Please select your home edition
Edition
Barz Optics - Polarised and non-polarised readers for sailors

Pittwater to Coffs Harbour Yacht Race off to a spectacular start

by Damian Devine on 3 Jan 2012
Merlin, the Kaiko 52 will be amongst the front runners - 2012 Pittwater & Coffs Harbour Regatta Damian Devine
Pittwater to Coffs Harbour Yacht Race 2012 fleet had spread 20 nautical miles from top to tail between Belmont to Norah Head at the first sked reported at 1800hrs this evening.

At the sked, the Volvo 60 Bruce Absolon’s 'Spirit of the Maid’ was in a neck and neck battle with Craig Ellis’ ‘Future Shock’ with both boats within a few hundred metres of another. Host clubs Richard Hudson’s ‘Pretty Woman’ was third closely trailed by the Kaiko 52 ‘Merlin’. The lead boats were travelling between 7-8 knots in a building 20 Nor’ Easter.

Nick Johnstone’s Lidguard 50 ‘Santana 3’ was the first retirement with a broken D shroud mid afternoon and made his way back to the RPAYC. William Hutchinson’s ‘Freya’, a Hanse 411 retired at approximately 1900hrs.

The fleet were graced with a 15 knot Nor’ Easter to get them off the line for a spectacular start at 1pm for the 31st Pittwater to Coffs race, making their way towards Cape Three Points at a blistering pace.

The fleet were evenly spread down the line with a slight pin end bias, seemingly offering the shortest route out of Barrenjoey. The best of the start was to be seen at the pin end with 'Santana 3' the first to jump, closely followed by 'About Time', 'Pretty Woman' and ‘Spirit of the Maid’. 'Future Shock’ came off the middle of the start line in good clean air to take the early ascendency, opting for a path close to the western shore before tacking out to get around Cape Three points.

Michael Logan from BOM presented the weather briefing earlier in the day at the host club the RPAYC, summing it up beautifully, 'I will keep it brief, in two words, North East.' He did elaborate but essentially with a stationery high covering the Tasman this is the forecast for competitors, summer has finally arrived and with perfect sunshine, 26 degrees and a building sea breeze, providing the perfect ingredients for a great start.

By 8pm, the bulk of the fleet were off Lake Macquarie with the lead boats off Newcastle Harbour, all sticking close to shore, with a lot of place changes happening. It's obviously a tricky part of the race as the first night settled in. Future Shock had taken the lead over Spirit of the Maid but had broken a couple of headsail halyards in the process.


The lead for IRC is constantly changing with the two DK46s ‘Exile’ and ‘Nine Dragons’ from the MHYC skippered by Rob Reynolds and Bob Cox respectively performing well as to is Phil Arnall’s smart looking Corby 43 ‘Anger Management’, the two Beneteau First 40s Tony Kinsman’s ‘Blunderbuss’, and Graeme Hall’s ‘Close Halled’ and the Hudson/Murphy/Lockley Farr45 ‘Pretty Woman’ all doing well up front. Mark Griffith’s Sydney 38 ‘Old School’ is within reach of the leading bunch and ready to pounce.

In PHS, it's the Coffs Harbour boat Paul D’Olier’s Sydney 41 'B52' leading from RPAYC’s Commodore Rob Curtis and SMB syndicate Murray 42 ‘Secret Men’s Business#1’ with Rob Alder’s Cookson 12 ‘OCL One’' and ‘Kaliber’, the Beneteau 47.7 enjoying the stronger conditions, the front runners in the Division at this early stage.

But there’s still a long way to go and as the sun set on the first night, it was going to be a long, bumpy night for the crews and boats in the 31st Pittwater to Coffs race. On current predictions the first boat is not expected to cross the finish line until 10pm tomorrow night ensuring the race record of 18hrs 29mins 14secs, held by ‘Wild Oats IX’, is defintely safe for another year.


Richard Hudson owner / skipper of the Farr 45 ‘Pretty Woman’, one of the handicap contenders said prior to the race, 'The forecast should suit us, we have some brand new sails and a good crew on board. The strategy will be to get off the line cleanly, find clear air and find the straightest route there. Obviously looking for those pockets of land breeze early tomorrow when the breeze softens will be one of the keys and could be crucial to the outcome. We’re hoping this will be our year but time will tell. We'll give it our best shot. It should be a good race.'

The five race regatta kicks off with the Pittwater to Coffs Harbour Race followed by two sprint and two 20nm offshore races in Coffs Harbour on fifth and 6th January to round out the regatta. The Pittwater and Coffs Harbour Regatta offers IRC, ORCi, PHS and shorthanded Divisions and also incorporates the inaugural Australian performance handicap (PHS) Championships.

Each boat is fitted with a 'Yellowbrick' satellite GPS tracker and positions will be updated on the event website every 15 minutes during the race. A brand new addition to the race is the Yellowbrick iPhone App, available on iTunes.

Pittwater and Coffs Harbour Regatta website

Lancer Lasts LongerPantaenius - Worldwide SupportInSunSport - NZ

Related Articles

Auckland On the Water Boat Show opens full of the Joys of Spring
The Auckland On the Water Boat Show enjoyed a beautiful Spring day for its opening. Despite the inclement weather that has been the New Zealand's daily fare for too long, the Auckland On the Water Boat Show enjoyed a beautiful Spring day for its opening. Today was the first of the four-day show and is also the first time that the Show has been held in the school holidays.
Posted today at 5:37 am
Building conditions on Day 2 of the 2016 Alcatel J/70 Worlds
San Francisco has a storied reputation as a world-class venue during summer/early fall, and Day 2 of Alcatel J/70 Worlds San Francisco has a storied reputation as a world-class venue during the summer and early fall, and Day Two of the 2016 Alcatel J/70 Worlds, hosted by the St. Francis Yacht Club, did not disappoint.
Posted today at 4:54 am
Groupama Race – Between the north and Nouméa
Beau Geste arrived at 7:09am this morning, taking the third position on real-time, behind Vodafone and Scallywag. Beau Geste arrived at 7:09am this morning, taking the third position on real-time, behind Vodafone and Scallywag. The crew was very pleased about his race. The owner and skipper, Karl Kwok, compared the luxury and unspoilt landscapes from the East coast to Polynesia and the West coast to Cebu island in Philippines.
Posted on 28 Sep
Les Voiles de St Tropez - Eugenia Bakunova's view of Day 2
Not a lot of wind for the second day of racing at Les Voiles de St Tropez. Not a lot of wind for the second day of racing at Les Voiles de St Tropez. Eugenia Bakunova of mainsail.ru captured these images of the always picturesque classics as they sailed in a light breeze
Posted on 28 Sep
Les Voiles de St Tropez - Eugenia Bakunova's images from Day 1
Racing got underway in St Propez on the first day at Les Voiles de St Tropez with three dedicated race zones Racing got underway in St Propez on the first day at Les Voiles de St Tropez with three dedicated race zones, Nioulargue for the Modern yachts, Pampelonne for the Wallys and the bay for the 15 m JIs, racing in an even swell and glorious sunshine. Most of the Classic yachts are not due to set sail until the second day of racing. Eugenia Bakunova of mainsail.ru was on hand to capture the acti
Posted on 28 Sep
J-70 Worlds - San Francisco - Images from a fired up first day
Images and video of the opening day of the J-70 Worlds being run by the St Francis Yacht Club. Videographer and photographer, John Navas was on the water on the Berkley Circle, San Francisco for the opening day of the J-70 Worlds being run by the St Francis Yacht Club. Here's his view of the day in video and still images.
Posted on 28 Sep
Groupama Race - Scallywag sets monohull record
Scallywag, the longest monohull, is also the fastest monohull to sail around New-Caledonia. Scallywag, the longest monohull finished second behind the Simon Hull skippered ORMA60 trimaran, Franck Racing (formerly TeamVodafoneSailing). Scallywag also becomes is also the fastest monohull to sail around New-Caledonia. She took 2 days, 13 hours, 19 min and 55s, to establish a new record for monohulls.
Posted on 28 Sep
Alcatel J/70 Worlds - Cut-throat competition on Day 1 in San Francisco
World Championship regattas always generate high-level competition World Championship regattas always generate high-level competition, but when you stack 68 of the world’s most popular One Design boats on San Francisco Bay in a crisp, late-September breeze, you can bet your last shackle that the competition will be ferocious.
Posted on 28 Sep
Collinson FX Market Commentary - Sept 28 - USD weakens as others gain
KIWI jumped back towards 0.7300, while the AUD broke above 0.7650 This did little for the Dollar, as the EUR jumped to 11220, while the GBP regained 1.3000! The reserve weakness enabled the KIWI, which jumped back towards 0.7300, while the AUD broke above 0.7650. Economic data confirms Central Bank speculations and realities.
Posted on 28 Sep
Les Voiles de St Tropez France – Day 2 images by Ingrid Abery
Photographer Ingrid Abery has provided this gallery of images from day two Photographer Ingrid Abery has provided this gallery of images from day two
Posted on 27 Sep