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Channel Islands Hobie Cat Championships

by Gordon Burgis on 26 Sep 2008
With a record turnout of twenty seven Hobie Cats for this years Brewin Dolphin Channel Islands Hobie Cat Championships held in St Aubins bay, all 54 participants enjoyed one of the best events ever, now in its 17th year.

Conditions were just about perfect for the two days of racing on long triangular courses set by Race Officer Ken Le Marquand. Each morning the sun came out and the wind increased to a steady force 4 to 5 N/Easterly, ready for the first race start at 9.30am. This continued throughout the 3 Championship qualifying races each day.

The keen Hobie crews were in their element, exciting starts, quick double trapezing upwind, flying reaches, at times the racing became fast and furious when the stronger gusts hit the Fleet, enabling the crews to race their Cats to the limits, but also providing some spectacular pitchpoles, which livened up the proceedings, especially for those who exceeded those limits, in their efforts to gain better positioning.

The Championships, organised by the the Royal Channel Islands Yacht Club has grown steadily over the years. This year was very much a multi Hobie class event. The Hobie 16’s received the largest entry, where 17 boats competed.

By the end of racing on Saturday, three crews were out in front and in contention for the Hobie 16 ‘A’ Fleet Trophy. Ian Cabot and daughter Zoe had set an early pace, winning race one, a course infringement in race two set them back, but they came back strongly to take race three.

Guernsey crew Ben Garnham and Jamie Hamilton showed excellent form and capitalised on some hairy port starts, with 20 odd boats bearing down on starboard right of way. Former multi C.I. Champions, veteran team, Gordon Burgis and Kenny Snell had a slow start but then improved as the racing continued.

The Cabots eventually clinched their first ‘A’ Fleet Championships win, with top results on Sunday. Garnham and Hamilton raced into second with another consistant performance on the second day. A win in the last race, cemented third place for Burgis and Snell.

The Hobie ‘B’ Fleet class was just as competitive, husband and wife team Aaron and Zoe Le Cornu excelled, winning five out of the six races to take the class trophy.

They were chased throughout by the female Youth crew of Laura Jane Carter and Stephanie Egre who came a well deserved second, they also won 1st Womans crew prize. Relative newcomers to Championship racing, Jeremy Smith and Matt Assman made the right on course decisions and handled their boat well in the challenging conditions to place third.

The powerful Hobie 18 Tiger class was dominated by former Australian World team member Darren Stower and his crew Mike Winspear. They showed a clean pair of transoms to the whole Fleet, blasting around the course on all points of sail, with five wins and one throwout race they won the Trophy comfortably and with it the ‘Open’ prize.

Former Champions Mick Doleman and Damian James came close to Stower on the donwind legs with good spi work, but couldn’t match him upwind and settled for a credible second. Andy Hart And Michael Kinross racing a Hobie Tiger for the first time after Hobie 16 campaigning, performed well, with continuous improvement as the weekend developed to come third.

The Hobie 16 ‘Masters’ class was won by Ian and Zoe Cabot. Laurence Carter and Leo Schofield were winners of the Hobie 16 ‘Youth’ class after achieving a strong third place finish in the last Hobie 16 ‘A’ Fleet race.

The Junior Hobie Dragoon class also saw close competitive racing. The relatively new young crews coped well in the fresh conditions for their first major Championships. Louis Sangan and Jonty Gales won the day with a full set of 1sts despite a capsize in one of the races.

Hannah Voak and Jamie Sunter raced well, to place second, followed by Lizzie Ferguson and Emily Miller in third who also capsized a couple of times but were determined to finish and gain a position. Emma Voak and crew Alex Tucker were awarded a special prize.

Thanks go to Ken Le Marquand and his team for the on water race management, to the ever busy guard boat crews, the beach support team and the new sponsors of the event, Brewin Dolphin, who all helped to make the event such a memorable one.

Channel Islands Hobie Cat Championships - Top 3 in each class

HOBIE 16 ‘A’ FLEET Class.
1st Ian Cabot and Zoe Cabot
2nd Ben Garnham and Jamie Hamilton
3rd Gordon Burgis and Kenny Snell

HOBIE 16 ‘B’ FLEET Class.
1st Aaron Le Cornu and Zoe Le Cornu
2nd Laura Jane Carter and Stephanie Egre
3rd Jeremy Smith and Matthew Assman

HOBIE 18 TIGER Class.
1st Darren Stower and Michael Winspear
2nd Mick Doleman and Damian James
3rd Andy Hart and Michael Kinross

HOBIE DRAGOON Class.
1st Louis Sangan and Jonty Gales
2nd Hannah Voak and Jamie Sunter
3rd Lizzie Ferguson and Emily Miller

HOBIE OPEN Class.
1st Darren Stower and Michael Winspear
2nd Mick Doleman and Damian James
3rd Ian Cabot and Zoe Cabot

HOBIE MASTERS Class.
1st Ian Cabot and Zoe Cabot
2nd Gordon Burgis and Kenny Snell
3rd Steve Duquemin and Gill Scott

HOBIE 16 YOUTH Class Winners.
Laurence Carter and Leo Schofield

HOBIE 16 LADIES Class Winners.
Laura Jane Carter and Stephanie Egre
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