Some would say there’s no better way to start the New Year than turn left at Barrenjoey and compete in the race dubbed 'the warm water classic'. The first race of the Pittwater & Coffs Harbour regatta, the 226nm Pittwater to Coffs Harbour yacht race is one of the most popular ocean races in Australia which starts on 2 January 2012, hosted by The Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club.
Defending IRC champion, ’About Time’ the first IRC boat to enter the Pittwater & Coffs Harbour Regatta 2012 - Pittwater & Coffs Harbour Regatta 2012
With entries now rolling in for the regatta, defending IRC race and regatta champion, the jeweller Julian Farren-Price and his aptly named Cookson 12 ‘About Time’ was the first IRC boat to enter.
In a recent interview, Farren- Price was very upbeat about the regatta saying, 'The crew and I are looking forward to again being a part of the Pittwater & Coffs Harbour Regatta. The timing is ideal as we all get a nice break during the festive season and time with the family but by the 2nd January we are looking forward to hitting the water.'
He added, 'Coffs is really ideal with the main race being long enough and very tactical, but not too long. The formula that the clubs have decided upon is also very appealing as the crew have the option to bring their families to the very friendly Coffs Harbour or alternatively go solo and play up a bit should they choose.'
'The racing up and around the Solitary Islands is always picturesque and competitive. The other ideal aspect of Coffs is the delivery back home. With the Southerly current and prevailing Nor’ easter we often have a relaxed spinnaker run home and are in Sydney in 24 hours. Hope I did not just jinx the trip back!!'
'Also Coffs is a great destination at this time of year. The locals are always happy to see us and they sure know how to cook up a great breakfast. There are plenty of activities to do for crew and families and having recently become obsessed with golf (my performance tells me I should stick to sailing) I wonder when the yachties golf challenge will be on up there. Do you get a reduction on your IRC handicap if you take your clubs on the race?,' he quipped.
'Another aspect that keeps us coming back is the nice friendships we have developed with other regular participants. We miss the entertaining and wily Bill Ebsary from ‘Le Billet’ who has retired to the dark side and bought a motor cruiser but have enjoyed spending time with friendly rivals such as Warwick Sherman and John Bacon from ‘Hussy’. I understand Warwick will be entering in his new Sydney GTS43 which looks an absolute glamour and given it is a Jason Ker design is bound to give all and sundry a big headache. All I can say is thank heavens Ed Psaltis is taking his Ker 40 to Hobart.'
'Having placed in the last four regatta’s I suspect it is too greedy and optimistic to think we could get a fifth result but you can bet we will be wearing our sheets out to give it a good shake. Ideally, we like reaching weather and another nice hole for the boys in front would again be well received divine intervention,' concluded Farren-Price.
Racing commences on the 2 January with the Cat 2 Pittwater to Coffs Harbour Race with the regatta continuing off the Coffs coast with a combination of windward leeward and passage races, open to Cat 4 yachts over two days on 5 and 6 January. The 2012 regatta will also play host to the inaugural Australian PHS Championships.
The regatta attracts racing enthusiasts from a broad base of yacht clubs across Australia and a mix of experienced offshore sailors, youth and newcomers to the sport of ocean racing due to its desirable distance, destination and spirit of the competition.
A flurry of entries is expected in the coming weeks with the close of entries scheduled for Friday 2 December.
The Pittwater & Coffs Harbour Regatta 2012 Notice of Race and online entry is available from the event website at www.pittwatertocoffs.com.au.
An online crew register has been set up on the event website for those interested in racing in the regatta but don’t yet have a ride.
For race enquiries and documentation please contact the RPAYC Sailing Office on (02) 9998 3771 or yachting(at)rpayc.com.au.