Yarns from the Club – The Italian Stallion

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Last Sunday the 5th December, on what was another glorious day of sailing on Jervis Bay, marked the day that one Andrew Spinelli sailed on a Hobie 14 for the very first time.

It was an overcast day on the Bay, with a 10-15 knot South-Easter blowing steadily over from Bowen Island, meaning it was the perfect day for the Italian Stallion to tame in a 14 for the very first time.

The up-and-coming Spinelli came on the VSC sailing scene only a couple of months ago, knowing next to bugger all about sailing, to now knowing 50% of absolute bugger all about sailing. But here at the VSC, that’s all part of the fun!

Here’s what Spinelli had to say:

“Local sailing sensation Pat, otherwise known as The Captain, has taken Mr Spinelli under his wing to teach him the many tricks of the trade of sailing on the Bay. After spending some time on the Hobie 16 with Pat, MB and Dobbo, as well as a couple of times learning for himself on the battle-hardened Hobie Waves, Spinelli felt it was time he faced the mighty wrath of a Hobie 14. Only last week, Spinelli faced a deadly nor’easter with waves as big as Coolangatta Mountain behind him, where it was here that the up-and-coming sailor learnt to make it back to shore in one piece, rather than being buried below the depths of the Bay.

On the Sunday just passed B1 and B2, otherwise known as Mick and Pat Butler decided it was time for Mr Spinelli to attempt to tame a Hobie 14. B1 was kind enough to lend Mr Spinelli the world-famous Abso-Bloody-Lutly, otherwise known as ‘The Boat that Flew’. B1 gave Mr Spinelli a much-needed helping hand, pushing him out and following closely behind, giving instructions on how not to end up upside down.

“However, as B1 followed Spinelli out to the course, who knew next to zero about how to operate the beast, B1 ended up upside down off the coast of Collingwood with a bung out, while Spinelli was stuck facing up wind, in irons, not moving an inch. With his co-pilot out of action, it was up to Mr Spinelli to put his big boy sailor pants on and work out how to get this boat moving. After a 10 minute battle against the wind, unable to get that 14 punching through the SE wind chop, some of his new found sailing instincts began to kick in as he readjusted his traveler, ripped on the main-sheet, jiggled the rudders and off he went! Eye-witnesses from the shore understand it was a beautiful sight, as sailor and boat became one together.

“It wasn’t long before the young sailor became stuck in irons once again after trying to tack “the bloody thing”. Which just so happens became a regular occurrence out on the Bay, as Spinelli spent the majority of his time trying to get the boat moving, rather than the boat actually moving they way in which he intended.

“Overall, it was a successful expedition out on the Bay, heading out to the course and returning back home to Plantation Point, safe and sound in time for tea. Here in the accompanying photo you can see the up-and-coming sailor, with the infamous red and yellow hulls, together as one upon their arrival ashore.

“On Sunday, it was the first time Andrew made it out on a 14. Tomorrow, who knows, maybe Sydney to Hobart.”

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