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Queensland Hobie Sailing Circa 2018 – Tards’ Tales

Saturday’s racing saw the end of the season for the Hobie fleet at RQYS.

13 season entries for the Hobie 16 plus a few casuals here and there, along with 1 x Hobie 14 Turbo and the occasional Hobie 14 Cat rig.

We saw the loss to the fleet of the popular Sean & Karen Redman who have sold their boat and are apparently moving to something larger. We still hope to see them remain part of the Hobie social scene. They have sold their boat to the super-enthusiastic team of Julie & Mel who are now at the beginning of a very steep learning curve. Branchy sold his boat a couple of weeks ago to old time Currumbin sailor Dan Murphy who is also keen to dive back in to the Hobie racing scene. Branchy’s new “Stealth” boat looks cool but we all reckon it could do with a bit more colour.

Keagy spent much of this season spending quality time with his family but he and Helen still proved very hard to beat the few times they turned up. (Finishing the final race of the season with a bullet). Tards whinged all season about the poor quality of his old sails compared to everyone else, even though a couple of weeks ago he still managed to beat everyone. Batesy however reckons that Tards & Sarah’s win that week was nullified by the fact that they did not win the subsequent race back to the ramp. Everyone agrees that this rule is harsh sometimes but remains a fair & reasonable part of Hobie sailing.

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Rob & De-Anne continue to keep the fleet honest by always being there or thereabouts. De-Anne remains adamant that she is a “Sunshine and Pina-colada” crew and refuses to sail in cold or rainy conditions. It is amazing how fast that boat goes when it is 15 knots, warm and sunny.

Paul & Ricky are working on their consistency. Blisteringly fast one minute – Brain explosions the next. These guys are never out of it and work well as a team. Ricky also does pretty well when he takes Paul’s 14 for a spin and will end up a pretty good skipper in his own right. Lachy & Sharon are always somewhere at or near the front. They should be though, Lach has been sailing Hobie 16s longer than anyone else so he should have it worked out by now.

The youth team of Andrew & Libby continue to improve. Well, they were until Andrew broke his foot trying to do a double somersault with half twist at Bounce trampoline centre. They are planning their comeback at the States next weekend. Andrew showed glimpses at times of what he could be capable of but he is sailing in a very fast and unforgiving fleet. He does come from pretty good sailing bloodlines and is not short of advice from Mum and Dad.

Family Teams

Ray Cox & Evie Way made sporadic appearances during the season. In usual understated Coxy fashion we never know which “Coxy” turns up. There seems to be a vast difference between when Ray is on his game and when he is not. Murray Peterson & Haylee Williams on the other hand have been the bolters for the season. Everyone knew that these two are good on their day, but the new look skinny Muz and skinny Haylee have now jumped to another level. They have just about been the fastest boat on the course over the last couple of months and their boat handling is getting very slick with these two working very well together.

The effervescent Katie Peterson turns up when she feels like it and performs her normal routine of laughing and singing around the racecourse. Her newfound crew, Sam Paltridge is totally enjoying the ride and looking forward very much to the States. New Hobie participant, John Rohrsheim has found the odd weekend in-between supervising his three Opti daughters. A couple of weeks ago he and eldest daughter Eve, blitzed the fleet in getting to the top mark first. This was a great confidence booster and we hope to see more of them next season.

Carmen & Ellie did their first season two up on the Hobie 14 Turbo. They are improving out of sight and having great fun along the way, as their YouTube videos attest. The last two weeks of the season saw them on the 16 with a reefed main, which they intend to race at Easter in the State championships. Awesome to see such young girls giving it a go.

Finally, the superstars of the summer were clearly Peter and Juliet Bates. This team were in a different league all season, rarely beaten and even when they were, they were somewhere near the front. They may well have peaked too early though with the States coming this weekend. Their last gate rounding of the final race of the season saw them in the bottom half of the fleet, running straight up the backside of Muz and subsequently doing a penalty turn. Not a normal position for the Bates’s, nor Peter being referred to by Juliet as driving like a Wood-duck for running up the arse of Muz. Maybe this was the reminder they needed that the rest of the fleet will still beat them if they make the slightest mistake. They are however deserved favourites for the State Title.

There has also been interest generated on the youth scene. New crews of Sam & Hugo who were inspired by Carmen and Ellie are already addicted and have passed on their enthusiasm to other sailors racing in the school competition, as well as some of the kids currently sailing in the Flying 11 class. One has already signed up to crew for Andrew Locke in the States and others have asked that they be considered if anyone is looking for crew. Lets see how that goes. Good luck to everyone competing in the Queensland State Titles over the Easter weekend. Looking at the talent in the entry list, you will be doing well to finish in the top half I reckon!

Rob Andrews – 25/03/2018