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1 April 2005, 09:40 am
Puerto Rican Pair Take The Title
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2005 Hobie Tiger World Championships
Santa Barbara, USA

Enrique FIGUEROA and Jorge HERNANDEZ (PUR) won in Santa Barbara, USA after the championship went down to the wire. The Puerto Ricans narrowly claimed victory after edging out defending champions Taylor and Mitch BOOTH (AUS) and French pair Vaireaux MOANA and Petit ROMAIN in the final race.
A stunning trio of victories in races four, five and six made all the difference as FIGUEROA and HERNANDEZ clambered their way back from a DNF in race one to take victory by two points from the Taylor and Mitch BOOTH.

Father and son team Mitch and Taylor had swapped positions for this event with Taylor taking the helm over from his dad. Coming into the final day they held the lead and looked favourites to retain the title they won in Singapore last year. No-one though could match the vein of form that ISAF World Sailing Rankings number 11 in the Tornado, FIGUEROA and HERNANDEZ, hit on the final day. After some fairly innocuous results in the opening days of the competition the experienced pair hit their stride in the typical Santa Barbara weather with sun and seven to twelve knots of wind. They took victory in the first three races hauling them back up the leaderboard and meaning that if they finished above Taylor and Mitch BOOTH and MOANA and ROMAIN the title would be theirs.

Mischa HEEMSKERK and Marcelien DE KONING (NED) took their second victory of the competition in the final race, race seven. However after disqualification in race five the Dutch pair were effectively out of the battle for the top spot. In second place were American's Greg THOMAS and Jacques BERNIER, a result good enough to secure a top-five place for the home sailors.

FIGUEROA and HERNANDEZ and the Taylor and Mitch BOOTH were battling for third position in the race and first overall and eventually it was the Puerto Rican's who won out, securing the title of Hobie Tiger World Champions in the process. MOANA and ROMAIN came in sixth to finish third overall, two points behind the BOOTHs, whilst Spanish pairing Fernando ECHAVARRI and Anton PAZ finished eighth to claim fourth place overall, a repeat of their position in last week's Tornado fleet at the Princess Sofia Trophy.

The 4th Hobie Tiger World Championships at Santa Barbara Yacht Club has seen the full scale of weather conditions from nasty, bumpy and windy to pleasant smooth sailing giving tight finishes and thrilling downwind rides. Ultimately the sequence of bullets that marked the leaderboard next to the names FIGUEROA and HERNANDEZ proved the decisive blow in this year's competition.


Pos Helm Crew Nation R1A R1B R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 Pts
1 Enrique FIGUEROA Jorge HERNANDEZ PUR (45 DNF) 6 9 1 1 1 3 21
2 Taylor BOOTH Mitch BOOTH AUS 2 RDG 5 2 -13 4 6 4 23
3 Vaireaux MOANA Petit ROMAIN FRA (45 DNF) 2 8 2 3 4 6 25
4 Fernando ECHAVARRI Anton PAZ ESP 1 (16) 5 10 2 2 8 28
5 Greg THOMAS Jacques BERNIER USA 6 4 (16) 4 11 3 2 30
6 Mischa HEEMSKERK Marcelien DE KONING NED 5 17 1 5 (88 DSQ) 7 1 36
7 Mark LARUFFA Jason FARNELL ITA 5 11 10 11 5 (14) 12 54
8 John TOMKO Ian BILLINGS USA 2 18 11 8 12 (19) 9 60
9 Andrew KEAG Sam REID AUS 1 20 15 14 6 11 (26) 67
10 Larry HARTECK Alex BERNAL USA 12 1 (41) 7 14 9 37 80
ISAF. Image, Action From Wednesday:© Greg Ketterman
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