Virtually perfect wind and sea conditions gave the record turnout of 35 teams excellent and competitive racing over the weekend in the Channel Islands Hobie Cat Championships on the event’s 30th Anniversary year.
The Championships were sponsored for a fourth year running by Savills Estate Agents and hosted by the Royal Channel Islands Yacht Club. Fair weather and a constant force four westerly wind provided a buzz of anticipation as the crews rigged their boats at the Gunsite beach before putting to the water for the first of three back to back races on the Saturday morning.
Three Hobie classes were participating, H18’s Wildcats, Hobie 16’s and Hobie Dragoons Junior racing. Sunday’s conditions were equally as good even though the wind had dropped a notch, with crews enjoying the long Championship courses set by the RO and team. Overall, conditions couldn’t have been better for the 6 scheduled races to determine the winning teams in each racing category. With several top teams coming from the UK and a busy off water social programme each evening, everything was set for special weekend of Championship racing and activity.
HOBIE 16 ‘A’ FLEET CLASS
In this the largest open class with 20 teams participating, the racing was close and highly competitive, after the first day it was the reigning Hobie 16 British Champion Andrew Boyd and crew Kim Troll who were quickest around the course, winning the three races, laying second were local crews Gordon Burgis and crew Kenny Snell with sisters Elsa and Chloe Swetenham in third place, the latter teams were both on equal points. Grant Neale and Karen Larose were also in contention in fourth after the first days racing.
Sunday’s racing was just as full on, Aaron Le Cornu and Rachael Smith won the first race and then a good second, but a twelfth in race three and an unfortunate rigging failure the day before put them out of contention. Burgis and Snell led the charge posting a fourth and two firsts for the last two races which gave the veteran local team the overall win and their thirteenth class title.
Elsa and Chloe Swetenham sailed consistently well throughout to place second, Boyd and Troll were third after their higher counting scores in Sunday’s races. Ollie Voak and Megan Roworth upped their game with low points and a second in the last race on Sunday which gave them a credible fourth place a couple of points ahead of Neale and Larose in fifth, UK sailor Gavin Luxton sailing with daughter AJ raced into sixth overall after a third place in the last race.
HOBIE 16 ‘B’ FLEET
The class was dominated by Youth team, sisters Phoebe and Georgia le Marquand, this was their first multihull racing, their vast experience in dinghy racing no doubt helped them on the race course and starts to win the title. Mark Mound and Russell Boschat raced consistently well to place second with Miguel Arraya and Chloe Mattock just one point behind in third. Pete Culnane and Clive Russell came fourth, Giselle Barrowcliffe crewed by husband Charlie were a commendable fifth in their first Hobie Cat racing.
At the end of Saturday’s first day racing, Andy Hart and Michael Kinross were leading Darren Stower and Graeme Monks by just one point, however, Stower and Monks’ three bullets on the second day after virtually match racing Hart and Kinross at times, gave them the Wildcat class title, Hart and Kinross’s three second places on Sunday meant they took the runners up prize. Simon Martin racing with Henry Horton continues to hone his racing skill on the powerful Wildcat and came a deserved third overall.
Adrian Jesson and Paul Martin performed well and were laying third after the first day but not being able to race on Sunday dropped them back to fourth position. Jimmy Fullerton and Perry Stone sailed into fifth place.
The ten Junior teams racing Dragoons enjoyed fast and exhilarating sailing on these popular 3 sail 13ft catamarans over the both days of competition. Luke Paxton Garnier and Thomas Allo with two firsts and a second were fastest over the first days three races a point ahead of defending Champions Juliette and brother Russell Walton with a first and two seconds. Paxton Garnier and Allo posted another win in Sunday’s first race but a rig failure put them out of the next two races allowing the Waltons to take the Dragoon class title for the second year running.
Kyla McDonagh and Jamie le Marquand raced consistently well, their two firsts in races five and six helped them cement second place with Paxton Garnier and Allo coming third. Alf Barrowcliffe and Morgan Surcouf came just ahead of Kai Surcouf and Tamsin Ingram in fourth and fifth place respectively. Brothers Archie and Jamie Willetts with a mix of low and high points came sixth overall.
Prize Giving took place at the Royal Channel Islands Yacht Club on Sunday evening where thanks and appreciation were extended to the race team, safety boat and mark laying crews, the beach team and to Savills for their valued sponsorship of a highly successful 30th Anniversary Championships.
HOBIE 16 ‘A’ FLEET (top 6)
1st Gordon Burgis & Kenny Snell
2nd Elsa Swetenham & Chloe Swetenham
3rd Andrew Boyd & Kim Troll
4th Ollie Voak & Megan Roworth
5th Grant Neale & Karen Larose
6th Gavin Luxton & A J Luxton
HOBIE 16 ‘B’ FLEET (top 3)
1st Phoebe Le Marquand & Georgia Le Marquand
2nd Mark Mound & Russell Boschat
3rd Miguel Arraya & Chloe Mattock
HOBIE WILDCATS (top 3)
1st Darren Stower & Graeme Monks
2nd Andy Hart & Michael Kinross
3rd Simon Martin & Henry Horton
HOBIE DRAGOONS – JUNIORS (top 6)
1st Juliette Walton & Russell Walton
2nd Kyla McDonagh & Jamie Le Marquand
3rd Luke Paxton Garnier & Thomas Allo
4th Alf Barrowcliffe & Morgan Surcouf
5th Kai Surcouf & Tamsin Ingram
6th Archie Willetts & Jamie Willetts
HOBIE 16 YOUTH
Tom Hunt & Megan McDonagh
HOBIE 16 WOMENS
Elsa Swetenham & Chloe Swetenham
HOBIE 16 MASTERS
Grant Neale & Karen Larose
HOBIE 16 GRAND MASTERS
Gordon Burgis & Kenny Snell
by Gordon Burgis