Sailing: High winds catch out Hobie Cats

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reports from Dubai

Ambulances carried five injured yachtsmen from the beach as the Hobie Cat 16 World Championships semi-finals began in high winds here yesterday. There were no injuries among the three British boats, but a United Arab Emirates crewman broke his wrist and a New Zealander suffered a suspected broken leg.

Best British result of the day was by Matthew Eeles, scoring a third place with crew Philip Hildyard. Mark and Victoria Farrow managed a 10th, but Stephen Park and Ruth Verrier-Jones, who came second in the qualifiers, slumped to 41st.

Blustery conditions prevented racing in Miami yesterday, allowing repair work among the Star class competing in the Bacardi Cup, which doubles as the second series of trials for the British Olympic team place.

On Sunday, the scrutineer there, Bryn Vaile, decided that the first race could go ahead as there was no more than the maximum 16 knots blowing at the start. Any more and it would not have counted. That soon piped up to 20 in a race won by Paul Cayard and in which Glyn Charles was for a long time third.

He and George Skoudos finished sixth, but Lawrie Smith and Chris Mason, who was leading after the first trial in Miami at the end of January, was 18th and those 12 extra points were enough to put Charles within four points. When each discarded his worst result, Charles went into the lead by two points.