Gale Can’t Blow Richard Somerton off the Hobie Fishing Worlds Mountain

Australians Finish 1-2-3. Team USA's Justin Carter and Tom Michael Finish 7th and 9th

Champions: Australians Richard Somerton, Chris Burbidge, and Grayson Fong finish 1-2-3.

Champions: Australians Richard Somerton, Chris Burbidge, and Grayson Fong finish 1-2-3. Photo courtesy Hobie Fishing Worlds.

Gale Can’t Blow Richard Somerton off the Hobie Fishing Worlds Mountain
Australians Finish 1-2-3. Team USA’s Justin Carter and Tom Michael Finish 7th and 9th

By Paul Lebowitz

You can huff and puff gale force winds up to 37 miles per hour, but you can’t blow Richard Somerton of the Australian team out of first place. When the clock stopped on the wind-shortened day three of the Hobie Fishing World Championship at Marlo, he’d added a single .54 kilogram bream to his score for a 6.15-kilogram tournament total.

“It’s probably the worst wind I’ve ever fished in and I’m just glad that my one fish was enough to get me over the line,” Somerton said according to a Hobie Fishing Worlds press release.

His teammate Chris Burbidge made inroads on the lead, but his one-bream .82-kilogram day wasn’t enough. Burbidge is second overall with 5.61 kilograms.

Grayson Fong’s strong but short three-bream 1.81-kilogram day was enough to push the Australian into third place overall, at 5.45 kilograms.

Top US angler Justin Carter, who shocked the field with his day one win, weighed in one small .44 kilogram bream on the final day. His 4.160-kilogram total earned him seventh place overall. US teammate Tom Michael finished ninth. Defending 2012 champion Marty Mood was 21st overall.

They were the only non-Australians in the top ten, which says something about their ability to learn quickly under competitive pressure. And the value of local knowledge. No international competitor has cracked the podium during either of the championships contested in Australia, although the USA’s Jose Chavez came close – fourth. In Texas in 2012, Gianluca Armani of Italy and Johnson Lee of Singapore finished 2-3.

In 2014, competitors won’t have to contend with bream. Hobie Worlds organizers announced Europe will host the next event.

Team USA's Tom Michael sits in 9th overall at the end of the Hobie Fishing Worlds

Team USA’s Tom Michael sits in 9th overall at the end of the Hobie Fishing Worlds. Photo courtesy Hobie Fishing Worlds.

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