Carbon fibre foolery fuels DK46 battle for Pittwater Coffs

Bob Cox’s DK46 Nine Dragons at the start of the 2012 Pittwater to Coffs race.
Damian Devine
There’s nothing like sistership rivalry to stir the pot and for the upcoming Club Marine Pittwater and Coffs Harbour Regatta, there will be two DK46s going toe to toe over the 226 nautical mile opening race starting January 2, 2013.

Rob Reynolds’ Exile and Bob Cox’s Nine Dragons went 1-2 on IRC handicap in this year’s race and both will be lining up again in the New Year, alongside a smaller DK43, William Cox’s Minerva (RSYS).

Reynolds, a Middle Harbour Yacht Club member, assures his current modifications have little to do with the fact he and club mate Bob Cox have been trading blows for over 12 months.

'We are getting up into the 21st century to defend our title. Also, we had such a ball at Coffs Harbour last year we thought we’d go and do it again,' said Reynolds today.

'We do like to rev Bob up though. We told him we were getting carbon fibre stanchions and toilet,' Reynolds jokes. Cox was happy pretending he’d been fooled.

Reynolds is currently installing a new High Modulus carbon fibre mast into Exile and shortening the rig to match the size of the existing sails.

Nine Dragons, Ray Roberts’ former 2004-built DK46 which Cox purchased from Singapore, was optimised when it first arrived in Australia. It had been set up for light air conditions and needed to be reconfigured for Australian east coast sailing, which can be hairy. In this year’s Audi Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race, Cox had the boat up to almost 30 knots in the wild record breaking sprint north.

On Reynolds’ modifications Cox says, 'Rob is carrying out some pretty extensive horsepower improvements. We will concentrate on crew work though we are looking forward to seeing how we match up against Rob when he has a lot less weight up high and in the boat.

Rob Reynolds DK 46, Exile, the 2012 overall IRC winner will once again be one of the handicap favourites – photo by Damian Devine
Damian Devine

'The duel began a year ago. In that time we’ve virtually won every race on scratch in light airs and we’ve beaten Exile consistently in a number of the inshore events as well as this year’s Southport race. Offshore we are one apiece so Pittwater Coffs next January will be the decider.

'In this year’s Coffs race we had to give them time plus we were sailing overpowered after blowing a key headsail off Newcastle. They beat us into first place on handicap by 12 minutes.'

The good natured rivalry between the DK46 owners and crew extends to most similar sized boats and to ongoing club and class contests, and the Pittwater and Coffs Harbour Regatta is the perfect opportunity for those to play out.

The Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club’s keystone event, in its 32nd year, will commence at 1pm on Wednesday January 2, 2013, with a mass start of up to 55 keelboats to the north of Palm Beach, Broken Bay.

The five race regatta will continue on 5-6 January.

This year’s line honours winner, Sydney pocket maxi Future Shock, took two days to complete the 226nm mile course. The remaining 33 boats arrived within a day and a half of the lead boat.

On changes to racing for next year’s event, RPAYC Commodore Rob Curtis said, 'We have made some fundamental changes. There is now the opportunity to enter all divisions, ORCi, PHS and IRC, both in the Club Marine Coffs yacht race and the regatta. This means all boats can enter the PHS National Championships.

'Going north is very comfortable and really, it’s only an overnight race, adds Reynolds.

'A lot of people don’t particularly want to go to Hobart every year. We had so much fun in January, rather than disappearing to their various units everybody got together after the race, and the rest of the regatta at Coffs was excellent.'

Entry online here. Entries close Friday 7 December at 1700hrs AEDT. The 2013 Club Marine Pittwater and Coffs Harbour Regatta Notice of Race and online entry is available from the event website. For race enquiries and documentation please contact the RPAYC Sailing Office on (02) 9998 3771 or

Event Schedule:

Tuesday 1st January 2013

Mandatory Race Briefing and Cocktail Party - 1800hrs, RPAYC

Wednesday 2nd January 2013

Mandatory Race and Weather Briefing — 0900hrs RPAYC
Race 1 - 32nd Club Marine Pittwater to Coffs Harbour Ocean Race - 1300hrs

Thursday 3rd January 2013

Competitors begin to arrive at Coffs Harbour Marina

Friday 4th January 2013

Lay Day - Onshore and On Water activities
Mayoral Reception, CHYC - 1630hrs
Passage Race Prize Giving, CHYC - 1730hrs

Saturday 5th January 2013

Races 2 and 3 - Solitary Islands Races Coffs Harbour - 1100hrs
Races 2 and 3 Prize Giving - 1730hrs

Sunday 6th January 2013

Races 4 and 5 - Solitary Islands Races Coffs Harbour - 1100hrs
Regatta Prize Giving CHYC - 1800hrs