JOHN HIBBARD WINS THE 2007 UK Four Nations WAVESAILING TITLE
After a long and windy competition season John Hibbard closed the gap on the title race at the final event at West Wittering this past weekend to take the title by the narrowest of margins from friend and fellow competitor, Andy King.
Force 5-6 winds and almost constant rain battered the coast during Sunday, but the resulting conditions allowed for a full round of competition to be held. John had to finish 2 places ahead of Andy King to have a chance at taking the title.
Coming into the event Andy led the rankings by one point. Disaster struck for Andy in the semis when he didn’t advance to the final. John did enough to make it to the final and then had to either win it or come second to have a chance of taking the title away from Andy. In the end the event came down to the wire and it was John Skye who took the win, but a determined Hibbard blasted his way to second place for the event giving him potential rights to the 2007 UK Wavesailing title.
John says: “That was so close, I knew I had to do well to take the title so just took it one heat at a time. It was a great tactical day of sailing. I love it when you have to work hard to score points and the onshore conditions proved perfect for this. Even though I placed 2nd it was still not 100% clear who had won the overall title”
The drama as to who takes the overall placing has continued for 48hrs since the close of the event. After consulting International judges, rule books and sailing instructions it has been decided that John Hibbard is the overall UK Four Nations Wave Sailing Champion of 2007, winning on the “Discard Rule” that sees him with the best discarded score (Andy Discards a 5th and John a 3rd)
John says on hearing the news:
“I’m really happy but also gutted for Andy. We both started competiting at the same time at the same event in Cornwall some 10 years ago. Andy is a total legend of a sailor and is amazing to watch. He’s a good friend of mine and a national title is something both of us have been working towards for many years. I hope that Andy can take the title in 2008 and then the story will be complete. I have total respect for Andy, he is an amazing sailor and I wish him good luck for the 2008 season. I’d like to say thanks to my sponsors for all their support. Without them there is no way I could’ve done this, so thanks to Tushingham for the sails, Starboard for the boards, Fat Face for clothing and all the extra support, Mystic for wetsuits and harnesses, Neilson for flights to windy locations to train, Go Fast Sports for the energy and ActionVan for the pimpest van on the tour!”“
John showed consistency throughout the year finishing on the podium at every event – 2nd in Ireland, 3rd in Wales, 3rd in Scotland and 2nd in England.
During the year John used every size of Tushingham Rock from 3.7 – 5.7m and all of his boards – Starboard Evo 70, 75 and 80. Competition was held in everything from Force 9 cross on shore winds and mushy waves to Force 4 cross off shore waveriding with all manner of other conditions thrown into the mix.
Full series results will be on line at www.ukwindsurfing.com by Thursday. Look out for the January/February edition of BOARDS for the full report………..
Tushingham Sails, Starboard, Fat Face, Neilson Active Holidays, Mystic Boarding, Go Fast Sports, Nissan GB, ActionVan