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12 October 2002, 10:32 am
Final Report
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Greg Thomas/Jacques Bernier (USA)

North American Hobie Cat Championship
Fort Walton Beach, Florida

Sailors awoke to glassy conditions on the final day of racing in the North American Hobie Mega Championships. This was the last part of three essential regattas that started on 4 October.
The North American "Mini" and "Pan Am" regatta comprising the Hobie 16 youth, the Hobie 16 Women's, the Hobie 14, and the Hobie Wave classes sailed first followed by the "Mega" regatta that featured the Hobie Tiger, Hobie 20, Hobie 18, Hobie 17 and the Hobie 16 classes.

The Mega event had competitors from 11 countries, including Europe, Australia, and several South American countries. Additionally the event will qualify the teams to represent the USA, Canada and some of the South American countries for the Pan American games. Over 230 competitors enjoyed this week long regatta in true Hobie party fashion.

Enrique Figueroa from Puerto Rico was the clear winner over Santa Rosa California sailor Mike Montague and Armando Noriega Jr. from Mexico in the Hobie 16 class. Dan Ward from Princeton Junction New Jersey sailed well after race six to dominate the Hobie 17 class over local Ft. Walton Beach Florida sailor Bill Whitehurst and Greg Raybon from Shrewbury, New Jersey who finished up in third.

Greg Thomas and Jacques Bernier from San Diego California blitzed the field in the Hobie Tiger class with 6 firsts and a fourth for a discard out of 11 races held. Greg was heard after the presentation saying "We have worked hard on our boat speed and Jacques is slowly learning how to get the kite up and down. We also had some technical help with mast set up from the Australian Hobie factory which really made the difference." Eustis Florida sailor Alex Shafer ended up second overall while the "ex-Tiger guru" and Hobie Cat Europe employee Gavin Colby could only manage a third. It appears that Gavin will have to move back to Australia to learn a few things.

San Antonio Texas sailor John Tomko held off a late charging Brian Lambert and Wayne Mooneyham to win the Hobie 20 Class. Ken Marshack from Fairview Oregon showed everyone how to sail a Hobie 18 with a clear victory over Belmarin Keys California sailor Tim Parsons in second and Steve Attard in third.

The final results were based on Thursdays sailing despite attempts from the race committee to have a few more races

Steve Fields/ISAF News Editor
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