June 10, 2016

Wind in the Sails

The first group of competitors in day two of the 2016 Hobie®16 World Championship semi finals took to the water late this morning due to a lack of breeze on Dapeng Bay in South Eastern China.

However, by 11:35 conditions had improved considerably and the first competitors crossed the starting line in a favourable 12kt breeze. Slightly lighter conditions held up for most of the day with pressure dropping and shifting around the clock. All in all, it was another good day of racing in light to moderate winds with a little, less blow than yesterday.

The 2007 Fiji world champion, Mick Butler from Australia, was the standout performer of the day with two convincing wins, placing him near the top of the leaderboard. Competitors who prefer strong winds are hanging out for a stiff breeze tomorrow, however, it must be said that Butler is a big wind sailor, Jervis Bay the venue for the 2014 worlds, being his home waters. So consistency across a variety of conditions is the key to success.

With only three races contested today there is not an even spread across the field, therefore, the 28 teams in race 4B which was postponed, will start off in the first race of the final day of the semis.

Competitors across the board are generally optimistic about their chances in making the finals with many surprised, yet proud that they have achieved the milestone of competing in a Hobie Open Semi Final, not an easy feat to achieve.

On the beach just prior to his second race of the day Mick Butler (AUS) said, “This is a world championships so the competition is tight, that’s the way it’s meant to be. We had a pretty good day yesterday with a 5 and a 7 finish. But we got a win this morning and that puts us back in the mix. We’ve got to go out there right now and get another top five placing to keep us in the Big Show.”

Cao Hui Bin (CHN) is the host country’s last remaining competitor. “We are very happy to be in the semi finals because coming into the event and at the beginning of racing, we were expecting nothing. We felt really privileged to be in the semi finals with the top Hobie 16 sailors and we definitely want to make it to the finals to compete against the best in the world”.

Anthony Duchatel (AUS) “ We had a great first day we picked up a 1st and a 6th but our third race was not so flash, we just couldn’t get it moving. We were 5th coming into today and we’re pretty confident of making the finals and we’re looking forward to some more sailing and a bit of stronger weather. But it’s a great place here”.

John Ped from Portland, Oregon (USA) reflected on his semis, “We were a direct entry into the semis and it’s really cool to be here. We’re sitting in the high thirties and moving up. Its really fun to be competing against such a good fleet”.

Peter Bates (AUS) just about to head out to race said, “ Hopefully we are about to get some wind, that breeze has clocked around to the south so hopefully that’s building from the sea breeze. We’ve got a second and a third so far but unfortunately we missed out on a protest last night so with one more race we’ll be able to drop that one, so here’s hoping for a good one”.

Crew Sou Ka Chun from (HKG) said, “I’m a crew, I’m 17 and I still go to school at the Hong Kong Sea School where we have normal lessons but study sailing and maritime and this is my first Hobie world championship. I am very proud to be competing for Hong Kong”.

Sixteen year old female skipper Juliette Le Tenier (NCL) said, “Today the conditions were good for us because we like it when there is strong wind and you go out on the trapeze, so we hope that the wind will become stronger as we go into the championship further, because we like strong wind and big waves like we have in New Caledonia”.

Day three tomorrow is the conclusion of the semis finals. In the evening the cut party will take place where teams that have qualified for the finals of the world championship will be announced.