The Australian Hobie Cat Nationals Championship produced another great day on the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron. With breeze turning to the North the Hobie 16 fleet had some exciting racing.
The Hobie fleet did have some troubles in the morning with starting. At the first start there were three general recalls as the fleet were too anxious to start. The second race the Race Committee bought out the "Black Flag" for the start. Under this starting procedure any person who breaks the start line is disqualified. This did manage to keep the fleet under control.
The Hobie 16 fleet had hoped after the lay day and with the different breeze direction thought they maybe to reel in regatta leader Gavin COLBY. But Colby continue to dominate these Championships. Colby won the first race comfortably from 1995 World Champion Aaron WORRALL. Tim SHULALOW continued his consistent racing to finish third with Kerli CORLETTE fourth. Corlette, who had major heart surgery, last year has shown that the "older" sailors are still very competitive. Corlette also leads the master series.
The second race Colby had to work hard or the win. Laruffa, the seven times New Guinea Hobie 16 Champion had a big lead. Laruffa had a port, leeward rudder kick up slightly and had to sail the leg with an unbalanced boat. This allowed Colby to pass the unlucky Laruffa. Aaron WORRALL finished third to maintain a very consistent series.
For the third race of the day Colby made a mistake at the start. Thinking it was a General Recall when all boats would have to return to the start. Colby waited and found that he was mistaken and then left the start line in almost last. Even though he was in great sailing form not even Colby could make up the difference the leaders had off the start line. This left Mark LARUFFA a clear run to the finish to record his second win of the series.
The fourth race had some controversy when a few of the front runners ran aground not long after the start. Colby was not one of them and recorded another victory to almost seal victory for the series. With racing concluding tomorrow and a maximum of two races it appears Colby has secured first place and another trophy to his already crowed trophy cabinet.
Full Results can be found on the event website at the address below.