A flat, glassy calm sea with virtually no wind greeted the Hobie crews as they rigged their boats in sizzling 30 degree heat at the Gunsite beach on Saturday morning, ready for the first of six Championship races over two days, three scheduled for each day.
A light south easterly breeze soon developed, allowing Race Officer Mike Winspear and his team to start the Hobie 16 Class after a short delay. The boats sailed the course only to fall into a tricky no wind zone near the finish with boats at the rear catching up the leaders. The RO made a decision to leave it an hour before abandoning the race, around 10 minutes to go the first Hobie 16 crept over the finish line in nothing more than a zephyr of wind with the rest of the Fleet following. The wind continued to pick up to a force 3 from the south enabling all Hobie classes to race and enjoy a great first day on the water. On Sunday the temperature had dropped a few degrees and the wind changed direction, coming from north the west at a steady 12 occasionally 14kts, producing excellent racing conditions, providing a fitting end to a great Championship weekend.
Hobie 16 ‘A’ Fleet Class
In this the largest class entry, by the end of the first day’s three races it was shaping up for the three leading boats to be in contention for the class title, Gordon Burgis and crew Kenny Snell had posted two firsts and a third to give them the lead, visiting UK helm and former Australian Champion, Gavin Luxton and his crew Miguel Arraya were following with two seconds and a third, just behind were Youth team Elsa Swetenham and Ollie Voak who had scored a first in the last race of the day. Another first for Swetenham and Voak in the start of Sundays racing gave them a positive chance for the top spot, but Burgis and Snell charged back with two firsts in the last two races to claim their 12th C.I. title. Swetenham and Voak, Luxton and Arraya ended the competition on equal points with the Youth team taking second place on countback, pushing Luxton and Arraya in to a credible third. Good performances were put in by Grant Neale and Karen La Rose, Stuart McCue crewed by his wife Gina and Fireball helm Charlie Cadin and crew Tom Blackstone sailing a Hobie 16 for the first time, all sailed into commanding positions at times.
Hobie 16 ‘B’ Fleet Class
The class was dominated by Hobie 16 Youth team, Gemma Newman and Megan McDonagh they were the decisive winners in the class, also winning the Women’s Team Prize in the process. Nick Holt sailing with Yvonne Winspear placed second.
Hobie Wildcats and Tiger Combined
Both classes were on similar handicaps, the racing was tight with the boats making full use of their spinnakers on the downwind and reaching legs. Andy Hart crewed by Mick Doleman on Saturday and Michael Kinross on Sunday set the pace in the first three races on their Wildcat showing two firsts and a second at the close of play first day. Adrian Jesson and Paul Martin also on a Wildcat accelerated off the start line on Sunday achieving two wins and a second overall. This put both teams on equal points, it went to countback, Harts and Kinrosses first in the last race of the event, enabled them to take the honours in the class, with Jesson and Martin coming second. Graeme Monks racing his Hobie Tiger for the first time crewed by Julian Adamson on Saturday and Steve Longstaffe on Sunday sailed consistently well over the two days to give them third overall.
Hobie Dragoon Class
Racing was very close and exciting for the Junior teams competing on the Hobie Dragoons. Luke Paxton Garnier and Annie Brownlee were on Luke’s new Dragoon ‘Usain Boat,’ the name proved prophetic as they were the top team registering six impressive wins, giving them the overall title. Juliette and brother Russell Walton showing continuing improvement over the weekend were hot on their transoms, counting four seconds and a third, giving them second place. Kyla McDonagh helming her first Championships with new crew Eddie Hotton performed well, counting threes plus a second place, providing them with a well deserved third. Other teams showing promise were new comers Jude Sale and Will Brasher in fourth and Else Blakeley and Lena Holden who came fifth.
The Prize Giving presentation took place at host club, the Royal Channel Islands Yacht Club on Sunday evening, where thanks and appreciation were given to the race team, safety boat and mark laying crews, the beach team and to Savills for their valued second year sponsorship of a highly successful Championships. Trophies were presented by Geri O’Brien, Director of Savills Jersey.
HOBIE 16 ‘A’ FLEET CLASS (Top 6)
1st Gordon Burgis & Kenny Snell
2nd Elsa Swetenham & Ollie Voak
3rd Gavin Luxton & Miguel Arraya
4th Grant Neale & Karen Larose
5th Stuart & Gina McCue
6th Charlie Cadin & Tom Blackstone
HOBIE 16 ‘B’ FLEET (Top 2)
1st Gemma Newman & Megan McDonagh
2nd Nick Holt & Yvonne Winspear
HOBIE WILDCATS & TIGERS COMBINED (Top 3)
1st Andy Hart & Mick Doleman/Michael Kinross
2nd Adrian Jesson & Paul Martin
3rd Graeme Monks & Julian Adamson/Steve Longstaffe
HOBIE DRAGOON CLASS, JUNIORS:
1st Luke Paxton Garnier & Annie Brownlee
2nd Juliette Walton & Russell Walton
3rd Kyla McDonagh & Eddie Hotton
HOBIE 16 YOUTH:
Elsa Swetenham & Ollie Voak
HOBIE 16 WOMEN’S
Gemma Newman & Megan McDonagh
HOBIE 16 MASTERS:
Gavin Luxton & Miguel Arraya
HOBIE 16 GRAND MASTERS:
Gordon Burgis & Kenny Snel
by Gordon Burgis