Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Day 2.....

1 1/2hours into the race 6 of the fiji fleet are leading the pack with david lovell on boat 33 coming in 7th. What is most exciting for me anyway is the leaders of the pack are the two fiji youth teams - skippers are rusi + moave. Go Fiji Go
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Day 2: 2009 Suzuki Fiji Hobie Challenge

Course 6: leleuvia - around naigani - leleuvia

15 boats started this morning
Conditions: light southerly winds expected to increase later......well we are hoping anyway. Fiji's John Philp led the start + the fleet has since split up into 3 groups. Will be interesting to see which way was favoured. Weather is overcast with dark clouds forming to the east of us.
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Monday, June 29, 2009

photos from yesterday

I cannot put to words the emotions I felt watching the children's faces + expressions when they returned from their very first ride on the hobie 16s

2009 suzuki marine fiji hobie challenge: prep day + day 1 photos

2009 Suzuki Marine: Fiji Hobie Challenge Day 1 Results

Near perfect conditions for day one of the Suzuki Fiji Hobie Challenge. Northerly winds of up to 20 Knots powered the fleet to windward over the 1 metre deep coral and seagrass gardens from Suva to Leleuvia Island Resort.

Australian duo Aaron Worral and Bradley Wilson, fresh from winning the Air Pacific South Pacific Titles, lead the fleet from start to finish.

Challenge organizer Grahame Southwick and Cyrill Miller were hot on Worrals heels past the first two Nasoata Reef turning buoys with the high powered twin wire reaching from Laucala Bay suiting his grand stature.

After passing the Togerava checkpoint the deeper waters within the barrier reef gave rise to waves of 12 to 18" and the fleet split with
3 boats risking their rudder tips going offshore towards the reef whilst the rest of the fleet stayed to the west in the deeper waters.

Disaster struck for John and Michael McCormick, one of the three boats who had taken the eastern side of the beat, some 6 miles after the checkpoint when a loose shroud adjuster pin fell out resulting in their dismasting. The support boats were following the bulk of the fleet in the deeper waters and passed them by.

After being washed through the breakers and out into the deep ocean waters, and by what must have been a remarkable feat of ingenuity proving necessity to be the mother of all inventions, they managed to step their Hobie 16 mast on the water with no external assistance at all in order to complete the course fifteen minutes within the time limit!

Bob Engwirda and Slater had been in second place passing the Nasautabu Island turn but were just overtaken on the final light wind beat into the Leleuvia Island finish by David Lovell and Nick King to complete Australian domination of the top three places.

However there was a close fight for local honours with John Philp and Charlotte Dugdale just by 12 seconds beating Graham Southwick to 4th place.

As this report is being sent off the sailors and Challenge support crew are being serenaded by the local band as they eat their dinner having enjoyed fresh water showers at the end of a long and enjoyable first day on the Fijian waters.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

sunday....day 3

this morning, the hobie 16 fleet are hosting a lunch for the students at the hilton special school. before lunch, the sailors are taking the children from the school for a sail in the hobie cats....the turnout has been more than we expected and the children are extremely excited.
have been taking heaps of photos + will post them as soon as i can as i have left my laptop at home. so far 10 students have gone out for a sail. initially they were all a little bit hesitant but when the first boy - sakiusa went out....everybody wanted to have a go too.
thanks to all our sponsors we were able to do this.
vinaka - suzuki marine, pleass beverages, ministry of youth + sports, anz, vodafone, air pacific, pbs, tourism fiji, total, bluescope lysaght