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28 December 2003, 05:26 pm
Fresh Breeze Delays Start
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Australian Hobie Championship
Moreton Bay, Manly

The Race Committee delayed the start of racing when showers swept across the race course and the breeze increased to 30 knots. When the showers left the course the postpone flag went down and racing was on.
With the fresh breeze World Champion Hobie 17 sailor Steve FIELDS showed his experience in the moderate to fresh breeze. Field formally from Perth showed all the Tigers a clean stern as he raced away for a comfortably win. Brad Sumner the Hobie 18 World Champion was second.

While Olympic Silver Medallist and Tornado World Champion, Darren BUNDOCK managed 3 capsizes as he came to terms with the Moreton Bay wave patterns.

Puerto Rican sailor Pedro COLON sailed out of the Manly boat harbour and decided to retire. As Colon commented from the bar 'that was the smartest sailing decision I have made.' The former Olympian has decided it was too dangerous to risk damage on a chartered boat.

In the Hobie 16 Youth Robbie Lovig won but had some luck when race leader Michael PETERSEN'S rigging broke leaving him in front.

Taylor BOOTH finished a creditable third after a capsize. Taylor said "it was a lightning fast righting effort; we were sailing in under a minute"

Taylor leads the Yachting Australia selection for the ISAF Youth Worlds in Poland.

The Hobie 16 Women fleet decided that discretion was the better part of valour, with half the fleet staying ashore. Only former Hobie 18 World Champion Donna KENNEDY finished the racing.

While in the Hobie 18's it was tight battle between Steve KYLIE and Andrew NELSON. Kylie had the a slight lead coming into the finish but Nelson got the advantage and just managed to edge past for the narrowest of victories.

With the breeze increasing the Race Committee decided to finish early for the day much to the relief of many of the sailors.
David Brookes
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