In memory of our Hobie friend Alberto Torné Vásquez
Written by John Dinsdale (former CEO of Hobie Cat Europe and IHCA Life member).
I first met Alberto in early 1980’s.
He was at that time the commercial guy for our Spanish distributor, always smiling, and very popular with customers, with Optimist, Lasers, and of course Hobies.
When our importer fell thru, Alberto with partner came to the rescue.
This was just before the Hobie 16 Europeans and all the entry were in the hands of our "ex importer"!
We scrambled to keep the event going, but without Alberto, it would have been literally impossible.
At Hobie Cat Europe, we loaded up the Hobie truck, drove down to the event site, near Barcelona, and just made the event happened!
Then the Hobie 17 and 18 Worlds in Castelldefels and Sotogrande, in which organization left the IHCA, without paying their bills!
Thanks to Alberto, he brokered deals with Sotogrande, which allowed the IHCA to reconsider Spain!
Then at the Tiger/Dragoon Worlds in Cangas, once again, Alberto was there to the rescue, when we had issues with the local town/organization who had supplied and sold the boat insurance, but somehow had not really been covered by the insurance company.
This was just a few of the many events, where Alberto was the " Hobie guy" but in whatever experience, situation, or problem, Alberto was always smiling, often working through the night at events to make sure the sailors had their boats repaired in time... always smiling!
When the ISAF meeting went to Mallorca, I phoned Alberto to ask if he had any tips regarding accommodation. Here within minutes, Alberto with an apartment which would house Thomas Poulsen (the then IHCA President ) myself, as well as another 3 IHCA guys attending the conference... the deal was last guy in from the Mallorca night, got the floor ;)
Alberto always offered couch, or any beds to others, taking the floor himself!
Here if there was ever a "Hobie Guy", it was Alberto !
He loved the beach.
He loved the " Hobie Way of Life " Did we not all love that way of Life ??
He loved people.
He loved helping out, wherever somebody needed a hand.
I cannot think of a better " Hobie Guy"
He will be sorely missed as "Hobie Spain", but also as a real true friend.
Rest in Peace Alberto… we will miss you !