|MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA-(1-3-2005) The Hobie 17 and 18 World Championships, the Hobie Tiger Australian Championship and Australian Hobie 16 Championships finished at Port Melbourne Yacht Club today.
Brad Sumner/Belinda Walkom (AUS) have walked away with the Hobie 18 World Championship, winning every single race of the13 race series, Sumner having no trouble defending his crown. The pair has the distinction of being named one of the first two sailing World Champions for 2005.
The second crowned World Champion today, local talent Aaron Worrall won the Hobie 17 crown from Dan Kulkoski (USA) and Greg Raybon (USA).
Racing got underway at the Sail Melbourne event just after 10.00am this morning in a 17 knot breeze which dwindled down to 12-14 knots towards the end of the race and continued that way, shifting at times and patchy.
NSW filled the top three places in the 18’s and whilst Sumner had the game sewn up, beating second placed Andrew Nelson/Don McPhee (AUS) by a massive 57 points and third placed father and son Richard and Michael Quinn (AUS) by 58 points, at least the latter two battled hard for minor podium places.
In the case of Worrall, life was more difficult as the two American’s kept him on his toes finishing second and third. Both he and second placed Dan Kulkoski (USA) did not start in the final Race 13, the affable American conceding defeat and shaking hands with Worrall as the two reached the beach.
Kulkoski, who sailed at the Worlds at Sail Melbourne in 1999, where he finished second to Australian Steve Fields, was philosophical about his loss. ‘Aaron beat me the last time we met, so his win here in his home town wasn’t exactly a surprise. It was great sailing here and great to have someone as good as Aaron to sailing against.’
‘I think I am the highest placed American for a (Hobie) Worlds, which is great. I beat Greg here, but he beat me at the North American’s – we trade off a bit, we sail from the same club at home,’ said Kulkoski from New Jersey. Greg Raybon (USA) completed the top three, finishing
Sydney 2000 Olympic Silver medal winner in the Tornado class, Darren Bundock sailing with girlfriend Alex Goltz (AUS) stole the Tiger Australian Championship title from under the nose of the locals, Mark Laruffa/David Silvester (AUS), while Queenslanders Neville Thompson/Shamus Stevens (AUS) finished third, some 23 points behind the Bundock Volvo team.
Laruffa had a hold on the series until Race 6, winning the first three races and staying ahead of Bundock, but the latter took control from that time on, winning every race but one, in which he finished second.
Coming ashore, Bundock said, ‘we were the only ones using a compass today and we got all the shifts right. It was a tough series, not easy by any means. It also proves that women can successfully sail a Tiger.’
Bundock and Goltz will next sail together at the Hobie 16 Australian and Asia Pacific Championships starting in two days time. ‘It’s the first time I will have sailed on a Hobie 16,’ commented Goltz who will go home to Germany shortly to start her Yngling Olympic campaign with friend and fellow Berliner, Ulrike Schuemann.
For Laruffa, it was disappointment. While he was happy enough with his second place, Laruffa commented, ‘I wish they had left some racing till this afternoon when the wind was forecast to blow a bit harder – and it did. I much prefer those conditions.’
In the Hobie 16 Australian Youth Championships non-spinnaker division, French sailors have taken the top three places, Jerome Legal the defending champion, with Clement Merzeau crewing, never looked threatened from the first day, winning from Brice Pelen/Elliot Carpin by 12 points, then came Sebastien Eyssartier in third place.
In the Youth spinnaker division, Taylor Booth/Bridget Waterhouse succeeded in doing what Booth wanted after starting the series slowly. They won every race but one after Race 4, after trailing second overall placegetters, Evan Walker/Kyle Langford (AUS). Booth is the son of multiple Olympian Mitch Booth who now sails for The Netherlands.
Clear winner in the Womens Hobie was defending champion Pamela Noriega, sailing with new crew Andrea Mier Y Teran (MEX). The pair beat Belinda Zanesco/Karen Todd (AUS) by 13 points, but Noriega said today, ‘it was a lot tougher than it appears on paper. Belinda was always there pushing me and she did beat us twice.
‘I loved sailing here. This is my first time. I loved the waves and big wind – at home we sail on a lake and it does not get much wind and is flat. I love the big winds and this club put on a great regatta and everyone is very friendly and helpful. I want to say thank you for that,’ Noriega said.
Third place went to Naomi Angwin/Fiona Douglas (AUS), some 22 points behind Noriega.
Kerli and Ali Corlett had little trouble in the Hobie 16 Masters, winning most races. They beat Bruce Tardrew/Sarah Turnbull (AUS) and third placed Murray and Katie Peterson (AUS).
‘We had a great series and glad we won. We had strong competition from Bruce and Murray, but thought Grahame Southwick would give us more trouble. We’ll go to the Worlds later in the year and have another go then,’ said Ali from Sydney.
Thanks to Steve Field from Hobie Cat Australasia who spent every day at the Championships repairing damages and making sure boats made it back onto the water as quickly as possible. A number would not have the results they do had he not been in attendance.
Thanks go to Port Melbourne Yacht Club with all their volunteers and Sail Melbourne for putting on a great event.
Final Provisional Results:
1 Brad Sumner/Belinda Walkom AUS 12
2 Andrew Nelson/Don McPhee AUS 69
3 Richard Quinn/Michael Quinn AUS 70
1 Aaron Worrall AUS 28
2 Dan Kulkoski USA 37
3 Greg Raybon USA 47
1 Darren Bundock/Alexandra Goltz AUS 21
2 Mark Laruffa/Dave Silvester AUS 27
3 Neville Thompson/Shamus Stevens AUS 44
Hobie 16 Womens:
1 Pamela Noriega/Andrea Mier Y Teran MEX 19
2 Belinda Zanesco/Karen Todd AUS 24
3 Naomi Angwin/Fiona Douglas AUS 41
Hobie 16 Masters:
1 Kerli Corlett/Ali Corlett AUS 15
2 Bruce Tardrew/Sarah Turnbull AUS 30
3 Murray Peterson/Katie Peterson AUS 44
Hobie 16 Youth with spinnaker:
1 Taylor Booth/Bridget Waterhouse AUS 17
2 Evan Walker/Kyle Langford AUS 22
3 Jonathon English/Kurt Griffiths AUS 46
Hobie 16 Youth non-spinnaker:
1 Jerome Legal/Clement Merzeau FRA 21
2 Brice Pelen/Elliot Carpin FRA 33
3 Sebastien Eyssartier/Maxime Cardarelly FRA 41