Foul Weather Welcomes Hobie 16 Open Worlds
Published on June 6th, 2016
Shenzhen, China (June 6, 2016) – Hobie sailors in the Open Qualifiers of the 2016 Hobie 16 World Championships arrived at the regatta event site this morning with the majority having their first view of the amazing Worlds venue.
Unfortunately, they didn’t see either the event site or the bay at their beautiful best, as Shenzhen’s monsoonal weather burst into full fury. The skies opened with warm, teaming rain, lightening flashed, thunder clapped and visibility was at a minimum.
Water gushed down slopes and began to erode the event beach, the situation was not looking very promising at all. Teams stayed under shelter and patiently waited, slept, ate, drank, watched the rain, played games and waited the time away as sailors often have to do.
As around 100 Hobie sailors found different ways to wait the day out, the RO (Race Officer) constantly looked for a hole in the weather and some consistent breeze. Any reasonable opportunity of some sort to get competitors out on the water and have something else to talk about beside the torrential rain. But the wind strength rose and fell and moved about the course in swings of up to 1800 and the rain continued to pour.
But wait long enough and things change and that’s what happened around 14:45 when the RO, John Hooper, called the beach captain to get the fleet to leave the beach with a consistent breeze blowing on the course at around 7kts and blowing in from 2300. Almost disbelieving what they were hearing, competitors who had been lazing about for most of the day found a new life, a positive attitude and were quick to set sail for the signals boat.
The breeze never really got up above 7kts after the start of the first race in the series but it blew with reasonable consistency around the course. While conditions were light they were still enough to enable competitors to race in a world championship qualifier on a day that never, ever looked like anyone would go anywhere near the water, let alone round a mark in a race.
The RO aimed for back to back races, but he made another wise decision in not raising the yellow and black B2B flag as the wind that had existed previously blew itself out. But by this time most sailors were heading back to shore, they’d come to China to race and they now had one in the bag.
At the close of day one Robert Andrews and Haylie Andrews from Australia are leading Paul Darmanin and Lucy Copeland from Australia and Byeong Ki Park and Hae Kwang Youn from South Korea are sitting in third place.
The 2016 Worlds Open Qualifier series continues to June 8, followed by Semi-Finals with the Finals concluding June 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