A field of the world’s best Hobie Cat sailors battled it out on Dapeng Bay in China on the first day of competition in the two day finals series, at the 2016 Hobie 16 World Championship.
Coming into the series some competitors were simply expecting light to moderate breezes and nothing more, while others had their hopes up for strong monsoonal wind in the finals. Yesterday those with high hopes had their prayers answered and the solid pressure on the water didn’t just come from their competition.
Race one of the finals started in a moderate 12kt to 14kt breeze, similar to the faster racing during the semi-final series. But in race two heavy downpours and low visibility produced some testing conditions. Nobody cared about the rain because with it came wind, wind that blasted across the water producing some superb conditions with wind between 18 to 23kts, which made for an amazing race.
The finals produced real intensity on the starting line with some unexpected tactical manoeuvring which created havoc for some and Black Flags for others. Everything imaginable happened on the water, there was absolutely brilliant sailing, lucky changes in fortune, amazing skill, screaming and yelling and just some awesome racing. The fierce competition and rivalry of the high quality fleet, and some incredible weather made for a real spectacle.
When interviewed Daniel Bjornholt Christensen from Denmark said that the worlds is about skill, making the right decisions, making the most of other team’s mistakes and having a lot of luck go your way. He said it’s about what happens on the day, and the weather, and if he had his way he would want strong winds through the finals. Yesterday, Daniel got everything he desired and moved to the top of the leaderboard.
Rod Waterhouse (AUS) the leader going into the finals dropped off to 8th place. Mick Butler (AUS) jumped from 5th to 2nd, 8 points behind the Dane. Fletcher Warren-Mayers (AUS) and Benjamin Brown (USA) are sitting in equal third trailing Butler by another 4.