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NSW Hobie 14, 18 16 Women & Youth State Championships at Wangi RSL Amateur Sailing Club

by Pat Butler 7 Feb 2023 21:39 GMT
NSW Hobie State Championships on Lake Macquarie © Beau Outteridge

Sharks, breeze and a whole lotta flat water, this is champagne sailing for ya!

The sensationally warm waters of Lake Macquarie were lit up on the first weekend of February as the 2023 Australian Hobie Class Championship Tour kick started in style, as Wangi RSL Amateur Sailing Club hosted the NSW Hobie 14, 18 16 Women & Youth State Championships in spectacular fashion.

Taking place only four weeks after the 50th Hobie Nationals, the single largest catamaran regatta in Australian history, there was always a chance our intrepid Hobie Family may have been burnt out. However, The Hobie 14 Cowboys came in droves, with 26 sailors registered to send it, along with six of the greatest Hobie 16 Women's teams we've ever seen, along with a trio of Hobie 18s having the times of their lives.

As such, the NSWHCA would like to thank all the competitors that made the trip to Wangi, especially those who travelled interstate from Queensland. If it wasn't for you all, the sailors, these events would not be possible.

We'd also like to raise our mugs to Tony Outteridge, Lyn & Les McAllister, and the whole team at Wangi RSL Amateur Sailing Club. Lake Macquarie is one of the greatest sailing destinations in NSW, let alone Australia, and in some extremely variable conditions, the WASC Race Team bagged nine quality races over two days. In addition to the racing, the facilities and rigging area are exceptional, as is the canteen and the wonderful people that operate it.

A huge shoutout goes to Lisa and her team at Marine Outlet for providing some awesome prizes for our sailors, and to Hobie Asia Pacific for providing their two GoPros for Totally Immersed Tv's coverage of the regatta. Finally, making the trip down from Wangi Heights, Beau Outteridge gave us his time on Sunday to capture pure glamour on the water. As one of the best in the business, Beau's skills behind the camera are second-to-none, and the Hobie Class was lucky enough to have Beau totally immersed in our Way of Life.

But before we get into the good stuff, here are a few stats from the Hobie 14s that show just how close, exciting and competitive this racing is. From nine heats: there were 6 different heat winners; another five different helms had a podium finish at least once, and only one helm had a drop of a single digit, and that helm was Bundy.

Friday

Despite the forecast, Libby & Charlie sent it down from Brisbane with 'Moiwa' to compete in their first NSW States as a Hobie 16 team. Joining the pair for the ride, Carmen Andrews was linking up on 'Munyunga' with Jervis Bay's Bridget Raftery, whilst Zoe Cairns flew in like a rockstar to back up a Nationals performance with Ellie Knorre on her home waters.

With the help of Dougie, Darren Bundock was on the water on a Hobie 14 for the first time in over 25 years. Sailing on Dougie's spare 14, and almost identical to his original vessel, Bundy was going bow-to-bow with helm's that conception wasn't an iota of a thought the last time he buggered up a tack.

With the vast majority of sailors arriving on Friday, a 20 knot westerly soon dissipated over the hills, as a late nor' east sea-breeze blew over the lake from the sand islands, making for an exceptional opportunity for a twilight send-it session. With the Hobie Asia Pacific Hero 10 on Paddy's mast, and the other on Will's stern, the events of the evening were captured all too well. Carmen snapped MB's tiller, Bridgey & Charlie went water skiing, whilst Jimmy & Paul went shark fishing, using themselves as bait.

Saturday

With a bleak wind forecast on all the usual channels, the optimism was off the charts for a late sea-breeze. However, a light nor' wester in the morning became a strong nor' wester in the afternoon, as the breeze blew like no tomorrow down from the Hunter Valley. The WASC team put away five races during the day, only having to move the top marks five times throughout...

In the Hobie 18s, Jake & Alannah were backing up their Australian Championships in the breeze with a clean slate from the day. Brad & Josh were having a blast hot on their stern, as Mike & Michael were sending it around in gusts that would turn Bryn's haircut into a spinnaker.

Likewise, Emma & Hayley were on fire, finishing the day with a clean sweep in the breeze. Carmen & Bridgey were holding their own in the blow, despite being the lightest pair on the race course, with Clare & Helen were hot on their heels. Libby & Charlie had a blinder in the first heat placing second, as Ellie & Zoe tested the record for the amount of capsizes in a single day.

As one of the hottest Hobie 14 fleets we've seen in the States for a long while, it was nothing but pure tension on the race course. Will McKenzie started the day magically with a bullet, with Rod hot on his tail. Bryn was back in form after taking home the Nationals, getting a bullet in the second, as Pete Walker and Andrew McKenzie were hunting him down. After two races to get used to the boat, Bundy went out and got two bullets, with MB, Paddy and Gav all coming in close behind him. Finally, Worsty came out in the blow to claim the last race of the day, with Bryn, Bundy and Rod mixing it up on Bryn's stern.

Other notable performances include Andrew Spinelli, who's results improved as he continued throughout the day. Likewise, Dave Fisher, Arbi Watt, Pete Breaden and Darren Schmidt all had top 10 finishes throughout the day. For some, particularly Rod in this case, the States is always a great opportunity to learn a few things. Jimmy & Paul learnt the hard way to get up the back of the boat in a gust; although for Bryn, this didn't quite work. For Rod, up and coming Nacra 17 sailor Jason Waterhouse was in town for the day, dropping by to inform the old boy how to get the Hobie 14 up on the foils for the downwind runs.

As all the boats hit the shore looking rather salty (Adrian a little bit more after a close encounter with the 'man in a grey suit'), it was off to the Wangi RSL for a more subdued night than the previous; no thanks to the bloody westerly.

Sunday

For some of the fleet, particularly that younger group of sailors, it was a slower morning down at the club. However, Jake & Susie were down the Wangi Clubhouse cooking up a storm of bacon & egg rolls. With a late sou' easterly on the cards, local Wangi legend, Jodie Shiels took the Grom squad out on the lake to have a crack at getting towed behind the tinny on the foil board.

Four races were held over the course of the day, and Jakey & Alannah were going race for race with Brad & Josh, with Jakey & Alannah claiming the Title at the end of the day. Mike & Michael were shooting around the race track, with two GoPros on board capturing all the action for Totally Immersed TV.

Placing third in the Youth Championship, Jimmy & Paul and a better day, as they continued to improve each race. Additionally, two thirds from Ellie & Zoe got them back up the ladder; however, it wasn't enough to get ahead of Tracy & Ainslie, who got the girls on count-back overall with a bullet in the eighth heat. Libby & Charlies persistence over the weekend was commendable, as their improvement over the weekend was clear to Kerry & Rebecca as they watched from the shore.

With two UFD's in a row, it wasn't exactly what Carmen & Bridgey were looking for. However, it was enough to get them over the line as Youth Champions and third in the Women's Championship. Backing up a solid performance at the Nationals, Clare & Helen showed strong consistency over the two days finishing second overall and first in the Women's Masters. Finally, Emma & Hayley backed up their Australian Championship to win the States with an almost clean slate, whilst concurrently solidifying their spot as the highest ranked Hobie 16 Team on the Championship Tour.

Rounding out the top ten for the Hobie 14s, Dave finished the day in tenth, only three points behind Gav. Will managed to sneak in front of Worsty to get seventh, but not quite enough to get the Big-Mac who lost on count-back to MB on 44 points. After heading out on the water with the yellow bib, Bundy dropped back to fourth after what was clearly a tough day of racing. Eight points ahead of Bundy, Rod placed third after a successful day on the water, whilst Bryn's day was exceptional enough to maintain his blue jersey in second. However, it wasn't enough to hold off Paddy, as he moved up the ladder, taking the title of NSW Champion from none-other than MB.

Photos can be purchased from Beau Outteridge

Hobie 14 Results:

PlaceSail NoBoat NameSkipperR9R8R7R6R5R4R3R2R1Pts
150044La CheekiPaddy Butler2113[10]334320
245725Sur GangiBryn Robinson‑Mills12292[13]51426
363437Hot RodRod Waterhouse4354464[11]232
445713Hobie CatDarren Bundock8[9]773115840
550930Green MeanieMick Butler3[13]3594212644
663405Mac1Andrew McKenzie554[10]6773744
763279Free WillyWill McKenzie6682712[12]6148
863340LethalBrad Wilson114[U]615119956
927Sligabeggas UnderstuGavin Luxton7791352[14]71363
1061676Fickle FingerDavid Fisher911681188[13]566
1163333Wonky DonkeyPete Walker[C]1215118111021483
1263414Black PearlPeter Breaden158[U]11799181188
1363407Fanta PantsDarren Schmidt18101014C[C]15810112
1463336SupercalifragilisticPeter McDougall19161312[C]10171417118
1563331AvalancheAaron Robinson141418201215[C]1712122
1663293Red Hot FoxAndrew Nelson16[20]11191417131519124
1763276Revolution14Adrian Mills1019141616181616[20]125
1863404BullseyeAndrew Spinelli1317U15131419[C]18136
1963406Miss LippyClinton Fehlberg17181718[H]16181922145
2045703Dude Where's My CarArbi WattCCCC15[F]61021160
2163332StingaRory Robinson121512CCCC[C]16163
2245620TurtleGlen GilbertCC1617CCC[C]15183
2363314MANU 2Upu KilaCCCCCCCC[C]216
2363140ASIFBrian BatesCCCCCCCC[C]216
2360267GunnagetchaShane BegleyCCCCCCCC[C]216
2345704YA GET THATLeon WhitworthCCCCCCCC[C]216

Hobie 16 Results:

PlaceSail NoBoat NameSkipperCrewR9R8R7R6R5R4R3R2R1Pts
1114736The BarbalootsEmma RankinHayley Fisher1[4]11111118
2115147Ciao BellaClare EastmentHelen Mills32223233[3]20
393MunyungaCarmen AndrewsBridget Raftery2U[U]32322426
4108470MoiwaLibby KirbyCharlie Tonks7545C[C]44239
5114595Stayin AliveTracy GowenAinslie Gordon41U4CCC[C]546
6113790NevilleEllie KnorreZoe Carins6336C4HC[H]46
76SquidwoodJames Winchester 5657CCC[C]653

Hobie 18 Results:

PlaceSail NoBoat NameSkipperCrewR9R8R7R6R5R4R3R2R1Pts
117103Get It WetJake de RooyAlanah Simpson212[2]1111110
217057Red PirateBrad Robinson 12112222[2]13
316910BansheeMike ZeemanMichael Kelly33U3CC33326

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