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Rubicon (Jersey) Channel Islands Hobie Cat Championship

by Gordon Burgis on 31 Aug 2016 27-28 August 2016
Hobie 16s at A mark during the Rubicon (Jersey) Channel Islands Hobie Cat Championships © Bill Harris

The Championships race venue, St. Aubin's Bay, was a blaze of colour from the bright Hobie Cat sails on a sunny and cloudless first day of racing last Saturday morning. The light wind offered no more than 5 knots, with the crews focused on keeping their boats moving in the somewhat glassy sea conditions.

With the promise of more wind the following day, Race Officer Elaine Burgis and the Race Team put on two races with the decision to run four the next day to make up the six Championship races for the three Hobie classes participating in the event, a decision much welcomed by the crews. Sundays conditions were the complete opposite with a fresh south westerly wind gusting to 25kts, which also saw good wave action, providing the racing teams with exciting sailing, especially on the fast reaching legs with more than enough thrills and spills for those in the less experienced Hobie 16 'B' Fleet. All in all, the weekend gave a fitting challenge for crews in the events special 25th Anniversary year.

HOBIE 16 'A' FLEET CLASS

Stuart McCue and Sandra Coleman were leading this the largest entry class after the first day just ahead of Gordon Burgis and crew Kenny Snell. Youth helm Ollie Voak sailing with Ania Baraniak and Grant Neale and Karen La Rose were equal 3rd after two races. The 'A' Fleet revelled in the windier conditions the next day, Mc Cue a top South African helm who has raced with the local Fleet for many years, kept the pressure on with low pointing scores, including a first. Multiple winners of the class in previous years, Burgis and Snell upped the ante, firing two firsts on the Sunday, at the end of racing both crews ended on an equal 10 points each. Mc Cue and Coleman shaded it on count back and were popular first time winners of the Trophy. Neale and Larose improved performance on the Sunday, placing first in race 5 helped them to stay ahead of Voak and Baraniak to place a well deserved third, ahead of the latter team who were sailing together for the first time, they had set the pace with a spectacular win in the first race of the Championships on Saturday. Combined Youth H16 team winners, Tom Newman and Bart Wijsmuller were sailing fast in the latter stages and placed just one point behind in fifth.

HOBIE 16 'B' FLEET CLASS

The class was also highly competitive, the new pairing of Mike Dudek and Kasis Slomion put in a credible performance on the Saturday, which made the difference taking the class by just one point from the women's team of Lucy Chapman and Meredith Richards whose lighter weight helped them on the first day, but worked against in the stronger wind on Sunday, where both teams handled the conditions well. Newcomer Paul Smigla sailing with Thomas Harris found both days challenging, although they managed to achieve an excellent third place and gained much from the experience of taking part.

HOBIE TIGER & WILDCAT COMBINED

With both classes on similar handicap they raced together. After the first day light conditions, it was the Jersey teams Andy Hart and Michael Kinross on their Wildcat who were leading the pack with a first and second, Darren Stower and Graeme Monks also on a Wildcat were in second from a first and fourth place, followed by Adrian Jesson and Paul Martin also on 5 points.

This was all to change the next day, which saw the previous year's winners, Guernsey team, Benn Garnham and Jamie Hamilton on a Hobie Tiger mounting a serious challenge in the stronger wind conditions, they virtually dominated every race, posting four impressive firsts in the process and retained the Trophy. Hart and Kinross were 3 points behind them in second place, Stower and Monks did well to come third after experiencing an unwelcome rig failure on the second day.

HOBIE DRAGOON CLASS

Racing was very tight amongst the junior teams racing the Dragoons. Declan Flambard and Megan McDonagh along with Tom Hunt and Theodore Kembery led Saturdays racing, both with three points apiece. Again Sundays racing saw a change of front runners in the increased wind speed, this time it was Elsa Swetenham crewed by Finlay Arenz and Gemma Newman with Else Blakeley who set the pace with Swetenham and Arenz winning the class by one point from Newman and Blakeley who placed second on countback, they were on equal points with Flambard and Mcdonagh who came third. Hunt and Kembery were fourth after suffering a capsize which put them out of contention.

The Prize Giving Presentation took place at the RCIYC on Sunday evening, where thanks and appreciation were expressed to the Race team, Safety boat and mark laying crews, the Beach team and to Rubicon (Jersey) for their valued sponsorship of a highly successful 25th Anniversary Championships.

Overall Results:

HOBIE 16 'A' FLEET CLASS (first 6)
1st Stuart McCue & Sandra Coleman
2nd Gordon Burgis & Kenny Snell
3rd Grant Neale & Karen Larose
4th Ollie Voak & Ania Baraniak
5th Tom Newman & Bart Wijsmuller
6th Leo Marshall & Jeremy Swetenham

HOBIE 16 'B' FLEET (first 3)
1st Mike Dudek & Kasia Slomion
2nd Lucy Chapman & Meredith Richards
3rd Paul Smigla & Thomas Harris

HOBIE TIGER & WILDCAT COMBINED (first 6)
1st Benn Garnham & Jamie Hamilton
2nd Andy Hart & Michael Kinross
3rd Darren Stower & Graeme Monks
4th Adrian Jesson & Paul Martin
5th Rob Moy & Mick Doleman
6th Jimmy Fullerton & Perry Stone

HOBIE DRAGOONS
1st Else Swetenham & Finlay Arenz
2nd Gemma Newman & Anna Littlefield/Else Blakeley
3rd Declan Flambard Megan McDonagh
4th Tom Hunt & Theodore Kembery/Wilf Kemberery

HOBIE 16 MASTERS
Stuart McCue & Sandra Coleman

HOBIE 16 GRAND MASTERS
Gordon Burgis & Kenny Snell

HOBIE 16 WOMEN'S
Rachael Morris & Sam Flambard

HOBIE 16 YOUTH
Tom Newman & Bart Wijsmuller

HOBIE 16 NOVICE
Paul Smigla & Thomas Harris

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