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4 January 2005, 09:32 am
Strike one to Shuwalow
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Hobie 16 Australian Nationals
Melbourne, Australia

Tim SHUWALOW/Cameron HOOPER finished second in Race One and won Race Two to take the lead at the Hobie 16 Australian and Asia Pacific Championships on Port Phillip Bay.
Despite racing being postponed on parts of Port Phillip today, due to excessive winds, the Hobie 16 Australian and Asia Pacific Championships got underway at Port Melbourne Yacht Club in very gusty and shifty westerly winds.

Organisers got two races away at the Sail Melbourne event that in part is the Australian qualifying series for the 2005 Hobie Worlds in South Africa in October.

In an international fleet from Australia, New Caledonia, Tahiti, Hong Kong, Peurto Rico and Japan, which included three newly crowned champions; Hobie Tiger Australian Champions Darren BUNDOCK/Alex GOLTZ (AUS) and World Hobie 18 Champions Brad Sumner/Belinda Walkom, neither of whom finished in a top five position, racing was hard and few escaped a breakage or spectacular capsize.

There were plenty of capsizes, thrills, spills and broken gear as the winds got up past the 25 knot range, forcing some of the 45 boats taking part to retire from racing. In fact, Olympian and world champion in multiple classes, Darren BUNDOCK had a swim in the second race, with winds averaging at 20 knots but gusting to 28.

The leader, Shuwalow, who finished fifth at the 2004 Hobie 16 Worlds in Mexico, got of the start line well to extend his lead throughout the race.

Second overall after two races, Darren SMITH/Natalie HILL (the 2000 Australian Hobie 16 champions), won the first race, but finished fifth in the second. Sebastian EYSSARTIER/Maxine CARDARELLY (FRA) are third overall after sixth and third placings.

Racing continues tomorrow with Acting Victorian Premier, John THWAITES, taking time out of his busy schedule to take to the water to view racing. The Victorian Government is a major sponsor of Sail Melbourne.

Provisional top five results:

Pos Boat Name Helm/Crew Nation Pts
1 Clown Racing T Shuwalow/C Hooper AUS 3
2 Blew By You D Smith/N Hill AUS 6
3 NA8 S Eyssartier/M Cardarell FRA 9
4 Hobiecat (Aus) B Sumner/B Walkom AUS 10
5 NA9 B Pelen/E Carpin FRA 11
Di Pearson (As Amended by ISAF)
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