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8 January 2004, 10:01 am
Colby Takes Record Fourth Title
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Gavin COLBY ©

Australian Hobie Championship

The final day of the Hobie 16 Australian Championship was the windiest of the whole series with the wind in North and increasing thought the day. The first start the breeze was 18 knots and building it was a great day on the Hobie course.
Gavin COLBY had almost sealed his record fourth Australian Hobie 16 Championships going into the final day and started conservatively. With the series almost decided Colby sailed his own very conservative race finishing fourth and capturing his fourth Australian Championship. The reigning Australian Champion Andrew KEAG went on to win his first race for the series. Mark LARUFFA was leading at the top mark for the last time when he capsized. He managed to right the boat in ninth spot when he capsized again shortly after. Laruffa managed to pass a few boats and finished in tenth place.

In the sixteenth and final race of the series Aaron WORRELL had the lead in the 20+ knot breeze when he sailed passed the layline for the mark. This error in judgement gave the race lead to Laruffa. This time Laruffa made no mistakes and went on to win the race from Worrell.

But nothing could take away the display Colby gave at this series. With sixteen races in winds varying from 8-25 knots he won the series with a comfortable 24 point lead over 1995 Hobie 16 World Champion Aaron WORRELL.

With Colby already selected for the World Championships and Peter BATES representing China. The Australian Team for the Coca Cola Hobie 16 Worlds in Mexico is, Aaron WORRELL, Tim SHUWALOW, Andrew KEAG, Brad SUMNER, Kerli CORLETTE and Darren SMITH. With nine of the top ten sailors sailing as mixed crews it demonstrates how well a mixed team performs.

Top Ten After 16 Races
Position Helm Points
1 Gavin COLBY 29
2 Aaron WORRALL 53
4 Andrew KEAG 96
5 Peter BATES 104
6 Brad SUMMER 108
7 M-Kerli CORLETT 131
8 Darren SMITH 143
9 Rob BRANCH 184
10 Shane PETERSON 187
David Brookes (As Amended by ISAF)
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