between. At Royal Shell, we give you the treatment you expect and the treatment you deserve.

The Hobie name comes from the company, Hobie Cat, known for making catamaran sailboats. It offers stand-up paddle boards, boats for both fishing and recreation, and kayaks. In the Hobie 16 World Championship, which began in 1976 in Honolulu, contestants compete on the brand’s signature 16-foot catamarans.

What is the Hobie 16

What is the Hobie 16?

The Hobie 16 is a lightweight catamaran that features asymmetrical fiberglass hulls along with a dual-trapeze rig. It transformed multi-hull sailing in 1970 when it was initially released in Southern California. It now holds a proud spot in the Sailboat Hall of Fame. Some say it’s the most popular sailboat of all time. The Hobie 16 worlds let competitors compete in identical sailboats. The company does this to make sure there is a level playing field for everyone.

The Hobie 16 Worlds Event on Captiva Island

There are a couple of firsts to celebrate this year. This is the first time the championship has been held on Captiva and it’s the first time Cuba will be represented.

The water is clear on Captiva and life is simple, so it’s no surprise Hobie chose the island to bring the competition back to the United States. Captiva’s residents can teach you about Island Time and help you relax, slow down and enjoy your stay in paradise. The white sand is more powdery, shells are abundant and all types of water sports are celebrated here, especially sailing. This is just one of the reasons Captiva was chosen to host the Hobie 16 World Championship.

According to, Hobie Cat CEO, Doug Skidmore, said, “Captiva Island is a perfect location for the Hobie 16 World Championships and South Seas Island Resort is the perfect host. The water, white sand beaches, weather, people and location offer some of the best sailing conditions I have seen. As a company, we are proud to be a major part of these world championships.”

The Sailing Competition Will Help Boost the Island’s Economy

The Sailing Competition Will Help Boost the Island’s Economy

Sailing experts, their families and their fans will travel to Captiva Island from all over the world. Lee County tourism officials hope this will help put Captiva and Sanibel Islands on sailors’ nautical charts, as more international visitors are exposed to it during the competition. Money spent from visitors will also help bolster the economy in an otherwise slow time of the year.

Royal Shell Captiva Island Vacation Rentals

Whether you’re participating in the Hobie 16 worlds championship or you’re visiting as a spectator, Royal Shell has a variety of accommodations for you to take advantage of on the island. We offer all types of rental homes. If you’re looking for something cozy and romantic for just you and your partner, or you’re bringing the entire family or a large group of friends and need a larger estate home with Gulf of Mexico or bay views, our Vacation Planning Advisors can accommodate your needs for any type of property.

After the races, you can go for walks on the picturesque beaches, collect seashells and see a magical sunset at The Mucky Duck, which many argue are some of the best in the world. Grab a bite to eat at the eclectic The Bubble Room restaurant or go just to look at the décor. Believe us, this is one of the most popular restaurants on Captiva, and it’s not just for its food and gigantic slices of cake. The interior is full of kitschy items like vintage toys and Christmas decorations. After you’ve tried the cake at The Bubble Room, you can’t leave the island without grabbing a slice of famous key lime pie from the Keylime Bistro.