In case you missed the trophy-party, the top three champions for the The Hog’s Breath Cafe & Hobie Cat Australasia – Australian Hobie Class National Championships 2009/2010 were (1) Gavin Colby/Sasha Marks, (2) Darren Smith/Josie Mark, (3) Taylor Booth/Emma Sturgeon. Full results are available at http://www.hobiecatnationals.com.au/results/
The new 2009/2010 Australian Hobie 16 Champion, Gavin Colby modestly admitted it is good to be a national champion again and he was delighted to win the title with Sasha. This is Sasha Marks first time as Australian Hobie 16 National Champion.
Though the front of the fleet was serious during the event, there were some funny moments on the water. During one of the 15 races skippers Gavin and Darren Smith were racing against each other to the upwind mark. Neither boat could see the buoy and the two boats were in a very close battle.
Gavin relaxed for a moment, turned to Darren on the other boat and asked where he thought the upwind mark was. Usually skippers don’t want to distract one another nor do they want to give away their tactics to the other team. Both skippers laughed and agreed to split the difference. Gavin noted, “The first and second place boats don’t usually have that type of banter during a race.”
On one of the downwind legs, Darren and Gavin were having a gybing duel, trying to split off ahead. As the number of gybes back and forth became ridiculous, the downwind duel actually became humorous.
Many of the top competitors shared that they’d never sailed a regatta that was this aggressive, yet when you got back to the beach everyone got together to share a laugh. Sasha Marks, Gavin’s crew mentioned saw a small shark during the first day of racing. Between races she mentioned the shark to the other sailors. Sailors prodded Sasha and Gavin, telling them they were lucky the shark wasn’t bigger – a big shark is one way to overcome competition.
Gavin and Sasha had a fantastic time and were happy to see so many people racing in good spirits. They have been modest about celebrating with a champagne toast with the fleet and a relaxing trip down to Margaret River, the local Western Australian wine region.
What is next? Both look forward to defending their National title at next year’s event at The Vincentia Sailing Club, Jervis Bay, New South Wales from 2-6 January 2011. Event details will be announced at the Australian Hobie Class Association website at http://anhca.hobieclass.com/
ABOUT Hobie Catamarans
The Hobie 16 is a 16 foot / 4.9 m catamaran with two sailors and has been a popular racing catamaran for 40 years. Hobie Cats were born in a surfboard shop in Southern California in 1969 and are named after the designer, Hobie Alter. Numerous Hobie catamarans have been designed over the years with the most popular racing boats ranging from 12 feet to 18 feet in length. The boats are easy to launch from sandy beaches, physically rewarding to sail and popular all over the world.
Shauna McGee Kinney, 2009/2010 Media Contact
Hobie Cat Association Western Australia
(AUS) +61 8 9467-2663 (USA) +1 760 208-4663
Photos available upon request.