Memebers of the Volvo RYA National and Development Cat Squad competed in the Hobie Cat open event in Bognor last weekend

Memebers of the Volvo RYA National and Development Cat Squad competed in the Hobie Cat open event in Bognor over the weekend of the 22-23 September.

Fresh from their training camp, the teams were keen to test their skills against the rest of the fleet in some stronger winds. The seven-strong Dragoon fleet impressed both the older sailors and potential young converts enjoying the freedom of catamaran sailing as much as the racing.

Six youth Hobie 16 teams competed in the open class from the newly announced Volvo RYA National and Development Squad fleet. Three races were sailed the first day in light testing conditions which brought back memories of the recent national championship, where tide and wind shifts were hard to read. In the Dragoon fleet the team of Tom Phipps / Jonathan Cook put in an impressive two firsts but other teams of Ben Mansfield / Ben Hinks, Andrew / Chris Taylor were always hot on their heels and sometimes in front.

In the Hobie 16 fleet Mike Thomson / Matt Quaife, Ben Cutler / Chris Clarke both had wins and stayed in the top five making the first day’s points very close.

Day two saw a substantial increase in wind, Force 4 gusting 5 offshore Those Hobie 16 sailors with strong wind experience revelled in the relatively flat water and the gate style course, while the less experienced teams had their first taste of Hobie16s under full power, but not always in control!

In the Dragoon fleet, similar skills were being experienced for the first time, Phipps / Cook, who had sailed their boat the longest, pulled away consistently from the pack through good boat handling and strong wind practice. Other teams came to the front of the fleet such as Richard Deyes / Sam Phelps recording a second in one of the races.

Brian Phipps, RYA National Youth Multihull Coach was on hand to support the teams and see how they performed. Given that many of the teams are new to both squads he was pleased with the progress teams are making and can see a lot of potential in sailors that will be successful in the year 2002.

Overall Results

Hobie 16 Open class

1st Chris Sproat / George Burke 7pts

2nd Mike Thomson / Matt Quaife 8pts ( first youth)

3rd James Power / Gillian Anely 10 pts

Other youth places

5th Ross Clarke / James Everad 18pts

6th Ben Cutler / Chris Clarke 29pts

Dragoon results

1st Tom Phipps / Jonathan Cook 4pts

2nd Ben Mansfield / Ben Hinks 8pts

3rd Andrew Taylor / Chris Taylor 13pts