Heidi’s Hunting the Silverware

 In 13ft Skiff News, 16ft Skiff News, Manly 16ft Skiff Sailing Club

Heidi Bates may have to adjust her season goals as the first-year skipper continues to make huge inroads in the 13s fleet. After cutting her teeth in the Optimists dingy class before graduating to the Flying 11s, the 15-year-old is halfway through her debut season aboard Harken and more than making up the numbers.

Teaming with the very capable Orlando Sadlik, Heidi has guided Harken to a lead in the overall club championship pointscore on the back of two wins, a second and a third. She’s also killing it in the long course/short course pointscore series, aided and abetted by a win in last Saturday’s sixth long course pointscore race of the season. Suddenly, a year that was supposed to be all about learning has some potential silverware at the end of it.

“The season is going great so far, even better than we expected,” Heidi said. “We are loving the fleet and the great racing. We are learning heaps and I am loving going fast. “In the future I want to keep improving and hopefully get some good results and eventually drive a 16.”

Speed was the order of the day as Harken outlasted Plonk Café (Avril Richardson), Cheeky (Zach Wyatt) and Botany Scaffold (Andrew Divola) in testing conditions last Saturday.  Heidi said: “The first leg was really tight and everyone was in a big pack but then the wind picked up and things got sketchy down at Balmoral.

“Tim and Taylor (on Bartley Construction) got out to a pretty good lead after the first lap before having a big swim. “We are pretty proud of ourselves to get around with just one swim as we are a light crew and it’s our first season. “It was super fresh and we had some awesome rides.”

At the same time, the 16s fleet was presented a masterclass by reigning national champion Nathan Wilmot as Imagine Signage tuned-up for next month’s Australian Championships with a comfortable victory.

Imagine finished more than two minutes ahead of IMEI (Hugh Stodart) with Cunninghams (Nick Connor) third and Modern Concept Constructions (Gerard Smith) fourth. IMEI took home handicap honours.

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Manly 16ft Skiff Sailing Club