|MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA-(1-1-2005) New Year’s Eve and everyone involved in Sail Melbourne were thinking about their New Year’s Eve celebrations and looking forward to getting off the water early in anticipation of a fun night out – but it was not to be.
The day itself was perfect for just about everything else – warm, sunny and blue skies, but unfortunately, little wind.
At the Hobie National and World championships at Port Melbourne Yacht Club, officials managed to get a race in on one course but had to abandon the other course due to shifty unpredictable winds that went anywhere from 0 to 14 knots in a blink of an eye and patchy all along the Port Phillip Bay coast.
Competitors and officials patiently waited ashore, their hopes of an early day out the window. Late afternoon and finally some breeze arrived, fluctuating between 10-14 knots as the boats hit the water for more racing – a very long day for everyone.
Two more races were sailed in the Hobie 17 World Championship, with Victorian Aaron Worrall’s lead narrowing to three points after second placed Dan Kulkoski (USA) won both races, Worrall scoring a third and a fourth. Greg Raybon (USA) is still in third, but 16 points behind the leader, a 10th in Race 10 leaving him in the lurch.
A different story in the Hobie 18’s, where NSW entry, Brad Sumner/Belinda Walkom are going to walk away with the World title, extending their lead yesterday with a further two wins to add to their already perfect score. Father & son Richard and Michael Quinn are second placed, but a whopping 33 points behind the leaders, with Geoff Fiske/Sarah Hollands in third, a further 11 points in arrears.
Mark Laruffa/Dave Silvester have lost their grip on the Hobie Tiger lead after Olympic representative Darren Bundock (AUS) and Alexandra Goltz on their Volvo sponsored Tiger won all three races of the Australian championship, with Laruffa going 4-2-3, the conditions not to his liking and leaving him one point behind Bundock in the tightest tussle of the event.
‘I weigh in a bit heavy - more than is good for the class, so we obviously are better of in a big breeze. I’ll have to lose at least 15 kilos for my next world event,’ Laruffa said.
Neville Thompson/Shamus Stevens (AUS) are third placed, but17 points behind Bundock.
The Hobie 16 Youth classes managed three races also and defending world champion in the non-spinnaker division, Jerome Legal and Clement Merzeau (FRA) continue to lead their French compatriots, Brice Pelen/Elliot Carpin by five points after 3-1-3 placings yesterday. Pelen won the final race to add to his second and third places to close the gap on Legal.
Meanwhile, Taylor Booth/Bridget Waterhouse are on a roll in the spinnaker division, a further three wins gives them a four point lead over the series’ early leaders, Evan Walker/Kyle Langford (AUS) and a 23 point lead over third placed Jonathon English/Kurt Griffiths.
‘We didn’t start our series the way we wanted to, but we are sailing better now – how we wanted to,’ said Booth yesterday.
Belinda Zanesco/Karen Todd (AUS) won two out of three races yesterday, finishing second in the other to close in on the defending Womens Hobie World champion, Pamela Noriega and Andrea Mier Y Teran (MEX). The Mexicans finished their day with 2-3-1 results, now only six points clear of Zanesco. Naomi Angwin/Fiona Douglas remain in third place, 20 points behind Noriega.
Kerli and Ali Corlett (AUS) had two wins and a second to continue their control of the Hobie 16 Masters division. They are 12 points clear of second placed Bruce Tardrew/Sarah Turnbull and a further 11 points in front of third placed Grahame Southwick/Claire Fender (AUS).
The Hobies, along with the rest of Sail Melbourne events are having a lay day today and will finish their 16 race series on Port Phillip Bay tomorrow.
1 Aaron Worrall (AUS) 20
2 Dan Kulkoski (USA) 23
3 Greg Raybon (USA) 36
1 Brad Sumner/Belinda Walkom (AUS) 9
2 Richard Quinn/Michael Quinn (AUS) 42
3 Geoff Fiske/Sarah Hollands (AUS) 53
1 Darren Bundock/Alexandra Goltz (AUS) 18
2 Mark Laruffa/Dave Silvester (AUS) 19
3 Neville Thompson/Shamus Stevens (AUS) 35
Hobie 16 Youth – non spinnaker
1 Jerome Legal/Clement Merzeau (FRA) 15
2 Brice Pelen/Elliot Carpin (FRA) 20
3 Chris Hancock/Haylee Williams (AUS) 30
Hobie 16 Youth – Spinnaker
1 Taylor Booth/Bridget Waterhouse (AUS) 13
2 Evan Walker/Kyle Langford (AUS) 17
3 Jonathon English/Kurt Griffiths (AUS) 36
Hobie 16 Womens
1 Pamela Noriega/Andrea Mier Y Teran (MEX) 13
2 Belinda Zanesco/Karen Todd (AUS) 19
3 Naomi Angwin/Fiona Douglas (AUS) 33
Hobie 16 Masters
1 Kerli Corlett/Ali Corlett (AUS) 11
2 Bruce Tardrew/Sarah Turnbull (AUS) 23
3 Grahame Southwick/Claire Fender (FIJ) 34