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Fiji Hobie 16 World Titles, Wind, Rain & No Sun

by Nick Price on 17 Oct 2007
Crowded at the top mark - Fiji - 2007 Hobie 16 Open World Titles SW
Day 2 of Semi Final Action

The titles are well and truly underway with 4 races completed on day 2 of the Open Semi Finals. The Aussies are doing well overall with 4 in the top 10.

Mick Butler (10 & 1), Aaron Worrall (2 & 9), Peter Bates (4 & 6) & Jason Waterhouse (9 & 3).Jerome LeGal (FRA) leads the way with a (1 & 2), but he had a 23rd in race 5. Unless the other top 10 contenders have a bad race in their 3rd or 4th races, Jerome will tumble out of the top 10.

Overall results are not updated until an even number of races have been sailed by all competitors. After the 3rd day's sailing, it will be more evident who is a contender and who is a pretender.

Open Semi Finals - Race 2

After an even start in SE winds of 6-8 knots, it was evident one side of the course was favoured, because there was no wind on the right side at all! Worrall won the start with LeGal, Bates & Belinda Hayward hot on their sterns as they rounded the weather mark for the first time. As the mid packers approached the mark, those that over cooked the lay line went 5-6 boats wide round the mark to miss the preceding mess and over took 3-6 boats at a time.

Down wind, LeGal got a few puffs of wind extra and headed Worrall, then Locke (Aus) who had come from 10th at the weather mark, Batesy, Binder (Aus), Hayward (RSA) and Mayer (Fra). It stayed the same order to the 2nd Weather mark and ultimately to the finish. Legal crossed some 400m in front of Worrall, who had 4 boats within 30 metres of him at the finish.

Darren Smith (AUS) had finished 10th, but was over the line early to record a 57th place On Course Start (OCS). His crew young Natalie Hill from Perth was shattered, 'I've gone from being really happy to very sad in one look of the notice board. There had to be more over than us surely!'. Welcome to the World Titles Nat, its harsh and brutal in the top fleet. Nat's story was to be repeated through out the day.

1st Jerome LeGal (FRA)
2nd Aaron Worrall (AUS)
3rd Andrew Locke (AUS)
4th Peter Bates (AUS)
5th Jerome Binder (AUS)

Open Semi Finals - Race 3

With a quick turnaround for changing boats for half the crews in race 2, it was a mad scramble to check your first boat, then get your second boat set up again.

The wind had picked up to 10-12 knots by the time the boats hit the water for the second race. It was a magnificent site as 56 wound up skippers and sunshine hitting the fleet as they hit the line for race 3. Again Worrall and Butler had a glamour start, right in the middle of the line, in clean air and gassing it for all it was worth with one out on wire.

When tacking onto port for the first time, the fun and games started. 5 boats behind and to windward of the 2 Aussies picked up on a lift, started twin trapping and blasted off. Three boats, 50m below them got the same lift and rocketed to the top mark. 'We just got blown away,' said a dejected Worrall. 'They were both out & we had only one and got smashed all the way to the weather mark. That plus we were a little under powered when the wind blew. Mick just got into the lift, we missed it and we struggled from there.'

The Aussies went round the top mark outside the top ten, and struggled to just break inside it for the rest of the race. Out front Fiji's Greame 'Fish' Southwick gave the locals some extra pride by rounding in top position. The crowd on the beach erupted when the top mark roundings were announced. Fish has put a lot of effort, time and money in getting these World Titles to Fiji and it was great to see!

Behind Fish, the placings to the weather mark were; Lance Wood (Aus), Garth Loudon (RSA), Butler, Ken Hilk (USA), Ingo Delius (GER), Ken Nelson (USA), David Kryut (NGR) Renuad (FRA) and Pennaneac'h (FRA) with Worrall in 11th.

Down wind, the placings were pretty much the same in the top 11 by the time they got to the windward mark the second time, Butler was in 1st, Loudon in second, Fish in 3rd place followed by Renaud, Deluis, Hilk, a rapid Bates & Wood. All eight boats were within 2 boat lengths of the following boat, downwind tactics could pay a part in the final result, but to no avail, the boats finished in that order with a very happy Butler saluting the judges for the first time.

Disappointment was written all over the face of Garth Loudon's young son & crews face later on the beach. They had crossed the finish line in second, much to the 13 year olds delight, but were adjudged to have started prematurely and were given an OCS and 57th.

Result Race 3

Mick Butler AUS 1
Grahame Southwick FIJ 2
Christophe Renaud FRA 3
Ingo Delius GER 4
Ken Hilk USA 5
Peter Bates AUS 6
Lance Wood AUS 7
Francisco Figueroa PUR 8
Arron Worrall AUS 9
Robbie Lovig AUS 10

Open Semi Finals - Race 4

With the wind dying out again, those who had a clean getaway form the line were able to hold their advantage all the way. The race committee are setting short courses (0.7nm windward legs) and the races are over inside 40 minutes. Most racers don't mind the short courses, but would prefer the races to be longer. Perhaps the race committee will switch thinking when the Final 56 are chosen and they won't need to change boats every race on the beach.

Leff Dahl from Sweden led them round the top mark the first time and was never headed. A great result for the Swede. Jerome LeGal continued on his merry way with a solid 2nd, with young Aussie Tyro Jason Waterhouse cracking another top 10 finish with a 3rd. His confidence is high after winning the Youth World Titles, and with dad Rod on board giving advice when not asked, Jason is a star to watch in the near future.

It was good to see Sam Wood, Andrew Keag & Mal Gray cracking the top 15 after a bad first race. These Aussies need a few good races to secure the top 56 berth in the Finals.


Leff Dahl SWE 1
Jérôme LeGal Obert 2
ason Waterhouse AUS 3
amie Roberts AUS 4
Damrongsak Vongtim THA 5
Pedro Colon PUR 6
Enrique Figueroa PUR 7
Julien Villion FRA 8
Sam Wood AUS 9
Mike Montague USA 10
Thorin Zeilmaker NED 11
Blaine Dodds RSA 12
Marie Duvignac FRA 13
Andrew Keag AUS 14
Mal Gray AUS 15

Open Semi Finals - Race 5
The rain started to come off the mountains, into the prevailing wind at the start of the final race of the day. A surprise winner in Saba from Venezuela greeting Brookesy on the last down winder. Mick Butler continued kept his great regatta going with a fine 2nd and young Barney Houk followed crew Jasmine over the line in 3rd place. Barney was a solid 3rd the whole race, chasing down Mick in the last leg as the breeze picked up, but just failed to grab what would have been a fantastic 2nd place.Tim Shuwalow finally shook of his hoodoo and grabbed 4th place, after being outside the top 10 at the top mark the first time. Former Hobie 14

World Champ, Thorin Zeilmaker from Holland finally got his regatta going with a solid 8th. It was a nervous wait for the top competitors as the word filtered through that there were 5 boats OCS. In the end, none of the top 20 were effected so the results stood.

Fletcher Warren & his bride to be, Georgie Meyer from NZ finally climbed into the top 10 with 7th, but the NZ Qualified sailor has a long road to make the cut after a 38th & 15th in earlier races. Top Kiwi is the team of Garth Stewart and Andrea Falwasser in equal 11th overall.

Yamil Saba VEN 1
Mick Butler AUS 2
Barnaby Houk AUS 3
Tim Shuwalow AUS 4
Jason Waterhouse AUS 5
Ulf Hahn GER 6
Fletcher Warren NZL 7
Thorin Zeilmaker NED 8
Bjoern Quakernack GER 9
Louis Mayer FRA 10
Brice Pelen FRA 11
Thomas Richards FRA 12
Kiki Figueroa PUR 13
Javier Cabildo MEX 14
David Kruyt NGR 15
Jason Hess GUA 16
Tim Cotsell AUS 17
Andrew McKenzie AUS 18
Steve Leo USA 19
Murray P

Raymarine AUS 2018 Aug - Axiom - FooterKYC - Baltic AUS 660 Lifejackets SwedenSilverFern_660x82px_v1

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