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30 December 2003, 10:03 pm
Rain And Strong Winds Reduce The Number Of Races
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Australian Hobie Championship
Moreton Bay, Manly

With rain squalls increasing the breeze strength, the Race Committee reduced the racing to three races today. The contrasting sailing conditions give mixed results in the Hobie Australian Championships today on Moreton Bay.
A moderate breeze for the first race gave all the competitors some great racing. During the second race of the day a rain shower, with winds gusting at over 25 knots, put the fleet in survival mode. When all the boats had finished and in the interest of safety, the Race Committee then abandoned racing for the day.

In the Tiger fleet, overnight leader Steve Fields made the first mistake of his great series with a bad tactical error. This gave Formula 18 National Champion Neville THOMPSON the first win of his series.

In the second race, newcomer to the Hobie Tiger fleet Scott SANDERLANDS had his first win in a Hobie Tiger.

While reigning Tornado World Champion and Olympic Silver Medallist Darren BUNDOCK remained consistent with a two, four finish, he was relieved that racing was cancelled. 'It was hard work out there and we probably would not have gone back out for more racing.'

The Tiger leader board is bunched tightly with the top three boats within a few points.

The Hobie 18 fleet saw David BENT win both races to take a slight lead ahead of Steve Kiely. The series is now a real battle on the race course between these two, long time Hobie 18 sailors.

Hobie 16 brothers Shane and Michael PETERSON from the Sunshine Coast have taken the top two spots in the Youth. With racing concluding tomorrow it will be a family battle to find the the ultimate winner of this class.

Taylor BOOTH still leads in the Yachting Australia selection series for the Youth team to be selected for the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship 2004 in Poland.

In the Hobie 16 Women's, Katie SPITHILL showed her skills today when she finished with two second places. Belinda ZANESCO and Donna KENNEDY have a point separating them and they are followed closely by Katie in third.

With racing concluding tomorrow the battle will be on in all the classes.
David Brookes
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