Queensland State Championships – Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron

The tension is building and the stakes are higher than ever for the highly anticipated Queensland Hobie Cat State Championships this weekend. Coordinated by the Queensland Hobie Cat Association in conjunction with the ever consistent Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron, the event is proudly supported by local Brisbane business Yacht Share for the very first time, along the unwavering support from Gordon and the team at Sunstate Watersports, along with Gill Australia and Cat Covers.

The Hobie 14 resurgence has maintained its ferocity reaching double figures for a second year in a row with just shy of 40 boats set to send it in this year’s Championship. Additionally, the Youth Contingent in the Hobie 16s is set to regain numbers since the ”99 Crew’ aged out in 2020.

With competitors coming from NSW, Victoria, and all the way over from Western Australia, Moreton Bay will be truly alive with colour this long-weekend.

Sailing on home waters, the reigning champs, Peter & Juliet Bates, are ready and raring to defend their 2022 title against all those near and far. Local powerhouses Lachy Macfarlane & Sharyn Rayner, along with Branchy & Keagy who are both sailing with new crews for the event. Jo Keen, who’s returned from her Hobie hiatus, will be donning the gloves for her first Championships event this year, whilst Keagy has the pick of the litter with Naomi Chiu flying in like a rockstar all the way from Victoria.

Shane & Murray Peterson are both heading down from the Sunny Coast with the whole clan in tow, as Phil & James Kellond-Knight are set to back up a top-10 finish at the 50th Hobie Nationals for their first event in the new year. Also from Southport, Dave & Brianna Vincent will be heading up the road, along with Bloody Leon who’s making his return to the water after a last minute bail from the NSW States in February.

Joining Bloody Leon in the Hobie 14s, Gordon McGillivray will be gunning for the title once again, as will Anthony Smith, Andrew Peterson and Yacht Share’s very own Paul Thomas. However, heading north for the Championship are the New South Welshmen Superstars: Rod Waterhouse, Mick Butler, Gavin Luxton, Andrew Spinelli and James Rhodes who’s sending it high and fast on last year’s winning boat, La Cheeki.

Making up a highly accomplished Women’s division, the Andrews sisters will be sailing their inaugural Queensland Championship as a team, as will Charlie Tonks & Libby Kirby who have continued their growth since the NSW States. Julie Keenan & Casey Spe will be chasing the title on home waters, as will Zoe Cairns who will be teaming up with the Lake Macquarie local, Ellie Knorre, once again.

Also making the trip north, Paddy Butler is making the switch to the Hobie 16, teaming up with longtime crew Hannah Bates who we’ve confirmed will be calling the shots. Likewise, the up and coming Jimmy Winchester will be taking on the Championship with fellow Youth helm the one and only, Lachy Owen, who is leaving his old-man behind in Western Australia.

Joining Lachy, the entirety of the Smith Clan is inbound on a mission. Dazzy & Clare are set to chase a podium finish, building upon a third in last year’s event, as Dazzy continues a hot streak after a bullet in the WA Hobie 14 States. Meanwhile, Elisabeth will be jumping onboard with her TITV counterpart, Andrew ‘The Pelican’ Warneke.

Finally, back to the days of yore before the long winter of 2020 and the aging out of the 99 crew, the Hobie 16 Youth fleet is back again like we’ve never seen them before. Six youth teams will be hitting the start line over the weekend, taking on the world class Grand Masters that we all know and put up with.

Three local Nacra 15 teams are making the transition to the sunny side of the fence for the weekend, all of which are looking to take on one of the best off the beach catamaran fleets in the world. Kris Bilston & Addie Lester are donning the colourful rags, as are Kenzie Gargan & Gian Bilston. Concurrently, Riley House & Bella Wilson are set to get some quality tactical training under their belts before they begin their campaign in Europe later this year.

The aforementioned pair of ratbags, Jimmy & Lachy, are set to spice things up after the pair found their form, both on the helm, during the 50th Hobie Nationals. The only question is this: who’ll take the helm this time? Reflecting last year’s situation with AJ Luxton, Ellie Knorre finds herself qualifying for both the Youth & Women’s division with Zoe Cairns. Finally, we have the pair of Young Guns: Bryn Robinson-Mills & Bridget Raftery. Backing up a stellar display of boat speed at the recent Combined High Schools Sailing Championship, the pair are more in sync than ever, both on and off the water.

So, stay tuned Cowboy Sailors, Totally Immersed TV will be taking you behind the scenes of this monumental battle royale on the water and the mischief and madness that the Hobie Family will get up to on the shores of Moreton Bay.

Bad News Memorial Regatta – Gold Coast Catamaran Club

Widely renowned as one of the most fun and spectacular regattas on the Australian Championship Tour, the annual Baddie Regatta is one you cannot afford to miss! Worsty, Deb, Sarah and the rest of the team behind the Baddie Regatta are beyond keen to get this year’s event underway, and most importantly, to be there for it in all its glory.

The last two years we’ve seen sensational swell rolling along the coast, with enough breeze to smash out two stellar series with quality fleets for both the Hobie 14s and Hobie 16s. In 2021, the 20th anniversary of the event saw Keagy & Helen Warneke take out the title ahead of Peter & Juliet Bates in the Hobie 16s, whilst Paddy Butler claimed the iconic hardboard centreboard for the first time in the 14s.

Last year, the reigning World Champions, Cam Owen & Suzzi Ghent, continued their rigorous training schedule for Spain, claiming the title over Paddy & Hannah Bates, whilst Bryn Robinson-Mills brought home the centreboard for his first Championship victory. However, an absence from our organisers made our time in Currumbin not quite the same. But with the Hobie Family’s spirit ever so flawless, the regatta went on with the flying colours we’ve all come to know and love.

Although, we all know why we really go to the Baddie Regatta…

Be sure to stick around and stay tuned for more news coming out of this event. Accommodation is available at the Rocks Resort where they have assured us the spa will be open after hours. Entries are now open, so there’s absolutely no time to waste.

Paddy Butler
Media & Publicity – Australian National Hobie Class Association