El Presidente’s Report ’23

Hello Australian Hobie sailors!

With the 2023/24 season underway, it’s a good time to recap on what’s been happening over the last 12 months here in Australia. The association has been busy on a number of fronts in the off season and really looking forward to the Nationals in Brisbane.

We’ve had a number of international + national events take place with plenty of Aussies competing everywhere. First and foremost, a massive congratulations to our man Paddy Butler at the Hobie 14 Worlds. Not only was Pat on the top step but followed ever so closely by old man Butler and the evergreen Rod Waterhouse taking a clean Aussie sweep of the podium! An honourable mention also goes to Andrew Boyd who rounded out the Aussie contingent. Goes to show the quality of the Hobie 14 fleet here in Australia.

We had John Forbes and Caroline Forbes who travelled to Seattle in the USA to compete in their Hobie 18 National Championships. Team Forbes came away with the win after a hard fought battle with the Americans.

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The 2022/23 Nationals was a huge event at Jervis Bay in Vincentia. Across 2 series we saw in excess of 100 boats on the water, a great on-shore setup with a bar + food trucks to go. A really successful event where it was great to see lots of Hobie classes represented.

Plenty of State Championships being held around the country too. Great to see some really competitive racing across the states with plenty of interstate invaders at each of the regattas. Always a great trip to make for sailors to attend other State Titles as we even saw some East Coast sailors pop up in the West!

Unfolding over the year was the mighty Championship Tour. The tour allocates points for regattas attended across the country + internationally and weights them accordingly. Over the year we’ve had 178 boats compete across our various classes with Cam + Suz taking out the Hobie 16’s, followed but Georgia + Fletch and in 3rd place Daz + Claire. Of little surprise in the 14’s, Paddy took the honours, MB in 2nd + Rod Waterhouse in third. We are seeing more + more youth + women’s teams competing across these events which is a really promising sign for Hobie in Aus!

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In the quieter winter months, the executive ANHCA committee (Nomes, Juliet + myself) have been ticking off a number of administrative items.

The ANHCA is now officially affiliated with Australian Sailing. The benefits here include training, insurance, database management + administration support. As a national association, it’s very important that we are aligned with our national sailing bodies.

While we were processing the Australian Sailing application, it became apparent that we had to revise our registration which is associated with the Queensland Office of Fair Trading. Safe to say the issues were dealt adeptly by Juliet + Nomes. We are now in the process of investigating registering ANHCA nationally which will suit our association needs a lot better and will make the future a lot easier for incoming + outgoing committee members.

Juliet has navigated the banking world and now ANHCA is up to date with modern standards! We have an account with online banking services which cuts out of lot of logistical issues that we faced prior. The other benefit of this system is that it requires multiple signatories for every transaction which is critical for accountability within the ANHCA.

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Over the last couple of months we’ve had some really good discussions in the Hobie community around our class rules. In the Hobie 14’s the IHCA issued a request for comment regarding re-instating a Hobie 14 minimum weight. As with any rule changes, the IHCA will analyse the results of the feedback informing their decision around the issue. Generally, the feedback from around the world was not in favour of implementing a minimum weight as the consensus was that this would restrict participation in the Hobie 14 fleet.

In the Hobie 18 class, the Hobie Cat Association of North America (HCANA) has submitted a proposal to IHCA to alter a number of class rules. The proposal is under consideration by the IHCA currently and it is expected to enter the comment period soon. As the USA + Australia are the only countries actively sailing the Hobie 18 as a class, it’s important that our members get their feedback into the IHCA when the time comes.

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Up next are the Nationals at Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron. It’s shaping up to be another fantastic regatta sailed in Moreton Bay. Over 2 series, we’ll have multiple classes competing with plenty of socialising as well. As an association, we are really keen to see as many of our members at the event. Of course, if there’s any topics that you’d like discussed at association level, please get in touch with your national representatives (ie State President’s) so that they can raise it with the National association.

Happy sailing,

Campbell Weddell

President of Australian National Hobie Class Association