A fleet of 18 Hobie 14s lined up for the first H14 Nationals in 17 years. The competitors ranged from Hobie “Die Hards” sailing boats that cost from $0 – $1000, borrowed boats through to brand new boats. Almost half the fleet are women! Favourites Fletch & Georgia Warren-Myers (3rd and 2nd in the recent H14 Worlds) had some very serious competition from former H18 World Champion Brad Sumner – back after a long break from sailing, and a strong challenge from Gordon McGillivray who hasn’t been on a 14 for over 10 years.
“Saturday Night” at “Royal Vinnie” was one of the best family nights you could have at a regatta. Event sponsors ordered 55 pizzas for the exhausted crowd, and the entertainment was provided by the band PANTs – which included Hobie sailors Pat Butler and Nick Eastment.
Day 2 was a big change with a light to moderate, fluctuating southerly. The positions at the top of each fleet were relatively unchanged, proving the around skill of the guys and girls competing. Fletcher Warren-Myers now adds his name to the Hobie 14 National Champions perpetual trophy, joining names like Rod Waterhouse, Kerli Corlett, Anthony Duchatel, Mick Butler, Ian Bashford, Chris and Gary Metcalf. Fletcher’s wife Georgia edged out former Hobie 18 World Champion Brad Sumner ant took second.
The Youth fleet was won convincingly by Will McKenzie and Pat Butler, with 4 firsts, and today in the lighter breeze – 4 seconds. Kyle Fortier and Bonnie Butler leapfrogged Kyles older brother Tait, and young crew Saxon to take second. It was such a shame that the (convincing) winners of the Australian Youth Championships – Lachie and Ethan White, were not here to shake things up! With 7 youth teams at this event, we hop to see this division continue to grow at both Queensland Youth Week, and the next Hobie Nationals – also in Queensland.
The results in the H16 opens showed one thing – if you don’t have a McKenzie girl on board at Jervis Bay, the podium is not for you! Andrew and Helen McKenzie finished on top, Upu Kila and Amanda McKenzie in second and in third a flying Pat Eastment sailed a solid regatta with Georgii McKenzie.
A highlight of the Hobie 16 classes was the young crews, several in their first regatta. Noah Skewes and Hayley Fisher – both 9 surprised all with their amazing effort in the big blow on saturday. Saxon Perry – 12, made it to the podium in the youth fleet, and Emily Fatches – also 12 made sure skipper Scott had a great weekend, and finished all but one race. If these kids are the future of Hobie sailing, we have a lot to look forward to.
Special thanks to our awesome sponsors, Totally Immersed Watersports and Hobiecat Australasia