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9 April 2002, 12:18 pm
Day 1 of Semi Finals
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Hobie 16 Open World Championship
Noumea

Day 1 of the Air France Open Hobie 16 Worlds semi finals was another perfect day in paradise with sunshine and good winds on the race course.

The top 48 sailors from the qualifying first round joined the pre-seeded sailors from around the world in the start of the Open World Championship. With 56 boats supplied by Hobie Cat Australia, and 112 teams, each team sails in every second race for the next three days.

On the race course, the day belonged to Gavin Colby and Simone Mattfield with two first places from their two races of the day (races two and three of the day).

The first race of the day was a very popular runaway win by local sailors Aldo Cailleux and Estelle Rousseau who led from start to finish after several general recalls. Previous days races had favoured the left hand side of the course so sailors keen to get to this side were pushing the pin end of the line hard. However, the race proved them all wrong when Cailleux and Estelle tacking early and heading out into the building trade winds on the right hand side of the course to build up a big lead by the end of the first leg. In second place for most of the race was the father and son team of Mitch and Taylor Booth, originally from Australia but now sailing for the Netherlands. The practice gained from sailing and winning round one was obviously not wasted on the team of Thibaut Vauchel-Camus and Matheas Lassnig from France who overtook Team Booth to snatch third place in this race.

In the second race of the day, Pedro Colon and David Rodriquez from Puerto Rico lead at the first mark from Colby and Mattfield, but were unable to hold off the Australian pair for long. On the second upwind leg Colby and Mattfield took the lead and then stretched this out over the next two legs to win by a comfortable margin. In the third race, Colby lead from start to finish, although he was hard pushed by another Australian team of Rob Branch and Barnaby Houk. This race was sailed in tough conditions with the wind being extremely unstable and several changes in places occurred down the fleet.

Racing continues in the Semi-Finals for another two days when the fleet will be cut and the top 56 teams advance to the finals.

Semi Final Results after Day 1

Position Name Nation Race 1 Race 2 Race 3 Points
1 Gavin Colby AUS 1 1 2
Simone Mattfield
2 Mal Gray AUS 4 4
Trish Gray
2 Didier Arnould TAH 4 4
Laurent Grimauld
4 Stephen Watt AUS 5 5
Karen Todd
5 Brice Pelen NC/FRA 6 6
Maxime Cardarelly
6 Scott Jackson AUS 7 7
Lena Folke
7 Tim Shuwalow AUS 8 8
Susan Pearce
7 Roderick Waterhouse AUS 8 8
Kerry Waterhouse
9 Rob Branch AUS 7 2 9
Barnaby Houk
9 Tim Cotsell AUS 9 9
Scott Babbage
Paul Pascoe/News Editor
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