Sunday Sailing | 24th September ’23

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Spring Handicap: Week 4 & Single-Handed Championship: Round 1

The Vincentia Sailing Club saw an action-packed day of highly competitive sailing on for the first round of the Single-Handed club championship, as our intrepid mariners took to the moona moona under the watchful eyes of biraga baliya, the big nor’ easterly sea-breeze. Filling in later than expected, the conditions were perfect for an exhilarating day on the water, with five thrilling races that kept the spectators on the edge of their seats.

Joining Jake & Hannah on the Poly, Watty was down the coast from Lake Macquarie, providing a watchful and experienced eye on the start line. Also joining the trio for her first experience of sailing ever, Jorja from the South Coast Register gifted the VSC with her presence on the race course, whilst also having the opportunity to try out the getaway with Zoe & Hazel.

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The morning session saw two races as baliya continued to developed, leaving light patches throughout the race track. Zoe & Hazel displayed exceptional boat speed on Munyunga with the full rig, as Helen joined Egbert on the Nacra 5.8 for a red-hot send it session.

After a delicious feast prepared by Lisa, Jake & Watty lead the charge on poly for three more races in biraga baliya. Choking on the start, Paddy snuck in behind Andrew and Mick in the first race, as Will made a return to the race track for the first time since the Hobie 14 State Championships in Wangi Wangi. Spinelli was building his confidence in the blow, chasing Dobbo’s stern around the track.

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There was plenty of thrills and spills throughout the day. Andrew and Paddy were both taking their time taking, almost going over backwards in the swell. Spinelli was caught redhanded dropping the mainsheet after his bottom-mark rounding, whilst Hatto was caught out by a dog-act from MB in what could be argued as one of the greatest Hobie 14 races of all time; as detailed by Paddy:

“It was a bloody exceptional start, I tacked half-way up the first work for clean air. Andrew, MB & Hatto were in front of me at the time. Following suit, Andrew and Will followed. The Big-Mac crossed me 200 metres before a-mark, whilst Will had to tack to avoid a port/starboard. Meanwhile, MB & Hatto were overlaid on port, coming in to the top mark at a million miles an hour. Andrew, Hatto, MB & I were all bow to stern going around the offset.”

“Get to the bottom mark, Hatto took the wider line and overtook us all as Andrew, MB then myself round the Poly for a left hand turn out on port. Andrew took the low line underneath Hatto, MB came in above the two of them whilst I pinched up high and fast above them all. 


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“Now, we all know how fun tacking a Hobie 14 is in bariga baliya. Hatto went first on a perfect lay line, MB followed suit two boat lengths above, Andrew went next, furthers to windward as I flopped over just before our cross, a single boat-length to windward.

“Still neck and neck, the four Hobie 14s were a mere boat length apart, screaming in on starboard. MB, with a bit more height, trucked over Hatto who consequently went for a swim out the back. Rounding a-mark, I pushed the limit with my leeward hull, which was perilously close to Andrew’s windward rudder, whilst Hatto regained control to stay in front of the younger McKenzie. 

“Going wave for wave a cat’s whisker apart, Watty & Jake were helpless in being able to pick who was going to win between MB, Andrew & myself a mere 100 metres from the finish. Finally, it was I who claimed the bullet with a late wave the sent me a couple boat lengths in front of the old boys. Meanwhile, Watty was forced to all in the video umpire to determine whether it was MB and Andrew finishing as first of the losers.

“Makes you realise why the VSC hosts some the greatest Hobie 14 sailors in the world when you have competition of such a stellar quality week in and week out.”

Final Single-Handed Championship standings below:

1 6 La Cheeki Paddy Butler 50044 Hobie 14 2.0 1.0 [3.0] 2.0 1.0
2 7 Dog’s Breakfast Mick Butler 50930 Hobie 14 [4.0] 2.0 2.0 1.0 2.0
3 8 Ditched the crew Andrew McKenzie 63279 Hobie 14 1.0 3.0 1.0 3.0 [3.0]
4 15 Puppy Dog II Craig Hatton 63251 Hobie 14 3.0 4.0 4.0 4.0 [4.0]
5 24 Bulls Eye Andrew Spinelli 40189 Hobie 14 5.0 5.0 7.0 7.0 [7.0]
6 24 Banana Princess Peter Dobson 45638 Hobie 14 6.0 [7.0] 6.0 6.0 6.0
7 28 Free Willy Will McKenzie 61689 Hobie 14 13.0C [13.0C] 5.0 5.0 5.0
8 39 Revolution 14 Adrian Mills 55107 Hobie 14 7.0 6.0 13.0C 13.0C [13.0C]
9 42.5 Mouse Bridget Raftery 61689 Hobie 14 8.0 8.5 13.0C 13.0C [13.0C]
10 45 Airbus Steven Anderson 63300 Hobie 14 9.0 10.0 13.0C 13.0C [13.0C]
11 47.5 Ian’s Boat Ian 1215 Maricat 4.3 13.0C 8.5 13.0C 13.0C [13.0C]
12 52 Retro Circus Jake de Rooy 63294 Hobie 14 13.0DUT 13.0DUT 13.0DUT 13.0DUT [13.0DUT]

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