All of a sudden there were yells, yahoos and smiles as the skippers and crews either hung out or hooked-up on the trapezes.

World champion Hobie 16 skipper, Brett Dryland of Sydney, Australia showed almost 80 other Hobie catamaran skippers why he is the best. The second lake Jindabyne Hobie Cat saga also attracted the current Australian national 18′ champion, the national 16′ champion plus a host of other skippers who have held state and national titles. Six of the victorious Hobie World Championship Team who recently returned from the Virgin Islands, competed with many visiting skippers, all eying off the new Hobie Cat 14 that would go to one of the top performers as a trophy.

The Lake Jindabyne Catamaran Club staged what was described as one of the best (if not the best) sailing regattas in the country. The managing director of Coast Catamaran (Aust) Pty. Ltd., Malcom McCartney, attended to keep his eye on the proceedings and to congratulate the club on a first class four days of sailing and activities, Trophies and prizes totalled $5200.00, which included ski holidays in the area and a range of beautiful hand carved New Guinea cedar pladues.

The first day’s racing began with a marathon race that took the skippers around the lake. It was an opportunity for the visitors to see where the marks would be placed for the following three days of competition. In eight knots of wind, 78 Hobies lined up for the start of the marathon. Boats headed off to the township of Jindabyne on a short work before changing course towards the opposite end of the lake. As the boats strung out along the lake, camera clicking could be heard throughout the township. The boats headed downwind to the distant rounding mark before turning back for a long return trip into the wind.


Line honours went to Ian Bashford on a Hobie 18 , the 16′ class was won. by Phil Kellond-Knight of Queensland and the 14′ class by Rod Waterhouse of Sydney. After the race, sailors, families and visitors were treated to a ‘meet the fleet’ B.B.Q. That evening everybody attended the skippers cocktail party at the Lakeview Lodge and enjoyed a magnificent buffet dinner.

Monday morning saw the occasional sore head and· dark glasses moving slowly through the procedure of rigging a boat. Starter of the regatta, John Hooper, got the first race under way at 10:30 AM in light winds and a burning sun. The breeze never exceeded 8 knots, and dropped off to a drift just after the last boat finished.

Canberra skippers Derek Young and Ernie Kruk, who normally sail in similar conditions, cleaned up in the 14′ class with a first and second, followed by Roger Hellier from Victoria. The 16′ class was won by Brett Dryland, followed by Fred Schneider from Victoria and third, Bill Sykes from Sydney. Kevin Maddox of Canberra led the 18′ class for the whole race, then lost to Ian Bashford 100 meters from the finish line by not covering. Third place went to Kim Thomas of Gosford. The second race for Monday was postponed then finally posted as a re-sail for the following day due to lack of wind. This was then the opportunity for some beach activities. A cricket test match was organised between visiting skippers and crews. No one knows who won because one of the wickets was stolen, (it was only a garbage tin anyway). It was, however, an opportunity for Gary Russell from Santa Cruz, California to learn the fine art of the game. Gary was one of three overseas skippers who attended the regatta. Russell placed fourth in the U.S. 16 National Championships. He was in Australia to race a few Hobie regattas and to check out the Sydney harbour 18′ skiffs before returning home. A poolside B.B.Q. was held that night at the Siesta Villa with the odd sailor accidentally falling in the pool fully clothed. The wind came up cold and adjourned the outdoor activities, so an indoor night had to do. The next morning saw the same sore heads and sunglasses moving around very slowly this time. Skippers had to be sure to get ready early because the starter was aiming to get three races in for the day.


The first race got underway right at 10:30 AM in light airs from the N.E. at 8 knots. When the 14′ fleet reached the first mark the wind shifted to the S.E. and came in at 20 knots. All of a sudden there were yells, yahoos and smiles as the skippers and crews either hung out or hooked up on the trapezes for what would turn out to be the fastest race of the series. A few capsizes added to the fun and the 16′ Hobies showed the 18’s and 14’s how fast they get along in a good blow. Anthony Duchatel won the 149, Brett Dryland the 16’s, and Ian Bashford the 18’s.

The second and third race of the day • (the re-sail from the previous day) were held in good winds from 15 to 20 knots. Ian Bashford and Brett Dryland each won both the next races in their class, and the 14′ races were won by Tim Edwards and Rod Waterhouse. Bashford and Dryland had now won four races each in their classes, but in the all important yardstick results, * Dryland had one first place and Bashford had two first places. The jast race of the day was started at 5 PM and finished late; most of the crews were ready for an early night. The morning of the last day of racing turned out to be hot and windless.

The guys wearing the glasses and holding their heads were not helped by the hot and windless morning the next day. After one postponed start, the fleet got away at 11:30 in five knots of wind. The wind dropped to nothing, then came up again to ten knots for the last leg of a shortened course.


Waterhouse was in fine form on the 14′ and took out his class and overall yardstick. Dryland had another win in the 16’s and Bashford was lucky to win the larger class when John Martin, from Canberra, could have steamed past him on a puff at the finish line. Instead Canberra sailed into the same hole and let Bashford get the gun. The final race of the series was postponed until 4pm and finally abandoned due to lack of wind.

With the five races sailed Bashford won the 18’s with five firsts, Dryland won the 16’s with five firsts and Waterhouse won the 14’s with two firsts and consistent places in the other races.

The presentation night was held in the Lake Jindabyne Hotel where the new Hobie that was to be the major trophy was fully assembled inside and used as the backdrop for the presentation ceremony. Over 300 people joined in the fun that evening: The Catamaran Club members served up a beautiful dinner of beef on the spit that had everyone ready for the prize giving. The regatta, apart from class racing was run on a yardstick rating basis so the best performance by a skipper in a mixed fleet could be found. Brett Dryland won one race on yardstick, lan Bashford two, Rod Waterhouse one, and Derek Young one. This gave the Hobie 18 two firsts, the 14′ two firsts, and the 16′ only one first.

Dryland on the 16 sailed more consistently and finished as the overall champ on paidstick.


The main function of the evening was the drawing of the yardstick results to see who would win the new Hobie 14. This was done by placing five numbers in a barrel and drawing out three. The three numbers drawn would represent three of the five races sailed and the skipper with the best net result placings on yardstick would get the cat.

The races drawn were 1·4·5. which gave the best result to Rod Waterhouse from Sydney. A jubilant Rod left the regatta double decking his prize and vowing to return for next years Lake Jindabyne Hobie Cat saga.

No doubt next years regatta in the second week of January will see a lot more boats and skippers from all over Australia. Who knows, maybe even more entries from overseas. With over $5,000 in trophies and prizes it’s certainly worth the trip.

Article & Images originally published by John Dowdall. (May, 1981)

A huge shout out to the undeniably (once) handsome gentleman , Mr John Hooper, for sending this time capsule into the Hobie Hotshots. With the NSW State Championships heading back down to Jindy in December, we cannot wait to race on such hallowed waters once again. Be seeing you all soon…