RESULTS HERE – click this link: Hobie 14 KZN Champs Results 2014
It has been many years since a Hobie 14 provincials has been held in KZN, but there has been a revival of the class both in Durban and around the country, and it was great to see more than 20 of these cats at Vetch’s Beach over the Easter weekend.
As it turned out, only two of them were from the Vaal, the rest being locals – with a wide range of competitors’ ages from 14 to 70+. Race officer Jimmy Melville let the eight 505s start first, it being their nationals, and then the colourful Hobies set off. Wind never got to 10 knots the whole weekend, and no racing could be held on Monday due to a lack of breeze, but eight races were held, enough to ensure all skippers had a good case of “tramp knee”, and stiff necks from peering at tell-tales.
Racing was tight, with several skippers taking turns to lead the fleet. After racing post mortems were plentiful – few of us had raced these boats much, so the merits of the various tweaking and tuning techniques were debated long and hard – with much scratching of heads. Old hands Greg de Beyer and Al and Richard Gorlei weren’t giving too much away though. The “Wrinklies” certainly had the better of the “Pimplies”- but that will change before long.
The light winds gave us some fantastic evenings at the beach, with a bonfire and Chinese lanterns to round it off. I can see this provincial event getting stronger for the next few years as word spreads and current and potential sailors respectively remember or realize the appeal of these boats – which is just a strong as it was when Hobie Alter first designed them around 40 years ago.