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7 April 2002, 07:56 pm
Day 2
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Hobie 16 Open World Championship

Competitors were treated to near perfect conditions on day 2 of Round 1 of the Hobie 16 World Championships being held in New Caledonia.

Winds ranged from 12 - 16 knots and with plenty of sunshine, the South Pacific Island provided ideal sailing for the 83 teams trying to qualify for the Semi-Finals that start on Tuesday morning.

With competitors split into three groups, each team sailed two races and had one race sitting on the beach while changing onto a different boat after each race. This ensures that the best sailors and not the fattest cheque book make it through to the next round.

There were four races held today with racing in the outer racing area, providing more consistent breezes and bigger waves.

The first race provided a test of nerve for the Race Committee with four general recalls required to get the teams away cleanly. With most sailors favouring the left side of the course to take advantage of the lift off the shore of the small island nearby, and the wind moving gradually left during the start sequence, all sailors were vying for the favoured pin end of the start line. Eventually the race was started cleanly and won by the team of Scott and Lena Jackson sailing for Australia, followed closely by the New Caledonian team of Clement Merzeau and Sebastien Eyssartier. This is an extremely good result for the young local team and follows on from their seventh place finish in the Youth World Championship. Merzeau and Eyssartier were followed closely by another Australian team of Heinz Karl and Tuscany King. The current leaders, Thibaut Vauchel-Camus and Matheas Lassnig finished a solid fourth place, ensuring they retain their overall lead. The luckiest competitor for the day had to be Harry Handley and Scott Wilkinson from New Zealand. They were the only team that didn't realize that the scheduled start time had been brought forward one hour to 9am, so arrived after all other competitors had left the beach. Despite a fast rig of his boat by everyone on the beach, they didn't leave until the 4 minute gun, but several general recalls later, Harry made it to the start on time and finished a creditable tenth in the 56 boat fleet.

The second race started much the same as the first with many competitors all vying for the pin end of the line. A startboard bias on the line eventually persuaded competitors to spread out along the length of the line and start in excellent sailing conditions. Unfortunately the wind didn't stay as strong and faded away slightly to around 12 knots leaving sailings to slop around in a confused sea. The conditions obviously suited the Australians with Jerome Binder and Mark Donnell taking out first place and Rob Enqwirda and Bradley "Worse News" Wilson in second. Vauchel-Camus and Lassnig again sailed consistently to finish third, consolidating their position at the front of the event.

Race three started at the first attempt with conditions again building in the late afternoon. This time it was another French team of Alexis Doglio and Thomas Geoffray who lead, beating out Upu Kila and Gordon Ainslie from Papua-New Guinea and Shayne Brodie and John Philp from Fiji. A fresh face near the front was that of Michael Thompson and Mathew Quaife from Great Britain after having a tough time in the Youth Event. One surprising result in the race was a capsize by Rex and Justina Sellers from New Zealand.

The final race of the day started quite late in the afternoon and was dominated by Kila and Ainslie who lead from start to finish with Moana and Thomas Vaireaux from New Caledonia in second for the entire race but unable to pass Kila.

The final day of Round 1 will be held on Monday with three races scheduled. The top 30+ teams will advance to the Semi-Finals in round 2 and will be joined by the pre-seeded sailors from around the world.

Position Name Nation Race 1 Race 2 Race 3 Race 4 Race 5 Race 6 Points
1 Thibaut Vauchel-Camus FRA 1 4 3 10 8
Matheas Lassnig
2 Robert Engwirda AUS 2 6 2 16 10
Bradley Wilson
3 Tim Shuwalow AUS 5 7 5 3 13
Susan Pearce
3 Rex Sellers NZL 3 5 47 5 13
Justina Sellers
5 Scott Jackson AUS 9 1 12 6 16
Lena Jackson
5 Fabrice Garsault FRA 3 9 28 4 16
Rachel Mnemosyne
7 Tim Cotsell AUS 16 1 12 6 19
Scott Babbage
7 Brice Pelen NC 4 6 9 27 19
Maxime Cardarelly
7 Moana Vaireaux NC 7 28 10 2 19
Thomas Visseaux
10 Harry Handley NZL 10 10 5 8 23
Scott Wilkinson
10 Jerome Binder AUS 11 11 1 12 23
Mark Donnell
Paul Pascoe/News Editor
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