A fleet of 18 Hobie 14s lined up for the first H14 Nationals in 17 years. The competitors ranged from Hobie “Die Hards” sailing boats that cost from $0 – $1000, borrowed boats through to brand new boats. Almost half the fleet are women! Favourites Fletch & Georgia Warren-Myers (3rd and 2nd in the recent H14 Worlds) had some very serious competition from former H18 World Champion Brad Sumner – back after a long break from sailing, and a strong challenge from Gordon McGillivray who hasn’t been on a 14 for over 10 years.
The first day of the Hobie 14 Nationals and Jervis Bay Classic was as good as it gets. A Fleet of 18 Hobie 14s,
7 Hobie 16 Youth teams and 10 open H16s enjoyed (or endured) a Jervis Bay Nor-Easter that built quickly from around 12 knots at the start of race 1, through to a solid 20 with gusts in the mid to high 20s in the fourth and final race for the day. The strong wind an blue sky provided many great photos.
The H14 fleet is a tight tussle with Fletcher Warren-Myers and Brad Sumner tied for first, and Georgia Warren-Myers just 2 points ahead of Gordon McGillivray. The H16 open is a McKenzie family benefit at the front with Andrew and Helen leading, closely followed by Upu and Amanda McKenzie, and in third Pat Eastment and Georgii McKenzie. The heavy conditions suited Will McKenzie and Pat Butler and it showed in the set of “1”s on the score card, 2nd is Tait Fortier and 12 year old crew Saxon Perry, who handled the conditions well.
Not only was it great to see so many women and girls on the water today, but the number of young Hobie sailors proving themselves in conditions that challenged some very seasoned sailors. Notably Hayley Fisher – age 9, crewing in her first races and loving sailing with her Dad Dave. Young Noah Skewes, also 9, is sailing in his first ever regatta, and was all smiles and full of confidence in his skipper Jeremy Lawson. As mentioned above, 12 year old Saxon Perry is no longer happy to just be out there, but is now striving for good results too.
Day 2 was a big change with a light to moderate, fluctuating southerly. The positions at the top of each fleet were relatively unchanged, proving the around skill of the guys and girls competing. Fletcher Warren-Myers now adds his name to the Hobie 14 National Champions perpetual trophy, joining names like Rod Waterhouse, Kerli Corlett, Anthony Duchatel, Mick Butler, Ian Bashford, Chris and Gary Metcalf. Fletcher’s wife Georgia edged out former Hobie 18 World Champion Brad Sumner ant took second.
Special thanks to our sponsors, Totally Immersed Watersports and Hobiecat Australasia.
By Peter Skewes