We’ve had some wins, we’ve had a few loses, but overall, it’s been an absolute whirlwind of an adventure.
It’s been a red-hot-minute since we saw the conclusion of another absolutely outstanding sailing season here at the Vincentia Sailing Club. With the ever-gloomy La Nina constantly lingering over our heads, the mighty, intrepid sailors from the VSC have sailed valiantly throughout our 2021-2022 sailing season. Some have travelled far and wide to compete multiple Championships Regattas (not to mention the stand-out party we hosted in January), whilst many of us spent our time on the water here in Jervis Bay, making the most of the now less common sea-breeze, whilst tousling with the unforgiving Nor-Wester here and there.
Overall, it’s been a glorious experience, one that the members of the VSC, and the wider Jervis Bay community will never forget.
September & October
Starting the club season during lockdown was as you would expect: slow, quiet, yet oddly satisfying. With consistent thermal, nor-east sea-breezes ‘baliya‘ blowing across the bay earlier than expected, along with some solid nor-westers ‘gurugama‘ coming down from the mountains, the conditions could not have been more spectacular as the spectators were treated to some exciting racing close to shore. Our valued man behind the lens, Brad Sissins, was lucky enough on a number of occasions to capture our sailor’s exploits as they trained hard for what was then to be the Hobie Cat Nationals, each image telling a story in itself.
A highlight, however, was the introduction of our now iconic merchandise. What could be considered ‘better than Lego’, our quality embroidered VSC T-Shirts, made with love by Your Merch AU, were hitting the backs of VSC members and Jervis Bay locals alike, with many being sent off to our mates interstate. With that and a newly redesigned online presence, VSC began making a new name for itself.
However, as we neared the end of October, it was with great displeasure that the VSC, in conjunction with the NSW Hobie Cat Association, had to postpone the 50th Australian Hobie Cat National Championships for a second time. But luckily, the team continued to work tirelessly to ensure the Nationals will take place over the New Year period of 2022 and 2023, with an alternative event going ahead in place of the postponed Nationals.
As the weather began to warm that little bit more, and the nor-easters continued to bellow down the coast, the team at the VSC were in full swing preparing for the NSW Hobie 14, Women & Youth State Championships, with the inaugural Dragoon Nationals.
The first weekend of the month saw a whopping 20 boats hit the water, inclusive of 15 Hobie 14s, along with the Getaway and both Waves sailed by a bunch of fresh, young faces.
The day saw our faithful PRO John, and his apprentice for the day Egbert, were on the start boat, so the sailors knew they were in for a good day even before they smashed out a whopping SIX quality races. The dynamic duo set a 600m course with a top and bottom gate, which made racing a little more interesting than usual for the Hobie 14 fleet, allowing for both a port and starboard rounding at the top mark.
However, despite all the action taking place on the race course, the Hobie Waves and Getaway were getting plenty of action on the bay with our new and upcoming youth sailors, James, Jed and Henry, clocking in for a second consecutive week with the highest amount of time spent sending it on one hull around the Bay,
As we drew closer to the State Championships, the rigorous training schedule began to amp up for both the VSC Grommets and our fairly-weathered sailors. The month started spectacularly with the final Training Weekend for the NSW Hobie 14 States taking place, with a number of our mates from the central coast making the trip down to play in the Bay over the weekend.
As La Nina made it clear she was here to stay, a grand total of 18 Hobie 14s hitting the water over both Saturday and Sunday, our sailors were treated to two glorious, though slightly wet, days of sailing in some decent south-easterlies. Our man-on-the-ground Doogie was back out of retirement over the weekend, and was busy running around capturing some of the moments from the awesome weekend. These can be viewed HERE via out instagram, along with the Boys on the Hill Episode featuring MB, Pat, Quinno, Matt, the Big Mac and Jakey.
A highlight from the weekend, however, was a new member of the club, Andrew Spinelli, took out a Hobie 14 solo for the very first time. His experience can be read via his story: ‘The Italian Stallion‘. Since his first experience, Spinelli has now purchased his own Hobie 14 from Brian Bates’ quiver, and hasn’t looked back since.
And just before Christmas, our great mates from Hobie Cat Asia Pacific were kind enough to lend the ‘Grommets of Plantation’ two brand new Hobie Dragoons to race in the inaugural Hobie Dragoon National Championships. The Hobie Dragoon is optimal catamaran for young people to experience for the first time what sailing truely is. As a two-person boat, the Dragoon is perfect for children and teenagers who are looking at getting into competitive catamaran sailing. Doogie was lucky enough to catch the boys after they finished training one arvo to get an idea of how they’ve been going so far, as well as Paddy capturing Jimmy the Kid steering on trapeze for the very first time. View the footage HERE.
A highlight, however, during December would have to be when a bunch of the VSC mob made the trip north to the big-smoke to watch the F50s race around Port Jackson in the Sydney SAILGP. It was truly a spectacle to watch on the harbour, especially with two cracker nor-easters two days in a row. It was high intensity racing on the water, and even higher intensity drinking for the VSC and mates watching from the sidelines. It was a day we will never forget.
The inaugural ‘Round the Bay Rally’ was a glorious success! Over 30 boats hit the water for what was a spectacular day of marathon racing across Jervis Bay. The sea-breeze we had on the day was absolutely prime, and provided all our mates who made the trip with the greatest opportunity possible to experience sailing on Jervis Bay.
After a delicious lunch over at Long Beach filled with beach cricket and spike-ball, our sailors rode the the 20-25 knot nor-easter in full send all the way back to Plantation for a night filled with song, dance and plenty of beers.
A huge thank you goes to the team at Hobie Cat Asia Pacific and Brad for capturing all the moments thrills and spills from the day’s events, along with the Jervis Bay Brewing Co. and all the sailors who performed at our Open Mic Night. It was a New Years Eve that we will never forget.
After a very lazy New Years Day, the NSW States kicked off with a bang. There was a Black nor-easter forecasted for the day, so it was an early start for all our sailors. Two red-hot races were held in the breeze that day, before all hell began to break loose on the race course. It wasn’t soon after all boats were safe and sound on the beach, that the ‘VSC’s Hobie Wave Challenge’ commenced with 16 teams of two revved up and ready to take on the infamous title.
As a 400-metre sprint race, teams of two would battle it out in time-trialed 1 v 1 races, where after all competitors have had competed one timed lap, the top eight teams went into a finals series. The Big Mac and Jimmy the Kid gave it a red-hot crack, along with Bryn and Nikki, whilst Matt and Andrew were looking good for their first ever stab at the title. Eventually, however, it lead to a grand final which saw a VSC showdown of Will and Tait versing Pat and Nic. In a dramatic finish, Nicco and Patto crossed the finish line first with a personal best time well under four minutes, only seconds in front of Will and Tait.
As the States continued over the next three days, the point score would vary dramatically as the breeze came in and out, all whilst our athletes spent the afternoons reflecting on the day with a Jervis Bay Brewing Co. beverage in hand. The final day of racing saw champions emerge, and drinks shouted as it all came down to the wire across each fleet.
The Hobie 14 Class, after 12 incredibly challenging races ranging from a 20-25 knot Seabreeze on Day 1, to 5-10 knots of varied Nor-East, to East to Sou-East breezes, ended in spectacular fashion. The Hobie all-time legend and who could be described as the current G.O.A.T of Hobie 14 sailing, Mick Butler, brought home the gold medal on 20 points. Closely following on a mere 30 points, with a Hat-Trick of three Bullets on Day 2, was the brains behind the operation, the younger Butler, Pat.
It is confirmed from the Butler household that Pat will be buying the beers up until the next Nationals later in the year.
Will ‘Mr Fabulous’ McKenzie finished narrowly in fourth, ousting the Big Mac who finished in sixth. Local VSC legends Craig, Bryn and Tait all sailed strong, finishing 12th, 13th and 14th respectively. Noah Skewes had his best regatta to date with a 17th in the 34 boat fleet, whilst Georgii McKenzie showed to the rest of the Womens fleet that the blokes aren’t all much chop with a 22nd in her first regatta on the helm. It was a battle royal for the rest of the VSC fleet, Brian finished in 20th, whilst Nick, Adrian, Dobbo, Saxon, Quinny, Jakey and Marc were all battling it out until the final race.
There were four entries in the Hobie 14 Youth division, the most we’ve ever had at a NSW States, and the action on the water was reflected by the revels taking place on the beach. VSC local Saxon displayed some awesome results in the overall fleet, with Noah Skewes putting on his best performance at a Hobie regatta to date! However, the youth Hobie 14 superstar, Bryn, took out the title by only one point. Seeing the boys out on the water, making a name for themselves amongst the open fleet has been a spectacular sight, and we’re looking very forward to seeing what is to come for the future.
The Hobie Dragoons are a phenomenal sight. There were six boats entered and racing in the inaugural Dragoon National Championships, with four boats from Somers Yacht Club in Victoria, and two boats coming out of the VSC, supplied by our mates at Hobie Asia Pacific, it was absolute glamour on JB.
The boys from the VSC, Henry and Joaquin, who have only been sailing for four months, showed phenomenal improvement over the course of the regatta. Where on the last race, were leading all the way until the final downwind, where fellow VSC up and coming superstar, James, with Victorians Jack and Abi on board over the course of the regatta, took the lead with a bullet in the final race. James, with Abi and Jack, took the silver after a consistent improvement on the race course. A huge congratulations goes out to all the Grommets!
Five boats were registered in the Hobie 16 Women’s fleet, with live action taking place both on and off the water. First time skipper from Wangi, Ellie, and a returned VSC local legend, Amanda, picked up the bronze. VSC’s Queens, Clare and Kerry, brought home the silver, whilst the Queensland sister duo, Carmen and Haylie took out the gold with a display of absolute class on the water.
Over the week, we saw thrills, plenty of spills, but most of all, we would like to thank and acknowledge the Hobie Family and all our volunteers for the endless support, passion and love for Hobie Sailing that you display each and every day. If it wasn’t for all of you, the VSC would not be the same.
As the new year began to set in solidly like a nor-easter on a hot, summers day, the members of the VSC took the time to partake in some much needed rest and relaxation, after what was a tremendously busy fortnight. Our mates from the Jervis Bay Brewing Co. hung around for an extra week at Plantation, making use of the excellent weather we were gifted for the next week.
Over the next few weekends, our sailors would take time rest the body and soul, while drawing our focus back from club racing to focus on the influx of interest that the Hobie State Championships generated. The VSC saw new faces emerge within the fraternity, with new, youthful blood racing through veins of the VSC.
A most encounter during the month, however, would have to involve Jimmy the Kid, taking his Quick-Sticks counterpart Brody for a sail on a Hobie Wave for the very first time. In the antics that ensued this fateful afternoon, and in the panic and scrum of a dropped rig and washing up on the rocks, Brody hasn’t looked back since. Much to the dismay of Bryn, Noah and Pat.
So, finally as the long weekend kicked over, the holidays were officially coming to a close and the grommets began returning to school, it was back to reality for the VSC.
As the holidays finally wrapped up, and the school term began once again, the VSC began to see a fresh bunch of faces began slowing creeping into the mix. The Ellis sisters, Charlotte and Zoe, began making a name for themselves as they left Jeremy and his more weathered vessels behind.
Along with a bunch of incredible weekends sailing on JB, the highlight of the month was undoubtedly the NSW Hobie 16 State Championships, held down in Twofold Bay, Eden. MB and Victorian, Mads, cleaned up overall, whilst Gav and Jimmy finished fourth. Andrew and Helen, along with Paddy and AJ put on a good show. Also on the water, we had Brian and Kerry, Clare and Helen, with Dobbo and Adrian as well. Bryn skippered his first regatta on a 16 with Nikki, from Victoria, whilst Brody sailed with Doogie in his first ever regatta.
The full report on the regatta can be found via the Australian Hobie Cat website.
As Autumn slowly crept into view, and the Bay started to cool down, it was time to giddy up and prepare for the events to come. A number of VSC sailors travelled south to Portarlington, Victoria, to compete in the Victorian Hobie State Championships.
MB, Bryn, the Big-Mac, Noah and Spinelli all sailed solo on the Hobie 14s, cleaning up at presentation. MB found the bullet after three days of sailing, and Bryn knocked off Andrew to claim his first ever podium finish. Meanwhile, Spinelli came home with his first ever sailing trophy for the best performance on a retro boat.
In the Hobie 16s, Gav and Jimmy cleaned up finishing second, just behind our great mates, Fletch and Georgia. Paddy and AJ managed to improve drastically on their Twofold Bay outing, finishing fifth overall, even with a dropped rig. Brian and Kerry also made a splash, proving to be stiff competition against their arch-Great Grand Master rival, Upu.
All the action can be caught HERE.
Later in the month, our mates from Queensland, Rob and Dee, just so happened to sail past the bay on their yacht, stopping in for some much needed respite in our corner of the corner. Rob and Dee were kind enough to let his boat be the offical ‘committee boat’ for the weekend, providing our R.O. John, and all the ladies, the perfect platform to run (and watch) the races.
As the summer breeze began to finally fade away, and the Autumn stillness was finally solidified, it was school holidays – and you know what that means. CHS!
Just over half a dozen of the VSC Grommets, along with a few of their mates, travelled up to Lake Macquarie once again to compete in the annual Combined High Schools Sailing Championships.
It was a lesser turn out this year with just over 50 boats, compared to the bygone era of the Butlers, Eastie, Macca and Fortier crowd. However, two Dragoons, a Hobie 16, and two Hobie 14s hit the water from the VSC to bring some multihull action. For Zoe and Charlotte, this was their first major regatta experience, and for James and Brody, it was the first of many CHS regattas to come.
Bryn cleaned up, finishing third overall on handicap, a phenomenal achievement for any sailor, let alone the Young-Gun on a 14. Noah and Hayley displayed excellent boat speed on the Hobie 16, proving they’ll be a force to be reckoned with in the years to come. Ollie was having a ball bringing Jezza around the race course, making a bit of coin at the same time. Whilst Jimmy, Brody and Charlotte displayed the raw potential the Hobie Dragoons have within the youth sailing community. And finally, the pocket-rocket Zoe is chomping at the bit, ready to kick everyone’s arse next year.
The full Match Report can be viewed here.
As the CHS mob arrived home on the morning of Good Friday, it was straight down to Plantation Point for the Jervis Bay Brewing Co. ‘Summer Bar’. Although it was mid-Autumn, the sun was shining, the breeze was blowing and the crowds were absolutely loving it. ‘Bands on the Bay’ was an absolute hit for the Jervis Bay community, bringing a bunch of local and new faces down to the VSC to enjoy a drink or two looking out over the bay.
However, what made the long weekend all the better was the three days of absolute blissful nor-east sea-breezes that blew across the Bay, allowing for an impromptu ‘Round the Bay Rally’. A light start to the morning meant it was a slow downwind run to Creswell, but as the dark line from Callala made its way to the south-west, it was twin-stringing and dumping the trav all the way back home.
Bryn and Helen flew for the first time, whilst Paddy and AJ were in the groove chasing down Gav and Jimmy. Jillian was cruising as she hitched a ride with MB, whilst Charlotte and Zoe were living the absolute dream as Egbert attempted to brainwash the pair on the Nacra 5.8.
As everyone hit the beach, it was in and out of the ‘Summer Bar’, as the music belted out across the bay, and the masses were swarming in the splendour that is the VSC.
Finally, as per tradition, the VSC heading an hour south for the annual Mariners Regatta at the Batemans Bay Sailing Club, over Anzac Day long weekend. And, as per tradition, there was absolutely bugger all breeze.
Craig, Gav, Andrew, Helen, MB and Paddy all stayed in the back of their van in the rigging area near the beach, whilst Dobbo, Adrian and Bryn lived in luxury over in the campsite. Michelle, Glenn and Jimmy scored a cabin, along with Spinelli and the family, all whilst froze near the beach. Final results, along with the cancellation of the Hobie 14s first race, can be found HERE…
For a few from the VSC, it was up to Brisbane on the first weekend in May for the Queensland Hobie Cat State Championships. Bryn, MB, Paddy, Jimmy and Michelle, along with the Novacastrians, Gave, AJ and Ellie were headed up north for a weekend away with the Hobie Family.
It was a variety of breeze over the three days of racing. However, after half a dozen quality races, it was all celebrations. Paddy finished in first, knocking of MB and Bryn, who were neck and neck down to the wire. Gav and Jimmy sailed strong, however the might of the Queenslanders were too strong for the pair, as the finished 12th overall, in a pack of boats tighter than Jimmy can pull on the jib.
The full Match Report can be viewed via the Australian Hobie Cat Website.
Over the June long-weekend, the intrepid members from the VSC headed up to the Gold Coast once again to compete in the annual Bad News Regatta, held out of Currumbin Alley. For those not aware, this is an historic off-the-beach catamaran and Hobie sailing event, that pays tribute to the late, great Bad News. Whether the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, or waves are pumping, it is always a memorable experience for everyone there.
With seven boats on the water, the VSC had the strongest outing out of all the sailing clubs represented. Bryn cleaned up in the 14s, knocking off the Big-Mac, whilst Paddy managed to beat the old boy on count-back. The full list of results and the story behind all the action can be found HERE.
a father, a brother, a mentor, a mate
Taken from ‘The Hobie 14 Hybrid‘.
The legacy Quinny has left within the Vincentia Sailing Club, the Hobie Family, and throughout the wider Jervis Bay community, is one that is truly unique.
As MB stated: “to know Quinny, was to love Quinny. He will be remembered in our hearts as one of the truely great characters in our community. His humour, enthusiasm and unwavering positivity towards life was absolutely infectious”.
Throughout the years, Quinny has sailed many a Hobie Cat. From the ‘Wild Dog‘ to the Hobie 18, along even a few notable stints on the 16, including the Jervis Bay and Florida Worlds.
But Quinny’s final boat, the Hobie 14 Hybrid, ‘Puppy Dog II‘, will remain the first and only of its kind. A pure reflection of the impact, memories and legacy that he has left behind.
And for that, we salute you.