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Wessex Resins 2019 - Pro-Set - 728x90

2019-20 Australian Hobie Cat Nationals at Jervoise Bay Sailing Club - Day 1

by Suzzi Ghent 1 Jan 16:58 GMT

The Australian championship for the Hobie class is being hosted by Jervoise Bay Sailing Club in Western Australia. Situated just south of Fremantle in the beautiful Woodman Point Regional Park, the beach location is known as an ideal venue for sailing events.

Local Mayor Logan Howlett from the City of Cockburn opened the event at the welcome party for competitors and volunteers on Monday evening and racing kicked off on Tuesday. The event organisers were pleased to have three international teams at the event. Fresh from the recent Hobie 16 World Championship, brother and sister pair Andy and Lisa Dinsdale sailing for Germany and Nicklas Heide from Denmark pairing up with Grady Redway from Geraldton in WA. The Australian events often entice the New Caledonian teams with Gaelle Ravenel and Luc Enee making the trip across this year.

WA Hobie Class president Robin Dinsdale commented that he was pleased the event has a strong international interest and is delighted with the beautiful beach venue. "It is great racing here for the Hobie sailors, unfortunately we only have representation from the Hobie 16 class this year and it has been a challenge to get teams across from the east coast so close to the world championship held in Florida. But we are delighted to have a fleet of thirty one Hobie 16's and it looks like an exciting week ahead for the sailors and supporters" said Dinsdale.

Race Officer John McKechnie held four races for day one of the championship. The morning session was raced in a light southerly wind which built through the day and challenged the teams in the afternoon.

Close competition for the front end of the pack in race one, local sailors Brad Quartermaine and Tayla Woodhead had an excellent start to the event with a second place followed by the Dinsdale's from Germany. Father and daughter team, Phil and Caitlyn Epps also fresh from the recent worlds were in fourth followed by Nicklas and Grady. The race was won by Cam Owen and Susan Ghent who had a strong start to the series.

Seasoned Hobie 16 teams Owen / Ghent and Darren Smith / Claire Bisgood battled at the front end of the pack in race two with the teams finishing in a spectacular photo finish. They remained in an exciting jostle for the win for the remaining races of the day as the building breeze began to challenge the fleet. Owen with a marginal lead over Smith after day one but still a long way to go in the series of up to sixteen races.

There were many exciting manoeuvres through the day, the best came from father and son team Paul and Tom Galloway from Esperance Bay Yacht Club with a huge nosedive, both men flying through the air off their trapezes. The photo sequence was entertaining for the crowd at the New Years Eve party that evening. Some close calls too, Epps in a tangle with another boat in race four but still managing to get back in to third place.

There are three youth teams in the competition, the New Caledonia pair leads after day one. Lachy Owen (14) and Jett Harvey (14) had a great day of racing and sit in second overall, the young novice Hobie 16 team finishing three of the races in 29th position and managing to get around the race course really well in the challenging wind.

The hotly contested Masters competition sees the top three open teams leading the fleet of nineteen and there are eight teams in the Grand Masters division, Brad and Tayla lead after day one from Phil Smyth / Mark Preedy then Rod Hodgkin / Lucy Bromell.

Competitors and volunteers can enjoy a well earned rest on New Years Day. Racing continues on 2 January with a forecast of strong southerly winds for the remaining three days.

More information at hobiecatnationals.com.au

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