Consistency is the key to catch the 2013 Hobie Cat 16 European title. The most consistent teams, in both strong winds and light breezes, arrive to the final day of the Open Championship in Cagliari with a firm grip on the top three spots and similar chances to close in first place. Jens Goritz and Kerstin Wichardt of Germany against Orion Martin and Charlotte Hilliard of France will be the match to follow. They are divided by only one point after 8 races, at the end of a day with three not easy races and wind below 10 knots.
Australian Cam Owen and Susan Ghent are just a few points away and could still be the Saturday surprise, but for now they have a lower score to discard after race 9. Currently in fourth place, Cedric and Laurent Bader gave up their chances of back-to-back titles with a disappointing 20-10 in race 6 and 7.
The first start for Friday, with little N-NW air left from the previous days, was a real lottery: lucky choices for some skippers, no chances for others. But Goritz-Wichardt were first again, after the two bullets scored in strong winds on Thursday, and luck didn't count much for them. Martin-Hilliard picked their second discard with a 14th place, while Owen-Ghent closed second. The wind slowly died down and Race Committee decided to shorten the course but still around half of the fleet could not finish within the time limit.
Later in the afternoon race 7 was started with a southern breeze between 7 and 8 knots. Another first for Goritz, with Martin second, gave the German skipper a chance to break away. But the day was not over yet: Martin closed the gap again with a convincing victory in race 8, with a little help from three other teams that finished before Goritz and took precious points away from him.
Head to head into the final day, then. Saturday first start at 11:00, with 9 to 12 knots expected, and no warning signal after 15:30.