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12 April 2002, 10:57 am
Colby and Mattfield Consolidate Their Lead
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Semi-finals action

Hobie 16 Open World Championship
Noumea

The penultimate day of racing in the Air France Hobie 16 Worlds saw the team of Gavin Colby and Simone Mattfield from Australia consolidate their lead with three first places from the four races run.
However, it was not all smooth sailing as they were over the line in the first race of the day and now have this result as a throwout for the series. With a 32 point lead with three races to go, they must sail conservatively in the final day rather than take any risks on the course. The big move up the results was from past World Champion Gwenael ROTH and Thierry MONFRET from France who moved up from 12th overnight to 5th.

Conditions were ideal with the first race starting in 14 knots of breeze and building to 18 knots during the day. The Race Committee moved the course in close to shore which provided spectators with an excellent view of racing and this also introduced an additional variable into the course with a small island close to the port layline. In the first race of the day, Colby and Mattfield headed to the left of the course and held a small lead at the first mark from Victorien ERUSSARD and Jean-Marie BORDIER from France who had started near the Committee Boat and tacked early to the starboard layline. On the second weather leg, local knowledge was evident as Richard JOHNSTON and Rudolph CHICHEMANIAN from New Caledonia took a different approach to the first mark and came out slightly ahead of Colby. He stretched his lead on the downwind leg to win the race comfortably.

In the second race of the day Colby and Mattfield led from start to finish with superior pointing ability while still sailing with speed equal to other boats on the course. The team of Franck DANDE and Arnaud MAURIN from the French territory of Guadeloupe continued their up and down event with a second place in this race, confirming their ability to produce a good finish when they are able to get off the start line cleanly.

The third race saw several teams jump the start, with the Father and son team of Mitch and Taylor BOOTH from the Netherlands being the highest place team to be adjudged over the line when the start gun sounded. With consistent results in all of their other races, this result did not move them down the list significantly although they can not now afford another mistake.

The final race of the day was a repeat of the Colby/Mattfield sailing demonstration with the team winning by the largest margin so far in the event.

The most consistent performance of the day was by the husband and wife team of Rod and Kerry WATERHOUSE from Australia. Their children are the current National Champions of the Manly Junior class in Australia, and each day after watching from the shore the two children are able to offer "advice" to their parents. Obviously this coaching is paying off as the Waterhouses have continued to improve throughout the event.

Saturday is the final day of the World Championships with three races scheduled for the day. The forecast is for similar conditions to today with sunshine and 15 - 18 knots of wind, setting the scene for an interesting finish, with the leaders streaking away from the rest of the field, but a 57 point drop race hanging over their head.

Results

Pos Name Nat 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Pts
1 Gavin Colby AUS 1 1 1 2 5 57 1 1 1 13
Simone Mattfield
2 Thibaut Vauchel-Camus FRA 2 8 3 3 7 10 57 6 6 45
Matheas Lassnig
3 Rob Branch AUS 7 2 14 7 11 6 12 10 3 58
Barnaby Houk
4 Mitch Booth NED 3 15 7 6 10 4 10 57 8 63
Taylor Booth
5 Gwenael Roth FRA 27 6 15 5 3 5 3 16 14 67
Thierry Monfret
6 Victorien Erussard FRA 45 3 2 23 1 2 23 14 AVG 68
Jean-Marie Bordier
7 Roderick Waterhouse AUS 8 11 8 12 18 7 7 8 10 71
Kerry Waterhouse
8 Tim Shuwalow AUS 8 1 11 7 21 40 5 7 13 73
Susan Pearce
9 Tim Cotsell AUS 9 8 11 1 7 32 16 17 5 74
Scott Babbage
10 Richard Johnston NC/
FRA
34 15 10 11 1 1 31 4 9 82
Rudolph Chichemanian
Paul Pascoe/News Editor
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