As we moved into day two of the Hobie® 16 World Championships, anticipation turned to hope and then fear as first impressions of the day’s winds appeared as though a repeat of the yesterday’s still conditions was on the cards. People stayed positive and 112 pairs of crossed fingers seemed to do the trick as the wind filled in and almost on cue, Jervis Bay delivered another sensational days sailing!
Winds began to fill in around 8:30 with sailors scrambling to get themselves prepped and on to the beach as the first boats went out at 9:00 for a 9:30 start. Race officials once again set a downwind (1GO) course that was maintained throughout the day in conditions so good a total of six races were turned around, sailing well into the early evening.
Race 1A saw 56 boats hit the water and French pre qualifiers, Benjamin Roulant and Leah Bennet, launch themselves at the start line, getting out in front and maintaining the lead from go to whoa. Guatemalans Jason Hessand and Irene Abascal battled it out with Trine Bentzen and Nicola Bjornholt from Denmark for next in line succeeding to take second, leaving third for the Danes.
New Caledonians, Jerome Le Gal and Marco Lazzetta were first off the start line but were taken by West Australians Cam Owen and Suzzi Ghent who would go on to win, securing their first victory in the Semi-Finals. The New Caledonians would go on to take third after second was taken by Australians Jerome Binder Deb Muller from New South Wales.
Winds continued to fill in to 10–12 knots and Thai competitors Damrongsak Vongtim and Kitsada regrouped after taking 22nd in race 1 and came back to take victory in race 2A, they were followed closely by Australians Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanine from News South Wales in second and French competitors Martin Orion and Hilliard Charlotte in third.
Race 2B saw Koreans Keunsoo Kim and Minjae Song take advantage of the moderate breeze to fly off the line and lead all the way to the finish. The pair were tailed in second all the way by Tahitians Rousseau Manu and Djenadi Elise with Trine Bentzen and Nicola Bjornholt from Denmark not far behind, picking up third.
56 boats returned to the water to see Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin (AUS) again in the top three, this time leading wire to wire and taking first, They were followed closely by New Caledonians Thomas Dupont and Lauren Hautier (NC) With fellow Australians and New South Welshmen, Jerome Binder and Deb Muller taking home third.
Late in the day the boats went out one last time to make for the biggest day of the Hobie 16 World Championships so far. After a black flag postponement the racers kicked it into gear with New Caledonians Jerome Le Gal and Marco Iazzetta taking the top spot followed by Martin Orion and Hilliard Charlotte from France and fellow New Caledonians Enguerrand Thomas and Cyriaque Thomas taking out third.
With six races sailed, the splitting of the fleet and the addition of the pre qualified Semi-Finalists we have seen a new set of names arrive in the top ten, whether this is skill or the shifty conditions taking some by surprise we will see. One thing is for sure though, consistency is the key! If you can manage to keep yourself in the top ten, you are most definitely in with a chance to take the crown!
The overall standings at the end of day two of the semifinals are:
The good weather looks set to continue tomorrow with sun and 28ºC and winds expected to freshen to 15–20 knots, in what could hopefully see a repeat of today’s sailing.