The Bad News Regatta has been one of the largest winter regattas of Hobie sailing in Australia. Originally started back in the 1960’s prior to Hobies even being invented. The ‘Top Cat of the Alley’ and the ‘Currumbin Marathon’ was sailed the 2nd week end in June over what was then the Queens Birthday long week end. The tradition continues and is named after one of the Gold Coast Catamaran Club’s famous members Bob ‘Bad News’ Hughes. Bob passed away in 1999, but his name and legend lives on with this regatta named after him.
It is one of the few regattas where the boats are launched from a surfing beach where the sailors and the surfboard riders have to work together. Not to mention the occasional whale that wishes to watch the Hobie racing. The notorious beach break with large waves has caused many boats and masts to be damaged over the years.
It has, for many years, brought together sailors from far and wide to join in a regatta that is truely like no other.
Day 1 of the Bad News Regatta brought a whole lotta action to Currumbin Alley, an iconic Hobie location that for some time has been yearning for some serious action.
A glassed-out morning posed some dire problems for our sailors. However, light and fickle N-NW breeze blew through the alley providing the intrepid sailors with some conditions worthy of racing.
The first race of the day could be classed as the most eventful with a Humpback Whale breaching through the middle of the course, surprising our sailors by spicing up the contest at the top mark.
There were many upsets that took place throughout the 4 races held. A quick glance through the race results would illustrate just how tricky the racecourse was to navigate, no thanks to troublesome yet faithful PRO Tom.
The 2007 Hobie 16 World Champions Susie Etherington, and her skipper Mick Butler, were back together for a stab at the Baddie Title. However, their hopes were diminished after a rolled cam in the first race resulting in a historic DNF.
Another upset from the day included the Dream Team that is Susie Ghent and Cam Owen, who made the trip over from WA with Trevor Hughes himself, are currently sitting in 4th place behind Keagy and Helen, Peter and Juliet, as well as Hayley and her father David. However, the Western Australians were able to lock in a clean bullet in the 3rd race to reinstate their place as one of the greats.
Meanwhile, on the other start line, Leon on his Paper Tiger was showing up the proud Hobie 14 sailors with his skills in the light breeze. Disregarding Leon’s results, Pat Butler managed to take two bullets in the first two races, before being spat out the back for the last two. Current results show Gav Luxton and Andrew McKenzie sitting in equal second, only a point behind the younger Butler. Who is to say what will become of this contest of champions…
A huge thank you goes out to Tom, Worsty and the rest of the racing team for the organisation of the day. And to Jim from Click2View photography for capturing the events from the day.
At the time for press 1130 on Sunday morning, a very-light easterly breeze is beginning to blow – AP is flying.With the breeze failing to materialise the racing was finished for the day and the regatta.