What a day, what a lovely day…
The true nature of a Hobie 16 Worlds is indescribable. To not be there is to risk the worst case of FOMO ever experienced by an individual. With a vast number of the Australian Hobie Family coming down with the deadly illness over the duration of the three week extravaganza, it can be confirmed that the 23rd Hobie 16 World Championships was bloody extraordinary.
Now, rather than writing a wee bit of a spiel about just how unique, satisfying and truly unforgettable the Worlds in Costa Brava, Catalonia, Spain was, we might as well jump straight into the sailing.
Because, quite frankly, if you want to know what Team Australia got up to when they were on dry land, that’s what Totally Immersed TV’s ‘The Spain Files’ are for…
From the first day the Masters Cup commenced, it was clear Team Australia weren’t here to fornicate with arachnids. With nine out of the 37 boats entered sailing for the Great Southern Land, it was guaranteed that the Aussie Cowboys & Cowgirls were going to stir the pot on the race course.
Day one provided champagne sailing for team Australia, with three races held over the course of the day. However, the precedent was set that morning that this Worlds’ was going to be one of waiting. A lot of waiting.
As the breeze filled in (eventually) after lunch, the stage was set for a blissful day. The Nedlands hot-shots, Cam & Suz came hot out of the gates, to no one’s surprise, snagging two bullets and a second. Additionally, the smooth criminals, Dazzy & Claire, banked a bullet and a second.
In their first outing as Masters at a Hobie 16 Worlds, the dream-team, Fletch & Georgia, showed consistency on the race course with a second and a fifth. Although, a UFD in the third race indicated the pair were still working through their eagerness to be competing in such a prestigious regatta with many, many ‘experienced’ Hobie Sailors.
Branchy & Batesy, who with the guidance of their highly experienced crews, Carmen & Hannah, were toe to toe with the Palm Beach royals, Rod & Kerry. Also providing skin in the game was the Iceman, Glenn, with fellow Westerner, Nat, along with Lachy & Sharyn, and the dynamic duo, Bella & Dougie, as they took on the rest of the world with a not-so-quiet ferocity.
As the next two days passed by, Team Australia pushed on with positivity, despite both days being abandoned after two long, long, (and I mean long) days of waiting. This, however, provided the squad of elite athletes with ample opportunity to congregate by the pool for mandatory, highly-intense, debrief sessions. In accordance with Team Australia’s Chief Social Strategists, Paddy & Andrew, these sessions were to be only about racing, tactics, and absolutely nothing else…
Stick to business, bloke, nothing but racing. Nothing but racing…
…but seriously, a Surfer Girl meet-up with a DJ on the second night, and a Queen tribute band the next night, where the Spanish Freddie Mercury was unfaltering in his stand out performance. The kids were absolutely loving it!
All’s well that ends well, because the final day of the Masters was Cowboy Racing in its purest form. With a solid sea-breeze blowing into the Bay of Roses from the vastness of the Mediterranean, Team Australia were met with conditions they were perfectly suited for.
With only three races in the bank, it was clear to sailors across the beach that although it was a breathless morning, Mr. Brookes wasn’t going to hold back. With that, the stage was set for a big day on the tools, as five high-intensity races were to be deposited in the Catalonian vault.
As Team Australia hit the shore after a long day at the office, it was clear their energy had not faded. With all nine teams slotting into the top-15, and over half of the top-10 consisting of Aussies, a level of satisfaction was in the air. Whether you’d been out on the water, on the shore delivering refreshments, or sitting on home soil with a severe case of FOMO, it was there.
Bella & Dougie, Glenn & Nat, and Lachy & Sharyn’s results were as tight as they come, all finishing mere points apart in 15th, 14th and 13th respectively. Despite a couple of “hiccups” experienced by Glenn & Nat and Lachy & Sharyn, both teams must be applauded for a clean display of racing out on the race course.
For Bella & Dougie, however, in their first outing as a Masters duo, it couldn’t be clearer how much fun the pair had on the water. With just three rules to sail by whilst out on the water …. We can confirm all were followed to a tea.
As we moved into the top-10, Branchy & Carmen were on fire. Sailing low and fast, Goldilocks was competing in her first of three series, and as we’ll see up next, it proved to be pretty bloody beneficial. Both for Branchy & Carmen, because clearly, Bloke was having so much fun he decided to stay around for the next series.
Only two points apart at the close of business, Batesy & Hannah, along with Rod & Kerry were keeping everyone on their toes till the dying minutes. Finishing sixth and seventh respectively, both teams showed tenacity and determination throughout the series, foreboding an even tighter competition during the Grand Masters.
Despite a very unfortunate discard on the first day of racing, Fletch & Georgia’s score was near impeccable. Finishing fourth on count-back, and only a tack and gybe away from a full Aussie podium, Fletch & Georgia’s performance on the water proved once again why they’re still one of Team Australia’s strongest Hobie 16 teams.
Finally, rounding out the podium and bringing the silverware back to the Swan River, Dazzy & Claire, along with the champions, Cam & Suz. It’s no surprise these two teams were at the top of the pack, so it’s only fitting they get to stand side-by-side once again.
Cam & Suz displayed dominance on the racecourse, with four bullets banked out of the seven race series. Despite there only being two days of racing out of the scheduled four, the time spent on the water for all of Team Australia was unarguably a win. Both for the invaluable experience on the Bay of Roses, and just because it was so much bloody fun!
Womens’ World Championship
Who would’ve thought the Womens’ World Championship would be as undoubtedly nail-biting as it was? Just about everyone!
Team Australia put forward three of the most infamous Women’s teams to date. Filling the ranks from the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron, and the highest time on the water count than just about anyone, are the Andrews sisters; Carmen & Haylie. Having collectively sailed with more individuals than Goldilocks’ and her choice of chairs, beds and porridge, the pair were set to make their mark at the highest level.
Whilst the seasoned Womens’ Worlds helm Meagan, and her fresh crew from Germany, Franzi, were all set to send it after a hot minute off the water. In an unexpected turn of events, Nat Eldridge, in form after her stint with the Iceman in the Masters, locked in a gig with American Hobie Class Royalty, Kat Porter, as a last minute entry into the historic event.
However, it was the unexpected duo of Bella & Juliet that stole the show. Having not teamed up since the ‘97 Worlds in Sotogrande, Spain; and with reversed roles this time round, Bella & Jules were there to make one final statement.
Considered as some of the best conditions to be seen during the whole Worlds, the Womens’ was filled with high-octane, champagne sailing conditions that provided those on shore with some of the greatest spectating to be seen in Spain yet. Eight heats were held across the three days of racing, providing ample opportunity for the Aussies to spend time in the spotlight on the Bay of Roses.
Bella & Jules started off strong, as did the Andrews girls, with a bullet and a third respectively. Whilst Meagan’s time off the water was being rivaled by her utter determination to send it in the breeze, and have a bloody good time doing it.
The second day of Series 2 proved to be of the highest intensity, with the Womens’ contingent staying out on the water for a whopping four race session, whilst the ancient mariners and the grommets of Spain take it easy for the day. Word on the shore was minimal, as the our three teams took the opportunity for a big feed and an early night.
Leading into the final day of racing, Bella & Jules, along with the Andrews Girls, were on equal points, tied for third. If you were a spectator watching from home; part of the Team Aus beach crew waiting in anticipation; or Rob Andrews on the tip of his ‘Jaygo’s’ mast in the Whitsundays, searching desperately for a couple of bars; there was only one thing we all wanted: all four girls on the podium.
And it just so happens, that’s exactly what we got!
The reaction Andrew and I received when we told two of our dearest friends they’d made it to the podium, after what was their greatest performance on a Hobie 16, was something we’ll never forget. Better yet was Bella’s reaction to the whole situation; who could be heard screaming in joy at the news two pairs of Aussies had brought it home.
Finishing off the final day with a fifth and a second is undoubtedly an amazing way to end a World Championship. Meagan & Franzi’s performance in the Womens’ … especially in the blow … was a pleasure to watch; we are beyond excited to see where the pair goes next. Furthermore, Kat & Nat’s performance as a team, having never sailed together, was exceptional to say the least. Time will only tell where Nat’s journey takes her as one of Team Australia’s top performing crews.
With six out of eight races finishing in the top five, and snagging a first during the hardest day out on the water, the Andrews’ sisters were insatiable in their hunger for the bullet. As a proud father watched earnestly from the Great Barrier Reef, Carmen & Haylie put on a show during their time on the Bay of Roses; and we cannot wait until we see them together, once again, in Jervis Bay for the Australian Womens’ Hobie 16 Nationals.
Finally, Bella & Juliet thought it’d be in everyone’s interest to throw in their entry at the very last minute; as such it was bloody-well worth it. Opening with a bullet, and sailing as consistently as it is raining on the Australian east coast, the pair of hotshots were always in the mix.
Seeing Bella and Jules race at the highest quality during the Worlds was an absolute pleasure; but nothing will outlast their flawless demonstration on how to sail out through some pumping swell on the second day of racing. Just another day at Currumbin Alley wouldn’t you say!
At the end of the day, hasn’t this all just been a wee bit of foreshadowing … double digits in the Hobie 16 Womens’ Nationals is something you don’t see everyday.
Youth World Championship
Unfortunately this year, there were no grommets competing for Team Australia. However, it was clear who the Aussies were getting behind. AJ & Morgan, sailing for Team GBR, last competed together on the Hobie 16 during the 22nd Hobie 16 Worlds in Florida, USA, where they claimed the bronze behind Paddy and Caitlin. So it’s definitely been a hot minute.
Nonetheless, between them, the pair are highly experienced Nacra 15 sailors. Not to mention AJ’s time on the 16 during the NSW, VIC & QLD States earlier this year.
The Italians were dominant throughout the series, putting forward 10 of the 17 boats competing. However, it was nothing AJ & Morgan couldn’t handle. With a whopping 10 races bagged over the three day competition, the Youth contingent had the most races to count throughout the whole Worlds.
AJ & Morgan’s scoreboard was exactly what they needed, safe, conservative and consistent. Ultimately resulting in their final placing of third place on the podium. An exceptional effort in what was a monumental step up from Florida, 2019. With a tuned up European Hobie squad right in the mix, AJ & Morgan have cemented their place as one of the greatest Hobie 16 teams from GBR (Aus).
Grand Masters’ Cup
The Grand Masters Cup. There is no greater prize for the individual who chooses to challenge only the most seasoned of Hobie 16 sailors. This year, a mere four of Australia’s most decorated Hobie 16 skippers chose to take on the prestigious trophy. (Would’ve been five if MB had pulled his finger out). Nevertheless, these men were to take on the challenge, proving they were indeed, still the powerhouses they had always been.
Starting the lineup the current World Champions, Rod & Kerry, came out of the gates firing with two bullets on the first day. Not a surprise to anyone, the pair have been sailing together for 42 years after all. Also on the tools, Team Aus’ mates, William & Lucinda started strong as always with two top-five finishes, as did the rockstar entrants to the regatta, Branchy & Paddy.
On that note, Bloke only had a couple days worth of sailing in the Masters with Carmen, which would’ve been a bit of a let down. Not sailing with Carmen, obviously, but coming all the way to Spain for that.
So, after much deliberation over half a rum ‘n’ coke, and checking in with Head Coach, Jackie, the boys were all set to absolutely send it; low and fast, baby.
Across the three days of sailing, the Grand Masters banked two races each afternoon, providing the squad with a bit of freedom as the sun went down during the series. Unlike their counterparts in the Women & Youth, the Grand Masters were very, very well rested.
Keeping the boat in one piece, Lachy & Sharyn had a solid performance on the second day of racing, as did Batesy & Hannah. Kicking the day off with a bullet (something Bloke should’ve done on the first race if he wasn’t over early), the Bates duo were in form. Meanwhile, however, Rod & Kerry were driving the boat like they stole it!
Leading into the final day, B1 & B2 were only a point apart, and with the Germans only a stone’s throw away, Paddy & Hannah were in for some quality Cowboy Racing on the front of the boat. Lachy & Sharyn showed consistency on the water, as did William & Lucinda with two thirds. Although, it was Rod & Kerry who pulled away with a fourth and a fifth which ultimately solidified their place as the Grand Masters Champions once again.
However, that wasn’t the most exciting part of the day, by far, if I do say so myself.
It was the battle for the bullet in the final race between B1 & B2 that stole the show. Under strict instructions from the respective crews, the game plan was clear. (1) Crank the downhaul, (2) start on pin, (3) track out the jib, (4) dump some trav, (5) crank the bloody main on, (6) send it low and fast all the way to the corner. The rockstars rounded first, narrowly followed by the Bates duo who were breathing down their necks all the way to the gates.
Rounding the port gate, both Blokes headed out on starboard and still on the chase, Hannah picked the lay perfectly. But it was Paddy’s desire to break the speed record that made Bloke’s eyes glisten as if a case of Bundy had been imported all the way from the Sunshine State.
On what could be considered the fastest upwind leg seen so far on the Bay of Roses, Branchy & Paddy managed to hold off Batesy & Hannah all the way to finish. With that, the pair solidified what was an epic three days on the water for Team Australia, across the board.
Now I know I said I was going to keep it strictly busy. However, it was Hannah’s final day at the Worlds, and the ‘99 Crew were going to be a woman down. Not only that, TITV were losing an integral member of the squad that had finally found their traction as a crack team of actors, producers and cinematographers.
So, it was off to preso, then to the beach, and finally, a whole lotta cheekiness for the Groms (and Bella). But, before we ultimately said goodbye to one of our own, TITV’s Andrew, Haylie & Carmen were under strict instructions from the Executive Producer to make the most of the night, before the real work began in the Qualifiers the next day…
The Qualifiers started off strong, as it should’ve, with the Bay of Roses producing a solid sea-breeze that blew all day long. Providing Brooksey with the opportunity to smash four races out, both sessions were able to snag two races to count; and with a second and a bullet, Gav & Carmen were leading the show out of the gates.
However, as Lucky-Dog continually reminded us all: “it’s bad luck to win the qualifiers bloke…”
As documented on Totally Immersed TV, the energy in the Worlds camp changed dramatically as the Qualifiers commenced. Whilst the majority of the pre-qualified contingent from Team Aus were out gallivanting around Barcelona there were only a handful of the Aussies left on the beach, tending to the athletes racing in the blow.
As the regatta continued, and the seabreeze continued to fill in for the next two afternoons, Team Australia were provided with the highest quality of Cowboy Racing the Worlds had to offer.
Teaming up for the first time together on the Bay of Roses, Rod & Bridget were in form over the course of the regatta, consistently finishing in the top-five throughout their five race series. Finishing fourth overall, their head strategist on the shore, Jackson, was observed by many brushing up on his sailing skills watching Uncle Jason in the SailGP only a few hours away. All we can say is he’ll be one to look out for.
Catalonian locals, the Booth clan, produced three teams during the Qualifiers. Mitch, sailing with his daughter, Rita, were sending it on home waters. Finishing seventh overall, and on a Hobie 16 for the first time in many a long year, Mitch & Rita were guaranteed to be one’s to look out for during the semis. Additionally, Jordi & Ana, along with Ruben & Alex, were putting on a show for the locals. Finishing in 13th and 29th respectively, the two teams guaranteed their spot in the semi-finals.
Conor & Joey, competing in their very first Worlds in what was unarguably the largest fleet the pair has seen, performed admirably. Starting off slower than expected, but finishing the first day with a fourth, it was clear the pair had what it took to get the job done. Locking their place in the semis by the skin of their teeth; not to mention Lori’s gut-wrenching delivery of those who made the cut; Team Australia were collectively stoked as Conor & Joey’s were read out, just shy of the final cut.
Finally, we turn to Andrew & Haylie. Haylie, having absolutely nailed it with Carmen in the Womens’, was all over the racecourse on the front of the boat; however, the Pelican was shaking in his feathers. Nonetheless, the jitters were cured as the seabreeze blew through the Bay of Roses, and the Queenslanders managed to seal their spot in the semis … as they bloody well should’ve.
As the semis rolled in, so did the rest of Team Australia as they prepared for The Final Dance. However, it was the rockstar arrival of Gav Colby that stole the show. Josie, coming off a tough stint with the dentist, was waiting with anticipation for her 2014 World Championship winning skipper, who thought the perfect time to rock up to the Bay of Roses was the night before … nothing to do with Andy Dinsdale of course…
Across three days of racing, the locals (those of Team Aus that had been there since the first series) had never seen conditions quite like this. A glass off in the morning on day one saw only two races a piece, with each session getting a single opportunity to make their mark; and with 15 teams representing Team Australia, we were sure to have a couple of boats up there.
Starting strong, as always, both Dazzy & Claire, along with Cam & Suz, bagged a bullet in the respective sessions; whilst Gav & Josie, Pete & Jules, and Fletch & Georgia, all had keepers within the top 10. So, with two days to go, and still three races a piece to go, the wind gods would confirm anything (and I mean absolutely anything) could happen.
However, seeing as though it was the Worlds (and the hardest bloody fleet I reckon MB and I have sailed in), any finish in the top half of the fleet is a winner. Conor & Joey started in fine form with a 12th over the line, whilst Gav & Carmen managed to sneak in a 14th. Additionally, Mitch & Rita, along with Lachy & Sharyn, placed 16th in their respective heats.
With the day of racing all said and done, it was back to the bungalows for hair and makeup as Team Australia prepared for the welcoming ceremony; featuring the hottest band to come out of Costa Brava since the iconic Queen tribute band from the Masters: Mother’s Mine.
The second day of the semi-finals saw the infamous mistral finally arrive on location, allowing Mr. PRO to smash two races out during the first session of the day: the first being a blissful, clean 12 knots, whilst the second continued to fade from the start to the finish. As confirmed by Dazzy & Claire in ‘The Spain Files’: “it was absolutely nerve wracking”!
After a long, long, long break during the middle of the day, the second session headed out into the thermal seabreeze as it began to fill across the Bay of Roses. As the finals’ fleet began to see champagne sailing conditions for the first time, the ‘brisa marina’ allowed the fleet to complete three races apiece leading into the final day.
Dazzy & Claire, and Cam & Suz, maintained their consistency (as expected), with a first and a third, and two seconds respectively. But besides those hotshots, Glenn & Alex had a great day, finishing off the session with a 13th; meanwhile, Jordi & Ana locked in a fourth in the same race, securing a keeper that would eventually get them through to the final dance.
As for the pair of Gavs: Carmen’s Lucky Dog managed to sneak their way across the finish line with a second in the first heat of the first session, whilst Josie managed to get Colby moving enough in the afternoon to bag a bullet in the first race of the second session.
The Bates duo displayed nothing but consistency as they locked in a couple of keepers with two sixths, whilst the Waterhouses’, along with the Warren-Myers, were in the mix of things weaving their way amongst the top 15. Finally, The Butler Boys were at last beginning to find their feet as they continued to improve, race after race.
On that note, after a solid day of racing for Team Australia, all eyes remained on the Pelican; where the word had spread, by no individual in particular, that the final member for Casa del Grom returned home at 4am that morning. Some say it was due to his “ultimate wing-man” performing their role admirably, whilst others consider this individual abandoned their duties much earlier in the night, due to their own preoccupation; allowing the Pelican to truly spread his wings once and for all…
Leading into the final day of the semis, the outlook was grim. With minimal wind forecasted, and at least one race per session necessary to make a series, it was all on Brooksey and his team to pull off a miracle; and that they did.
However, we should mention that despite the poor forecast and the knowledge all teams will only have four races to carry, the 50th Australian Hobie Cat Nationals had reached the triple digits milestone we’d all been craving … all thanks to one and only: Andrew Boyd.
Leaving the beach first up, all eyes were on Team WA. Dazzy & Claire, and Cam & Suz were on equal points, tying for the bullet; whilst Gav & Josie, and a few other notable ex-World Champions, were coming in hot on their sterns.
As reported by TITV’s newest intern turned full-time Reporter-in-Chief, Elisabeth, Dazzy & Claire sealed the deal, as Cam & Suz snuck in third over the line. Fletch & Georgia made their position in the top 10 safe, finishing eighth in the second session, whilst the Butler Boys finally found their rhythm on the water, finishing a close second as they made their way back to the beach, ready for what was to be one of the most extravagant nights at the Worlds to date.
All I can say is: Pool Party!
Also, if anyone has any questions about said pool party; I hereby refer you to Fletch & Georgia…
As is the same at all Hobie 16 Worlds, the cut night between the Semis and the Finals will always be disappointing for some, relieving for others, and gloriously unforgettable for others. One of those teams in particular was Andrew & Haylie; and quite frankly, the whole of Team Australia.
With only a handful of places to go, and the points for each boat moving up by a single digit, the Pelican was shaking in his feathers. Haylie, on the other hand, was cool as a cucumber. But as Lori continued to call out the few remaining teams, the Queensland pair were doing sums like they were back in primary school. A (38), a 21, a 21, and a 17 … was it enough?
And as Lori read out 47th place, Team Australia found out it was.
Finally, we must commend those from Team Australia that competed valiantly on the Bay of Roses in what were some of the trickiest, most intense sailing conditions many of the Team had seen for a long, long time.
Glenn & Alex sailed brilliantly in their time during the Qualifiers and the Semis, and proved to be some of the most passionate sailors that Team Aus had to offer. Likewise, Ruben & Alex confirmed that sailing on home waters was a gift in itself, and in their first Hobie 16 Worlds to date, a qualified place in the Semis is an achievement in itself.
Conor & Joey, back in Europe for the first time in a number of years, and competing their inaugural Hobie 16 Worlds, performed excellently in what was the busiest startline they’d tousled with yet. We can only imagine how aggressive they’ll be in Jervis Bay later this year, as they look to take on the masses in their first Australian Hobie Cat Nationals.
Finally, Hobie 16 Worlds veterans, Lachy & Sharyn, didn’t find the luck they deserved in Costa Brava. As integral members of Team Australia, and with one of the most extensive résumés at the Hobie 16 Worlds, it was a loss for the whole Team not having Lachy & Sharyn on the startline the next day. However, their duties to the Team never faltered, as we were to see in two days time, at one of the largest beach parties in Hobie history…
The Final Dance
As the grand finale of the 23rd Hobie 16 Worlds commenced, no one knew that this would be the last of racing on the clear waters of the Mediterranean; and by winds of Neptune, it was the longest, most strenuous day on the water for our Cowboy Sailors to date.
Over the course of the day, five high quality heats were held back-to-back, in a breeze that gradually built as the afternoon wore on. Finishing the day in a steady 12-15 knots blowing onshore, it was nothing but “Champagne Sailing” conditions for Team Australia; however “Champagne Racing,” it was not.
For the entirety of the 48 boat fleet (except maybe one…), there were no teams that didn’t manage to earn themselves a decent drop. Consequently, each team had to make every single moment of every single race count. From the 5-minute gun to the drop of the U-flag, to the positioning on the line and the battle for clean air at the start, each manoeuvre, lay-line and port-starboard crossing could determine a team’s final scorecard.
At the close of business on day one of the Finals, the vibe was much less light of heart than it had been throughout the entirety of Team Australia’s experience at the Worlds. With Cam & Suz sneaking ahead slowly but surely throughout the day, and plenty of movement across the scoreboard as a whole, there were still teams champing at the bit to get out on the water for a final time and give it one more crack.
As the sun rose for the final day of racing on the Bay of Roses, it wasn’t looking promising. With a solid downpour the previous night, and a constant drizzle lingering over the 48 Hobie 16s lined up on the shore of the Mediterranean, it was all looking to be said and done.
So, as the committee boat spent time in every corner of the race course, desperately searching for breeze, and the safety boats circled in anticipation (or was it boredom) like a scene out of ‘Waterworld’, sails were beginning to drop as the final bell was to be rung.
However, as Steve, Paul and the whole Worlds Team began to pull the trigger for the celebration (not to mention Team Australia’s plans to dunk Cam & Suz), ‘Tramuntana’ filled in from the Pyrenees in a hair-raising squall, it was time to head out for a final race … that would just so happen to be cancelled half-way up the second work.
The Final Scorecard
Rounding out the Finals fleet in the greatest way possible, Andrew & Haylie performed a full-blown Cinderella story. Sneaking it at the last minute, proving that not only as individual sailors, but as a team, they had grown monumentally in less than two weeks of sailing on the Bay of Roses; and just like a fine bottle of rum, we Hobie sailors only get better with age…
As the true Catalonians at the party, Jordi & Ana proved that a wee bit of local knowledge will always come in handy. Finishing 44th overall, the pair sailed consistently during their time at the Worlds, proving the Booth family will always be one to look out for. Whilst we’re on the topic, Mitch & Rita, despite having not sailed a Hobie 16 for a good hot minute, proved they still had what it took to stay in the mix of it all. Placing 18th overall, time will only tell whether we’ll be seeing the Booths pop up at a few Aussie Hobie regattas in the years to come.
Despite a coupla’ shockers during the Semis, Gav & Carmen managed to pull their finger out during the five races in the finals. With an absolute shocker, and four heats finishing in the top 15, the Dog & Goldilocks managed to climb over 10 spots on the last day. Unarguably a satisfying way to finish the regatta, it’s only onwards and upwards for the pair as they return to home turf, commencing the never-ending duties of playing boats.
As Team Australia’s true veterans, the Palm Beach royals, Rod & Bridget, performed splendidly during their time at the Worlds. Having not sailed on a Hobie 16 since Florida, 2019, Rod & Bridget’s flawlessness as a team was as evident as Jackson’s passion for our sport. With the word on the water pointing towards a triumphant return at the 50th Hobie Cat Nationals later this year, we are excited to see what’s next for the Waterhouse clan.
Fletch & Georgia’s final day on the water wasn’t what they had dreamed, but their commitment to Hobie sailing and our way of life has never faltered (as can be confirmed throughout various episodes of TITV). As a team, their journey is far from over; and with one of the last Hobie 16s ever to be produced in Australia sitting high and dry in their front yard, they’ll be hunting for the bullet.
Having sailed with Hannah during the Masters and Grand Masters’ Cup, it was about time the O.G. Bates duo got back together on the water for the main event. Sailing as fast as they ever had, Pete and Jules’ last day on the Bay of Roses was one for the history books. Finishing with a third and a fifth, as well as being lucky enough to bring home a brand new mainsail to show off at 50th Hobie Cat Nationals, a final placing of ninth is an achievement in itself.
With word on the water that this could be the final time the Butler Boys were to compete together as a team on the Hobie 16, MB & Paddy weren’t here to play around. Much like the vast majority of the fleet, finishing with a consistently inconsistent scorecard meant every place a team could gain on the downwind was monumental; and in the Butler Boys case, a consistent seabreeze with big swell, meant it was just another day in the Jervis Bay.
In a drag race, there is no team faster than the 20th Hobie 16 World Champions, Gav & Josie. The infamous Western Australian pairing had a mixed bag of races on the final day of the regatta. What would have been three consecutive bullets if it wasn’t for an OCS, Gav & Josie finished with a third in the final heat, solidifying their place in the top five. However, the real champions in the Colby household this time round were, Zara & Grace; and their scene stealing cameos on TITV’s ‘The Spain Files’.
Whether you were on the racecourse, or watching all the way from home, there were no other teams results that told the story of the final day other than Dazzy & Claire’s. Having achieved a near perfect score during the semis, the pressure was on for the dynamic duo to keep their spot at the top of the mountain. However, as proven right across the fleet, the day was full of twists and turns at every corner of the race course. Consequently, Dazzy & Claire closed their time in Spain with a third on the podium; which quite frankly is bloody brilliant!
Inevitably, as proven time and time again on the Hobie 16 racecourse: consistency is key … and there was absolutely no one at the 23rd Hobie 16 World Championships that was more consistent than Cam & Suz.
After the Worlds, it is unarguable that there is no other Hobie 16 team that has the ability to gain places after being spat out the back with such efficiency than Team Australia’s very own World Champions. Only bagging a single bullet across the seven race series, Cam & Suz secured their very first open World Championship with a handful of a seconds and thirds, a fourth and a seventh, along with a disastrous drop of an eighth on the final day of racing. An achievement that is truly second to none.
So, as the sun set over the Pyrenees, and the clouds began to close over the sky of Costa Brava, it was off to Chez Butler & Bursa for the Team Australia pre-drinks, before the legendary preso night that would see Team Australia celebrate the only way they knew how…
Paddy’s Plain Speakin’
I could not be more grateful, proud and in awe of my Family, Team Australia.
The sheer level of commitment, grit, tenacity and persistence each of you showed towards your sailing, along with my endless parade of b****** that was Totally Immersed TV over the three week extravaganza, was exceptional to say the least.
There is a multitude of people I would personally like to thank, much of whom Andrew & I mentioned during ‘The Spain Files: Epilogue’; but to my ‘99 crew, Chez Grom and the squad that stuck with me the whole way with Totally Immersed TV’s ‘The Spain Files’. Andrew, Hannah, Haylie, Meagan, Elisabeth and Carmen. I’ll forever be privileged to call you my team, and my friends.
Nevertheless, this Match Report has gone on for long enough; so I’ll try my best to keep things as short and as sweet as possible. As Rod so brilliantly stated during the his Grand Masters speech: “Hobie Cat has given us our lives; the best times of our lives”; and it is without a shadow of a doubt that the Australian Hobie Family, let alone the entirety of the International Hobie Class, came together in a way that had not been seen at any Worlds previous.
So, on that note …
I’ve been Paddy, and I’ll be see you soon.