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Cyclops Marine 2023 November - LEADERBOARD

Waterhouse wins in masterclass performance at NSW Hobie Cat State Championships

by Paddy Butler, Bridget Raftery 26 Mar 14:11 PDT 10-11 February 2024
NSW Hobie Cat State Championships 2024 © Alannah Simpson

'bitta breeze, bitta flat water, what could ya ask for?'

Round 2 of the NSW Hobie Cat State Championships was held at Toukley Sailing Club in Darkinjung Country over the weekend of the 10th & 11th of February. The splendidly flat waters of Tuggerah Lake hosted a grand total of 31 x Hobie 14s and 3 x Hobie 16s. With Jervis Bay's very own John Eastment stepping into the Principal Race Officer role for his very first time, 10 races were on the cards and it was all to play for as the wind's games ensured smart sailing was the way to go.

However, none of this would have been possible without an incredible amount of behind-the-scenes work. The NSW Hobie Cat Association would like to thank Toukley Sailing Club for providing a spectacular venue and for their organisational work. Thanks especially to Bill in the canteen for the sandwiches and being a friendly face at the club.

A huge thank you goes to Vaikobi for donating a selection of caps and continuing to generously support Hobie sailing in NSW. Our gratitude goes to Lisa from Marine Outlet for setting up shop on Saturday and providing the sailors with some exceptionally priced gear. Adrian from Revolution for donating a couple of bags, and Andrew Nelson for donating a signed copy of his book. All of these were handed out as lucky door prizes when the sailors headed to Canton Beach Sports Club on Saturday evening, whom we must also thank for their general support of Toukley Sailing Club. A special shoutout also to our interstate competitors - your presence and support of NSW events are always so highly valued.

Finally, to John Eastment, our PRO. His ability to put away a total of 10 races in immensely varied conditions was immaculate, and we have so much gratitude for that.

Friday

The day saw boats slowly roll onto the lawn at Toukley, from both locals and travellers alike. As the masts went up, so did the breeze. Ignoring the slight chill, a contingent of sailors hit the lake to assess the conditions and warm themselves up for racing the next day - whilst trying to avoid a preemptively muddy sail.

Saturday

The day dawned, and so did the breeze. A gusty southerly had firmly established itself, and sails were slow to get up - but quick to try and run away, as Hatto discovered.

After a warm welcome from the Toukley SC locals, a prompt briefing from the Race Officer John, and firm instructions to have fun from NSW President Paddy Butler, lifejackets were donned in anticipation of the AP dropping. Once out on the water, racing was swiftly under way. Conditions favoured the heavy-wind sailors, but a shockingly low amount of capsizes (excluding Jed Fatches' record-breaking time spent upside-down, yet his hardy attitude saw him still finish three races) meant the competition was thick throughout the fleet.

In the 14s, the first race of the day went to Gavin Luxton (WASC), with Rod Waterhouse (PBSC) and Paddy Butler (VSC, defending NSW State Champion) hot on his heels. Andrew Mckenzie (VSC) took out the second race, with Leon Whitworth making his way to finish in 7th position and Peter Walker (TSC) in 5th. The third race was utterly dominated by Rod Waterhouse, but Gavin Luxton, Andrew Mckenzie, and Will Mckenzie made sure Rod knew the competition was well and truly underway. Ellie Knorre got her best result yet, proving staying on the boat works wonders.

After a spot of lunch, where a passing shower didn't stop the quickly-disappearing sandwiches, Session 2 was inbound.

Mick Butler claimed Race 4 for himself, while defending National champion Bryn Robinson-Mills got his best score for the day with a 6th. Race 4 also brought daily bests for Bridget Waterhouse (PBSC) with 9th, Jake DeRooy (VSC) with 8th, and Andrew Boyd (TBA) with 4th. As some may have predicted, Race 5 did little to change the top, with MB, Andrew Mckenzie, Pat, Rod, and Will Mckenzie all holding on.

Special mentions for consistency in racing go to Aaron Robertson (TSC), Stephen Watt (WASC), Craig Hatton (VSC), and Michael Taylor (GLSC).

In the 16s, only Clare Eastment & Helen Mills (VSC) made it all the way around the racetrack, after Bridg Raftery & Soph Bates (VSC/RQYS) capsized immediately after starting and Bella Wilson & Rose Cookson's (RQYS/PBSC) mainsail decided it wasn't going to stay up. Race 2 saw Bella & Rose finish in first and Bridg & Soph finish their only race that day, all while Clare & Helen were finding a replacement traveller car. Races 3, 4, & 5 went very similarly, with Clare & Helen dominating, Rose & Bella hot on their heels, and Bridg & Soph doing a reasonable job at staying moving in between being upside down.

Overall, the first day of racing brought a hotly contested scoreboard, and sailors anxiously awaited the next day, where a polarising forecast lay. It was truly anyone's game.

Sunday

Sunday dawned even brighter and even earlier, with racing set to begin on the early horn to utilise what breeze there was. A dropping south-westerly meant tactical sailing was on the cards. Predicting wind shifts, finding the gusts, and, of course, going the right way, were the keys to success today.

The first heat of the day went to Paddy Butler, after making exceptional ground on Darren Schmidt (TSC) who secured 2nd position, whilst Rod slipped into 3rd. Race 1 brought best results for both Carmen Andrews (RQYS), claiming 4th, and Jed Fatches claiming 6th. Race 2's 1st place went to MB, while Andrew Mckenzie figured out which way to go to get 2nd, while Pat & Will duked it out to claim 3rd and 4th respectively. Bryn secured his best race with a 5th, Watty grabbed 9th out from under Andrew Boyd, who just beat Darren Schmidt to the finish. Rory Robinson showed off his local knowledge and fantastic boat handling to achieve a 7th-place finish, with Dave Fisher appreciating his 8th place.

The third heat went once again to MB, while Will Mckenzie narrowly came in 3rd behind Andrew Mckenzie. The Waterhouse clan particularly enjoyed this race - Rod, recovering from his drop, came back for 4th, just in time to beat Bridget, whose light-wind skills backed up her 5th. Kerry, on an unfortunately less-than-watertight boat, snagged her best result with a 9th.

A post-haste lunch saw the course drop to a mere GO - one-lappers meant your start was your make-or-break. This didn't scare Rod or MB in the slightest, with Rod claiming both Races 4&5 and MB hot on his heels all the way around for two 2nd places. Other Race 4 highlights included Gav's best for the day with a 4th, Bridget Waterhouse's impeccable mark rounding scoring her in 3rd, Sam Wood and Upu Kila backing up their Day 1 results with a 14th and 15th respectively, and Rory's 11th nothing to be sneezed at.

However, the sailor's weary brains still had one more race to think their way through. Darren Schmidt left his hardwiring turned on to cruise to 3rd, as did Peter Breadon, with his best result in the form of a 5th place. Andrew Nelson gybed his way to a 6th, and Peter Manley almost didn't let that slide but took the 7th place.

The 16s, however, rather enjoyed the tactical sailing. Particularly the part where they used their jibs to gybe. With a slightly more mixed scorecard, and a pleasing sight of no DNFs, the racing was anything but cruisy.

Race 1 went the way of Clare & Helen, as did Race 2. Bridg & Soph snuck into 2nd on Race 2, but Bella & Rose's excellent start gave them the win in Race 3. Race 4's GO course brought some anxiety, but not enough to deter Bridg & Soph from holding their course while the other boats tacked off, securing them the bullet.

However, Race 5 once again proved why Clare & Helen are now the best in the business when they picked a perfect line through the gusts to conclude their exceptional series. Bella & Rose kept their 2nd, and we think this pairing has incredible potential. Bridg & Soph, as a first-time pairing, had the absolute most fun, and the calibre of the racing was the cherry on top

Overall Results:

Opens

    1. Rod Waterhouse (20pts)
    2. Mick Butler (24pts)
    3. Andrew Mckenzie (34pts)
    4. Paddy Butler (45pts)
    5. Gavin Luxton (67pts)

Women's

    1. Carmen Andrews
    2. Bridget Bolewski
    3. Kerry Waterhouse

Youth

    1. Bryn Robinson-Mills
    2. Carmen Andrews
    3. Rory Robinson

Masters Champion

    1. Andrew Boyd
    2. Craig Hatton
    3. Sam Wood

Grand Masters Champion

    1. Mick Butler
    2. Andrew McKenzie
    3. Gavin Luxton

Great Grand Masters Champion

    1. Rod Waterhouse
    2. Peter Breaden
    3. Upu Kila

Fleabag

    1. Andrew McKenzie
    2. Paddy Butler
    3. Bryn Robinson-Mills

Medium-Well-Done

    1. Rod Waterhouse
    2. Mick Butler
    3. Darren Schmidt

Cruise-Controller

    1. Gavin Luxton
    2. Andrew Boyd

1-Tonne Club

    1. Andrew Nelson
    2. Watty

Best Restored Vessel

  • Peter Walker

Best Performed First-Time Competitor

  • Paul Pascal

Hobie Family's Sportsmanship

  • Kerrie Driver
  • Peter Manley

Bottoms Up

  • Bridget Raftery & Sophie Bates
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