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Eight Bells: Hobart "Hobie" Alter

by John Casey, Posted May 22, 2014

Hobie Alter began playing games in the Pacific Ocean in his teens. At 18, he started competing in surfing competitions, and in 1953 opened his first surfboard shop in Dana Point, California. He quickly developed ways to improve balsa core surfboard production, and it didn’t take him long to invent the foam-core surfboard, which revolutionized the sport by giving surfers a lighter, more agile toy to play with.


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Maxi-yacht construction in the United States has been pretty anemic since the Great Recession. But with the economy on the mend and the S&P 500’s record-crushing 29.6 percent uptick in 2013, there now appear to be some “green shoots” out there


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On his way to a new “Discovery Route” record this past January aboard the 105-foot maxi trimaran Banque Populaire VII, French solo sailor Armel Le Cléac’h also set a new solo 24-hour distance record of 682 nautical miles.


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