Audi IRC Australian Championship - Set to test crews' stamina
by Lisa Ratcliff on 31 Mar 2014
Owners of IRC rated yachts who fancy a run at this year’s Audi IRC Australian Championship crown have until this Friday, 5 April 2014, to lodge an entry.
Archie and Senna - Audi IRC Australian Championship 2014 Andrea Francolini
There is something for everyone at this year’s championship thanks to the Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club’s busy racing and after hour’s program.
The mixed four-day series, 17 – 20 April, comprises windward/leewards and a medium and long distance race offering boats with different strengths their window of opportunity.
Figuring many families will combine the national title with a school holiday getaway, the club has built a timetable of parties, special menus and live entertainment interspersed with children’s activities including a clown visit, face painting and animal balloons plus an Easter egg hunt.
Thursday’s opening regatta party at the club is accessible to all competing crews free of charge. Minimal formalities and complimentary hospitality will set the scene for the ensuing three days with a variety of meal options and live music on offer daily.
Highlights include a visit from Loopy the Clown and Magician from 3.00pm - 4.30pm Saturday afternoon, 19 April. Later that day a Westpac Rescue Helicopter raffle and over water winch demonstration will commence straight off the front of the clubhouse at 5.30pm - a dramatic and relevant safety drill for the seafaring community.
So many influential and active yacht owners gathered in one spot is the perfect opportunity for an informal forum and the chance for organisers, including Yachting Australia representatives, to enjoy downtime with competitors and take on board valuable feedback. Skipper’s drinks at sunset on Saturday has been added to the calendar to give stakeholders the chance to indicate how they want future IRC events run, a concept conceived by NCYC’S management and board.
On Sunday 20 April, the pressure cooker starts to vent. It’s ‘finals day’ for the grown-up sailors in the family. For the kids it’s Easter Sunday, and that means chocolate eggs. Lots of them. NCYC’s Easter hunt gets going at 2.00pm which is around the time the fleet will return to the marina for the last time. That afternoon the Audi IRC Australian Championship class A, B and C winners will be announced and trophies and prizes presented.
The club will be open daily from 7.00am for breakfast and lunch. Specialty Thai curries, BBQ dinners and an A La Carte menu promise plenty of choice for dinner in the evenings, and with live music every night and video of each day’s racing on NCYC’s big screens, debriefing the day’s events with fellow sailors, family and friends will be very entertaining.
'NCYC has created a comprehensive hospitality program so everyone can enjoy the experience of the Audi IRC Australian Championship, not just those competing,' said Commodore Phil Arnall. 'Hosting such an eminent regatta is a great opportunity to showcase the club and the area and we intend to make sure our regulars and visitors feel looked after and want to come back.'
The fleet to date stands at 31 starters with riders wearing New South Wales, Tasmanian, Victorian and Hong Kong colours.
Registrations will occur between 3.00 – 7.00pm on Wednesday 16 April and again on Thursday morning, followed by four days of fantastic racing off the white beaches of Newcastle and Stockton Bight.
All eligible IRC rated yachts, small and large, new and old, that hold a Category four safety certificate are welcome to compete in the event.
Entries close at 1700 hours this Friday, 5 April, and thereafter late fees may apply until the final cut off on Friday 12 April 2014.
Refer to the website for the list of entries, Notice of Race and to enter.
The NSW IRC Championship at Sail Port Stephens 11 - 13 April will lead into the national title.
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