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Hobie Tiger & Dragoon Worlds 2006 at Cangas, Spain - Day 4

by Jacqueline Laumans 28 Jul 2006 08:41 BST 24-28 July 2006


Close competition in Hobie Dragoon

After a sunny and breezy Thursday July 27, Mourniac/Citeau (FRA) is still in top position of the Hobie Tiger Worlds in Cangas / Spain, with runner up Vaireaux/Romain 28 points behind. In the Hobie Dragoon class, the differences are smaller. The leading team, Waterhouse/Lurati (AUS) is only three points ahead of numbers two, three and four.

As usual, the fog and the lack of wind did not allow the races to start at eleven. Around twelve, the mist had vaporised, and the Tigers could make their way to the racing course, about five nautical miles offshore. By the time they arrived, there was a steady wind of 15 knots, later increasing to 20. At the start, all teams agreed left was the way to go for less waves and more wind. In the first and third races, a few teams were too eager to take off: nine teams got an OCS. In the last races of the event, the teams are willing to take a risk, to earn those extra points they need to climb in the rankings.

Tiger: Laruffa/Heasman (AUS)

Mark Laruffa is grinning: “We’ve had a good day on the water! My first start was no good, but the second and third time I nailed it.” Laruffa came to the event without a crew, but he soon found one in Tornado sailor Ricky Heasman. The first days, they had to get used to each other, but now they are in good shape. “He’s been a good father”, Heasman jokes. “It’s great to sail with him, he’s very experienced, understands what’s going on there. Besides, he’s a quick sailor. I might sail more often with him.”

Ten Houte de Lange/van Joolen (NED)

Ysbrand ten Houte de Lange and Roland van Joolen had their best day so far. “This is the weather we need!”, the skipper says with a great smile. “We were actually disappointed that we didn’t sail a fourth race.” According to him, it weren’t tactics that made the difference today, but boat speed: “Everyone knew the left side was favourable. So you had to be fast to beat the others. Upwind we weren’t so fast, especially the last race, but downwind… I don’t know how we did it, but we passed many teams.”

The happiest man on the beach today was Nacho Botas: “The second race we had a wonderful start and were first at the upwind buoy. This wind is perfect, because we’re quite heavy. We’ve never been sailing Hobie Fox together, so I’m surprised we did so well.”

Dragoon: temperate start

The Dragoons started their day nice and easy. In the beginning, half of the teams didn’t hoist their spinnaker, because yesterday’s pitchpoles were still fresh in their memory. Puerico Velon and Bernaz Figueias won the first race. Velon: “We had a bad start, because the wind shifted 30 seconds before the signal. We were on starboard, and all the boats coming from the pin passed us. Then we tacked, and our boat speed was so good, that we were first at the top mark.”

Proud youth coach

Brian Phipps: “I´m very proud of the Spanish teams we’ve been training last week. They had hardly any experience and now they are sailing nicely and consistently with this firm wind. They did a good job. I only wish I’d had more time with them. Because we only had ten boats for thirty teams, they didn’t get much practice. If the kids had had more time with their coach on the water, they’d even been better.”

Pitchpoles galore

The last race, the wind increased to over 20 knots. The sailors were tired and capsized. One by one they returned to the beach, cold, and without finishing the race. Only five teams completed the match. Vincent Domand and Eric Chaussat were first to cross the line. Chaussat: “It was great fun! We were the only ones sailing with spinnaker, and we left the others far behind us.” Laura-Jane Carter and Thomas Harris were second. Carter: “It was very windy and the waves were huge! We chose to play safe and not hoist the spi. Otherwise we would have capsized and been last.”

Dragoons against Tigers

Tomorrow, the top five Tiger crews will compete against the Dragoon top 5 in front of the beach. The race will take place in the morning, when the wind is not too strong yet. Since all teams will sail in Hobie Dragoons, the youth might have the advantage of their weight. Eric Chaussat (FRA) feels confident: “In the Dragoon, we can beat them!” Puerico Velon (ESP) is a bit more careful: “Maybe I can learn from them.”

Hobie Tiger top 5 after 13 races and one discard:

1. Mourniac/Citeau (FRA), 26 points
2. Vaireaux/Romain (FRA), 54 points
3. Renaud de Malet/Rossollin (FRA), 60 points
4. Laruffa/Heasman (AUS), 92 points
5. Thomas/Bernier (USA), 92 points

Hobie Dragoon top 5 after 18 races and one discard:

1. Waterhouse/Lurati (AUS), 6 points
2. Domand/Chaussat (FRA), 9 points
3. Velon/Figueiras (ESP), 9 points
4. Butler/Sutcliffe (GBR), 9 points
5. Carter/Carter (GBR), 12 points

More information at

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