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Sail Brisbane ’23 – The Match Report

Interstate Winners, Last-Minute Crews on Moreton Bay’s Finest*

Sail Brisbane ’23 kicked off under the brilliant Queensland sun, with the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron providing a stunning backdrop for the diverse fleet that had gathered for this open regatta. The event showcased an impressive array of sailing classes, from the OK Dinghy World Championships to the F18 State Championships, nothing could compare to the robust fleet of Hobie 16s, numbering an impressive 19 boats. The stakes were high, with many teams using this regatta as a final tune-up before the imminent Australian Championships just two weeks away.

For some, the journey to Sail Brisbane was a true odyssey. Cam & Suz, undeterred by the vast expanse of the Nullarbor, made the trek to pick up their new vessel, aptly named ‘Red.’ Meanwhile, Fletch & Georgia took on the logistical challenge of transporting their boats north with the triple stacker—a mission that would prove worthwhile during their extended stay in the Sunshine State. Whilst from New South Wales, Gav, MB, and Paddy all arrived crew-less but abundant enthusiasm, ready to take on the challenges of Sail Brisbane.

As the regatta got underway, anticipation was in the air, and sailors eagerly embraced the opportunity to test their skills against a competitive field in preparation for the upcoming national showdown.

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Saturday unfolded with a mix of excitement, camaraderie, and unexpected challenges. The Hobie Family demonstrated its resourcefulness as Rob Andrews, with a dash of international flair, brought in two young fellas he & Dee met in Fiji to join MB and Gav. MB enlisted the expertise of the eldest brother, Dary, while Lucky-Dog naturally took the younger and smaller Ewan under his wing.

With Bridg sidelined back in Jervis Bay, Jess & Ado stepped up for Paddy, introducing Swifty to the exhilarating world of the trapeze. Despite the initial logistical hurdles and a traffic jam that delayed the start, the sailors eventually hit the water, only to be greeted by light, shifty, and patchy conditions—a stark contrast to the preferred westerlies of May.

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Consistency became the buzzword of the day, a mantra easier said than done in the challenging conditions. However, exceptions emerged in the form of Cam & Suz and MB & Dary, both impressively concluding the day with three top-3 finishes each. The Bates’ and Kellond-Knights entered the fray with a bullet each, showcasing their prowess in the shifting winds. The Warren-Myers, and the dynamic duo Lachy & Bella also left their mark on the race track.

As the day’s racing unfolded, sailors forged bonds both on and off the water. The evening was spent reliving the day’s tales and watching the Dubai Sail Grand Prix. The Hobie Family came together, overlooking the twinkling lights of Quandamooka Country, creating memories that would endure long after the sails had been furled.

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As the sun dipped on the final day of Sail Brisbane ’23, the Hobie 16 fleet prepared for a decisive showdown with a total of six races scheduled for the series. With only three races left to make their results count, anticipation hung in the air.

Fletch & Georgia wasted no time asserting their dominance, starting the day strong with a bullet in the first heat. The usual suspects followed closely behind in a display of skill and strategy. However, as the day progressed, the breeze, initially cooperative, began to shift back to the patchy conditions that had challenged sailors the day before.

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In a supposed dead heat between the Bates’ and Butler Sr., Cam & Suz seized the opportunity to sneak in behind the pair, securing a crucial position. Phil & James, along with Lucky-Dog and Ewan, also navigated the shifting winds adeptly, setting the stage for a thrilling finale.

As the fleet gathered for the sixth and final heat, Cam & Suz demonstrated their mettle by clinching victory with a bullet, solidifying their overall triumph. Fletch & Georgia, MB & Dary, Peter & Juliet, and Branchy & Jo closely followed, rounding out an intensely competitive series.

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Yet, the excitement wasn’t confined to the race track alone. Offshore, Pelican joined Brad, Rob, and Co. on Murray’s Benetau, capturing iconic moments throughout the course. From Swifty’s daring drop of the traveler on ‘Munyunga,’ resulting in a comical series of events, to Hamish & Jenni spectacularly putting the bows in during the second race, and Libby & Zoe’s mast narrowly sneaking in front of Sash & Curtis in a sensationally timed pitchpole—every twist and turn added to the rich tapestry of Sail Brisbane ’23.

As the sails were furled and the boats returned to shore, the collective sentiment was one of camaraderie and accomplishment. Despite the challenges, all’s well that ends well, and the sailing community bids adieu to Sail Brisbane ’23 with eager anticipation for the next adventure on the horizon. See you all in a couple of weeks for the Australian Championships!

Provisional Results

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Spikey Mike's Shots (FULL SIZE HI-RES)

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