Under cloudy skies and varied conditions the first day of the Hobie Grand Masters, Hobie Women’s and Hobie Youth series' got under way in what turned into a fantastic day for catamaran sailing.
The Hobie Youth and Hobie Women’s classes were first out on the race course to start these championships which in turn saw the Hobie Grandmasters class sail in the afternoon. With four sets of sails for the event boats during the championships, the Women’s class had the hot coloured sails in red and yellow leaving the cool green and blue for the youth.
The Hobie Youth class was first to start followed by the Women class in the start sequence, both sailing on the same 1GO course with the windward mark set at 0.8 nautical miles from the start boat. The winds started out at 6-8 knots however after a major wind shift, the race committee decided to abandon the race, re-set the course and restart the race. When the winds settled it gave sailors perfect sailing conditions with the wind filling in with a 10-15 knots breeze from the SSE direction.
In race one the Hobie Youth class were away in an all clear start with Guy Birchall and Tayla Woodhead from Australia taking the lead to the first weather mark only to be passes on the way down to the gates by Daniel Bjornholt and Felix Grech from Sweden. Daniel Bjornholt and Felix Grech from Sweden held onto the lead until the finish with Australians, Guy Birchall and Tayla Woodhead taking second and Paul Darmanin and Lucy Copeland also from Australia coming in third.
Race number one in the Hobie Women’s class saw the Australian women doing well with Michelle Bursa and Chelsea Haynes getting a good start coming out in the lead however were caught by fellow Australians Bella Zanesco and Jesse Dobie who went on to victory with Pip Pietromonaco and Josie Mark coming in third.
Race number two for the Hobie youth saw Daniel Bjornholt and Felix Grech from Denmark lead wire to wire to take first place followed by Thomas Dupont and Lauren Hautier from New Caledonia with Australians Paul Darmanin Lucy Copeland taking out third.
The Australian women came through with the goods again in race number two with Michelle Bursa and Chelsea Haynes in the lead straight out of the gates and holding on to the finish with Pip Pietromonaco and Josie Mark pulling off second and Bella Zanesco and Jesse Dobie taking up third.
On completion of the first two races of the Women’s and Youth the boats were returned to the beach for the Grand Masters skippers and crews to prepare and sail out to the race course.
Race one of the Hobie Grand Masters was set to a 1GO course with the windward mark set at 1.0 nautical mile from the start boat which saw winds of 16-18 knots at 115º which made perfect sailing conditions.
Yui Shing Tong and Wai Sing Bendy Lee from Hong Kong were first to the A mark but Australians Rod and Kerry Waterhouse took the lead on the first downwind leg and carried on to take first followed by Blaine Dodds and Thorin Zeilmaker from South Africa taking out second and Anthony Duchatel and Evelyn Curtis (Australia) taking out third.
In race number two, past Hobie champions took first second and third. Australians Kerli Corlett and Ali Corlett lead wire to wire for the win followed by fellow Australians Rod and Kerry Waterhouse in second with South Africans Blaine Dodds and Thorin Zeilmaker picking up third.
Racing continues this morning with boat allocations at 8:30 for a 10:00 start.