In the late 1960s surf-shop owner Hobie Alter (b. 1933) and some friends decided to design a catamaran. Easy to drag down a beach, fun to sail, and costing only $1,000, the Hobie 14 was an instant hit. In 1971 Alter unleashed the Hobie 16; to date it's the largest class of catamaran in the world. With over 200,000 Hobie Cats sailing, Alter is the undisputed father of mass-multihull racing.