by Di Pearson
2014 Sydney Harbour Regatta - Middle Harbour Yacht Club (MHYC) has opened entries for its increasingly popular yearly annual regatta, which will be contested over the weekend of Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th March. The ninth edition of the event is expected to attract a number of those yachts that were entered in the 2013 race to Hobart, including the new boats; Matt Allen’s pocket maxi Ichi Ban and Tony Kirby’s Ker 46, Patrice.
Greg Prescott and his Melges 32, 2 Unlimited - on a mission - 2014 Sydney Harbour Regatta
Patrice made a big impression on being launched in early November, inclusive of winning MHYC’s Sydney Short Ocean Racing Championship at the end of November. While settled in the top five and looking certain to podium, Kirby withdrew from the Rolex Sydney Hobart when the hull suffered some delamination off the Tasmanian Coast.
Ichi Ban, a Carkeek 60, was launched in late November and Allen used the CYCA Trophy as practice for the Hobart in which he finished eighth on line and overall, in a show of great promise.
Locally, Gordon Ketelbey’s Zen and Tony Levett’s TSA Management are expected among the entries after their first and fourth places in the Sydney 38 Division of the Hobart.
Canute, with Mitchell Miller at the helm, was forced out of the Hobart with rudder bearing problems, but the MHYC member is expected to also be on the Sydney Harbour Regatta start line, having shown so much promise when she debuted in 2009.
Andrew Christian's Cavalier 28, Christina III in the melee - Andrea Francolini, SHR pic - 2014 Sydney Harbour Regatta
John Walker - still sailing at 90 years last year aboard his Impeccable - Andrea Francolini, SHR pic - low res - 2014 Sydney Harbour Regatta
Stalwarts of MHYC, Impeccable, skippered by her 91 year-old owner, John Walker, past commodore Ian Box with his Toybox and resident top performer Nine Dragons, owned by Bob Cox are also expected to enter.
The Sydney Harbour Regatta is NSW’s largest regatta and uses the entirety of Sydney Harbour along with offshore courses. At least 10 course areas will be made available for the various classes and the Regatta is open to yachts and keel boats of all designs and sizes.
Last year’s Sydney Harbour Regatta attracted 220 entries, well up on the previous year and the only Australian keelboat regatta to show an increase in numbers on the previous year.
Middle Harbour Yacht Club Commodore, John McCuaig, is hoping for similar numbers again. 'There was increased interest in our signature regatta last year and we’re hoping to capitalise via new boats and on those who have upgraded to other yachts,' he said.
'It’s becoming more popular because it ends the Sydney summer season each year. We’re still in daylight saving time and the weather is usually balmy. Everyone’s in the mood to race and then come back to the Club and celebrates on the beach with a few drinks, barbecue, and good music – it ends the season on a high note.'
Additional attractions to the 2014 Regatta include fashion parades by Helly Hansen, live entertainment and a great party atmosphere, making for a fun weekend for all.
Leading water sports and technical apparel supplier Helly Hansen and Sydney City Marine have recommitted their support for 2014.
Middle Harbour Yacht Club officials are thankful for the assistance of the CYCA, MYC, NCYC, RANSA, RPAYC, RPEYC, RSYS, SASC, and SFS in holding this mammoth event each year.
Event website:click here