Storms Derail Hobie 16 Worlds
Published on June 5th, 2016
Shenzhen, China (June 5, 2016) – The final day of racing in the Hobie® Great Grand Masters, Grand Masters, Women and Youth Classes in the 2016 Hobie 16 World Championship regatta was completed today. With teams waking to loud claps of thunder, flashes of lightning and rain very early this morning, the sky looked more promising when buses arrived at the event site to prepare for the day.
While the sky was no longer threatening, the wind just wasn’t there either. Nevertheless, teams went about their business in anticipation of a start. The wind picked up and rain fell with gusts blowing across the water at 14kts. But there was absolutely no consistency across the course in either wind strength or direction.
After the squall settled, so did the breeze and the fleet headed off the beach with around 7kts to play with. Unfortunately, as the Hobie Cats® sat waiting for all of the fleet to arrive around the signals boat, the breeze slowly drifted away, and with not enough left to hold a race, the Race Officer called a postponement and sent the boats to shore.
To everyone’s dismay, the breeze never returned and the day was abandoned late in the afternoon with the scores from days one and two determining the places in the championships.
Auxence Thomas and Noa Ancian from New Caledonia were proud to represent and win the Hobie 16 Youth World Championship for New Caledonia.
Noa said, “During this World Championships the wind was very light but it was very great for us. The conditions here have been very different from New Caledonia where we have 20kt winds, but we prefer these light conditions and that is why we did so well. We are very proud to represent New Caledonia and to win the world championship for our country, that is really great.”
Auxence was very proud and full of gratitude, “Thank you to the Hobie Cat team here at the world championships and to the Hobie Cat Company. Also thank you to the International Hobie Cat Association. This has been a really good championships with excellent conditions that we really like, we just love the Hobie Way of Life, thank you.”
Krystal Weir and Georgia Warren-Myers from Australia won the Hobie 16 Women’s World Championship and were thrilled to have achieved their goal.
“The Hobie 16 Worlds has been awesome and we’ve been lucky to have a small but really competitive fleet to race against. I’ve had my champ crew with me, Georgia. Day one was a bit tricky for us, communication was tricky because we haven’t sailed together much. On day two we changed things a lot and we were able to get it together.”
Georgia said, “Things started changing in the third race of the first day. We kind of had a bit more discussion and the breeze got up a little bit and we just hit our element, because the only times that we really had sailed together had been in a fair bit of breeze.
“When it came up we just went ‘Ah! yep, we know what we’re doing here’ and we just went absolutely nuts. Day two we knew what each other wanted, it all clicked into gear and we had a great time. The 40kts that came up yesterday was awesome fun, we just had the best time in it.
“It’s just amazing to be the world champions, that was the goal coming over here, it’s just such a relief really, just a joy.”
Rod and Kerry Waterhouse from Australia won the Hobie Grand Masters International Cup after a previous victory in the Masters Class only a few days ago. Rod shared his thoughts on the event.
“The race was called off for the day which leaves us leading which is fantastic and I’m really pleased to get this one. Once again it was a super tough series and it went down to the wire with three contenders going into the last race. So we are really happy to win the Grand Masters and now we have three days off. Hopefully, we’ll have some wind for the next few days for the Open Qualifiers.”
When asked if he and his crew Kerry were going for the trifecta (winning the Masters, Grand Masters and Open titles), Rod replied, “We would definitely love that to happen but I know that is going to be a tough ask. We’re just going to be happy to be out there amongst some serious competition and with 50 to 60 boats on the start line it’s a whole new ballgame, so we’re looking forward to it.”
The Hobie Great Grand Masters International Cup winners are Grahame Southwick and Sharon Rayner, representing Fiji. Grahame offered his thoughts on the team’s victory today, “It’s been absolutely great sailing we’ve had a bit of everything we had some really light air and some screaming runs in amongst some really fierce competition. We are really lucky to have managed to get over Tards (Bruce Tardrew) regardless of what event is on, it seems it’s always between Tards and myself, he’s a great competitor. We’re glad we were able to sail in this event, there were some very good sailors in that group, the venue is fantastic and the boats are beautiful with the best sail design I’ve seen in probably any event, so yeah we’re very, very happy.”
Next up is the Hobie 16 Open Worlds on June 6-13.
21st Hobie Cat® 16 World Championships
May 30-June 2 – Hobie 16 Masters (skipper shall be 45 years or over)
June 3-5 – Hobie 16 Great Grand Masters (skipper shall be 55 years or over)
June 3-5 – Hobie 16 Grand Masters (skipper shall be 65 years or over)
June 3-5 – Hobie 16 Women’s (skipper/crew shall be female)
June 3-5 – Hobie 16 Youth (skipper/crew shall be under the age of 21 years of age)
June 6-8 – Hobie 16 Open Qualifier
June 9-11 – Hobie 16 Semi-Final
June 12-13 – Hobie 16 Final
Source: Hobie Class