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4 April 2002, 01:32 pm
New Women, Youth and Masters World Champions Crowned
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Hobie 16 World Championship
Noumea

There was plenty of drama on the last day of the Womens, Youth and Masters events at the Air France Hobie 16 World Championships in New Caledonia in the South Pacific, with protests altering placings on both the Womens’ and Masters events.
The largest fleet in this early part of the regatta was the Masters competition for skippers over 45 years of age. The top two sailors throughout the event were clearly the teams of Richard Johnston and crew Alban Rossollin and Louis De Lima Mayer and crew Mike Cuvillier. They traded first and second places throughout the event and demonstrated exceptional boat speed and consistent racing in the tough conditions.

The wind was below 15 knots at any time during the three days of the event, with conditions to 20 knots on some days, providing plenty of excitement on the course. For the first two days, the wind was considered too strong to sail in the open waters, so a shorter course in a slightly protected inner race area were preferred. For the third and final day of competition the course was moved outside into unprotected waters, providing much more opportunity for sailors to show off their downwind surfing skills.

Going into the last race of the Masters, the two local sailors were tied on points and on the first beat they were again out in front, with each plenty of close quarter tactics. Unfortunately it became a little too close and there was some contact between the boats resulting in a DSQ for Johnston and handing the title to De Lima Mayer and Cuvillier. In third place from Australia was the husband and wife team of Kerli and Ali Corlett. Like many Hobie families this is a family sport and the Corlett's daughter was also racing in the Youth event. Upla Kila and Gordon Ainslie from Papua New Guinea also sailed consistently for fourth place, narrowly missing winning the last race when they confused the downwind finish mark and the leeward gate mark.

The new Hobie 16 Youth World Champions from Australia are Robbie Lovig and Glenn Douglas, although again it went right down to the last race. With one race to sail, the two top teams were tied with eventual second place getters Christophe Renaud-DeMalet and Rudolf Chichemanian. However both teams finished down the order making the last race the throwout race for both teams. With a more consistent set of results in the earlier races, Lovig and Douglas won the title by two points. It seems that although Lovig and Douglas sail extremely well, their arithmetic is not quite up to scratch as they were unaware that they had won until informed on the beach. This win follows on from their third place finish on the Hobie 16 at last year's ISAF Youth Worlds.

Second and third place teams were tied on points with Renaud-DeMalet and Chichemanian pipping the team of Brice Pelen and Maxime Carderaelly on a tie-break.

The Women's World Championships event proved the old maxim that "if you want to finish first, first you have to finish", as the winner was the only competitor to finish every race unscathed. With extremely strong conditions on the first day of the event, there were few finishers in the women's fleet, and this made it tough for those that didn't manage to survive the strong gusty winds in the late afternoon races. Along with the strong winds, there were several OCS calls which reduced the number of finishers even further.

But local sailors Lauren Pelen and Lea Jeandott did more than survive and finished the first day with two wins from two races to set themselves up for the rest of the series. Although they didn't win any further races, their consistent finishes were enough to ensure a comfortable win by six points after the last of the seven races. At the other end of the scale were Australian team of Belinda Zanesco and Naomi Angwin who started the event with an OCS and a DNF after a capsize. Two wins in the first two races got the confidence back up and by the end of the event just managed to squeeze into second place ahead of another New Caledonian team of Charlotte Picou and Lauren Beaumont.

While New Caledonians have always done well at Worlds, many people are impressed at the depth of talent locally. However, after seeing the organization and size of the host club, it is no wonder that such a small population has so many talented sailors. The club is extremely well situated with plenty of boat storage and there are catamarans of all shapes and sizes and a shed full of Optimists for the Juniors. The club runs a very successful training program and the number of 11, 12, 13 year old Hobie sailors out crewing is amazing. Today one of the British teams and an Australian team were short of crews due to injuries, but it was just a matter of finding one of the local kids off the beach who were only too eager to get on the water and sail in the event. They came back with grins from ear to ear and plenty of stories to tell their friends. The place is catamaran heaven!

Women

Postion Name Nation Race 1 Race 2 Race 3 Race 4 Race 5 Race 6 Race 7 Points
1 Lauren Pelen NC 1 1 4 6 6 3 3 18
Lea Jeandott
2 Belinda Zanesco AUS 11 11 1 1 4 2 5 24
Naomi Angwin
3 Charlotte Picou NC 11 1 5 11 2 4 2 25
Lauren Beaumont
4 Clara Cianfarani NC 11 2 7 4 4 5 7 29
Louise Cardarelly
5 Claudia Toebelmann NC 11 11 6 7 1 1 4 30
Patricia Toebelmann

Youth

Position Name Nation Race 1 Race 2 Race 3 Race 4 Race 5 Race 6 Points
1 Robbie Lovig AUS 1 2 3 3 1 7 10
Glen Douglas
2 Christophe Renaud-DeMalet NC 2 3 1 1 5 5 12
Rudolf Chichemanian
3 Brice Pelen NC 3 5 2 2 3 2 12
Maxime Cardarelly
4 Jerome Le Gal NC 5 1 2 4 4 8 16
Estelle Rouseau
5 Shane Peterson AUS 4 9 7 7 12 1 28
Amy NcMahon

Masters

Position Name Nation Race 1 Race 2 Race 3 Race 4 Race 5 Race 6 Race 7 Points
1 Louis De Lima Mayer NC 2 2 2 1 1 1 3 9
Mike Cuvillier
2 Richard Johnston NC 1 1 1 9 2 2 47 16
Alban Rossollin
3 Kerli Corlett AUS 3 3 3 3 4 3 9 19
Ali Corlett
4 Upu Kila PNG 7 7 8 4 3 5 2 28
Gordon Ainslie
5 Andreas Szameitat GER 14 5 6 2 47 6 1 34
Beate Blum-Szameitat


Tomorrow (Friday) is a lay day with the Open World Championships starting Saturday.
Paul Pascoe/News Editor
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