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6 July 2005, 05:41 pm
Multihull Open
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Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship 2005
Busan, Korea

All three medallist from last year's Multihull open event will line up to do battle again when racing in the Hobie 16s commences on Suyong Bay next week in the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship.
In only it's third year at the ISAF Youth Worlds, the Multihull open event sailed in Hobie 16s consolidates it's position at the Championship with eleven teams once again set to fight it out for the title. In a unique occurrence for this year's Championship, the gold, silver and bronze medallists from the 2004 ISAF Youth Worlds in Gdynia, Poland are all returning, with Tom PHIPPS and Jon COOK (GBR) the only defending champions in Busan.

Medallists Return

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Juan I MAEGLI will be in
Busan aiming to add to the
bronze medal he won with
Jason HESS last year
© Peter Bentley

PHIPPS and COOK will enter the event as slight favourites after their narrow victory last year. Their battle with the French team of Julien VILLION and Martin BATAILLE went right down to the wire in Gdynia with just two points separating them at the finish. PHIPPS and COOK are beginning to specialize in close finishes and almost missed out on Korea altogether after a nail biting end to their qualifying event, the RYA Youth Championship. A bullet in the windy final race combined with a fourth place finish for their nearest competitors saw the relieved pair claim the top spot by just two points.

Bronze medallist in Gdynia, Juan I MAEGLI, who won the medal with crew Jason HESS (GUA), will be looking to add to the first ISAF Youth World's medal the pair won for Guatemala last year. This year MAEGLI will be racing with new crew Cristina GUIROLA. The fourth place German team of last year returns in part, with 2004 crew Lauritz BOCKELMANN this time taking over the helming, racing with new crew Nils HIESTERMANN.

New Challengers

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Australia will be aiming for
their first Multihull medal
© Peter Bentley
After finishing seventh and eighth last year, Australia and New Zealand are both sending new Hobie teams to Busan. Evan WALKER and Kyle LANGFORD (AUS) and Rory and Kelly GOODMAN (NZL) will make up the Oceanic challenge in Korea. Adding to the continental spread, Asia is represented for the first time in this event by the home team from Korea and Singapore's Melcolm HUANG and CHUNG Pei Quann.

Brazil represent South America and will be in Busan with the aim of adding to the bronze they won in the inaugural Multihull event in Simons Town, South Africa in 1998. The Italian team will be looking to improve on their fifth place in Gdynia, whilst America is sending a new team of TJ and Jerry TULLO. The pair look like being serious competitors in Busan after an impressive display at the 2004 U.S. Youth Multihull Championship, in which they took four bullets from eight races on the way to a seven point victory.

A Tough One To Call

Last year PHIPPS and COOK and MAEGLI and HESS dominated the early races. The French team came back with a strong challenge in the second half of the competition and the Guatemalans faded slightly, meaning the battle for control of the fleet went down to the wire.

2005 sees the most global fleet yet in the Multihull event and with the Hobie 16 Youth World Championship this year following the ISAF Youth Worlds rather than preceding them (as was the case last year), the competitors in Busan will know little about each other until the gun sounds for the opening race. The new entrants from Asia, together with the new Oceanic teams and the experienced Europeans look like making this year's Multihull competition the most fascinating yet.

ISAF. The British team of Tom PHIPPS and Jon COOK will be the only defending champions racing in Busan:© Peter Bentley
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