Pittwater to Coffs 2013 – Ragamuffin nabs triple handicap crown

Syd Fischer’s TP52 Ragamuffin IRC, PHS and ORCi handicap winner for the 2013 Pittwater to Coffs Yacht Race - 2013 Club Marine Pittwater and Coffs Harbour Regatta
Damian Devine
Syd Fischer’s TP52 Ragamuffin, who finished second behind line honour winner Wedgetail, is after all the big winner of the Club Marine Pittwater to Coffs Harbour Race 2013, bagging the IRC, ORCi and PHS handicap division crowns of the 228-nautical mile race. Ragamuffin has become the first boat to accomplish the achievement in the 32 year history of the race.

Fischer, despite a disappointing loss to the Queenslander Bill Wild’s Wedgetail in line honours in the final hour of the ocean race, made amends by completely dominating the handicap spoils in the 32nd Club Marine Pittwater to Coffs race.

Fischer took out the coveted IRC handicap crown with a corrected time of 26hrs 55mins 22secs to win by a commanding one hour and eight minutes over line honours winner Wedgetail.

David Forbes Kaiko 52 ‘Merlin’ replicated her 2012 result and reversed the line honours result against Steven Proud’s Kernan 44 Swish to take the final podium handicap position in the end by some 14 minutes.

The PHS division replicated the IRC result with Ragamuffin recording a corrected time of 28hrs 30mins 44secs pipping Wedgetail by 40 minutes with Merlin third.

In ORCi, Ragamuffin took the spoils in a corrected time of 26hrs 13mins 58secs with Swish six hours back in second whilst the Hudson/Murphy/Lockley Farr 45 Pretty Woman picked up a podium position in third.

Fischer, the 85 year old doyen of Australian ocean racing won the line honours/handicap double in this race in 1996 was proud of the effort saying, 'it’s not easy winning on handicap, so it’s a good result. Wedgetail gave us a run for our money and we were unlucky not to get line honours but all credit to Wedgetail to get us in the end.'

'The boys sailed the boat really well and the boat performed to its ability. This is something we set out to do so I am really pleased. The wind certainly favoured us and played a big part in the result. It doesn’t happen that often.'

Wedgetail’s navigator Peter Elkington was also pleased with the result particularly winning line honours commenting, 'it was a very pleasant sail and a great battle with Syd’s boat. They were too quick on those angles so we really enjoyed getting them in the end to take line honours and get our name etched on the line honours trophy. To get second on handicap in both divisions, it’s not a bad thing so we’re happy. The boat hasn’t raced in 18 months so to get it out of mothballs and prepared for the race was hard work but rewarding. She’s still going beautifully.'

In IRC Division two, it was a trifecta for the Beneteau brand with Philip Dash’s First 40 Justadash in its first season of racing taking the honours from the current Class 2 Audi IRC Australian Champion Darryl Hodgkinson’s 45 footer Victoire whilst Le Billet, a Beneteau 44.7, now owned by Mark Tinworth and Mark Waterhouse was third.

In PHS Division two, Justadash picked up a double from the Sydney 41 Storage King Wallop skippered by Peter Hewson with the Inglis-Jones/Hart 39 She’s the Culprit skippered by Michael McDonald placing third.

The attention now turns to the start of the four Solitary Island races tomorrow and Sunday to round out the regatta and the Australian Performance Handicap (PHS) Championships.

Divisional results:

IRC Overall and Division One:

Ragamuffin, Syd Fischer, TP52
Wedgetail, Bill Wild, RP55
Merlin, David Forbes, Kaiko 52

IRC Division Two:

Justadash, Philip Dash, Beneteau First 40
Victoire, Darryl Hodgkinson, Beneteau 45
Le Billet, Mark Tinworth/Mark Waterhouse, Beneteau 44.7


1. Ragamuffin, Syd Fischer, TP52

Wedgetail, Bill Wild, RP55
Pretty Woman, Richard Hudson, Farr 45

PHS Overall and Division One:

Ragamuffin, Syd Fischer, TP52
Wedgetail, Bill Wild, RP55
Merlin, David Forbes, Kaiko 52

PHS Division Two:

Justadash, Philip Dash, Beneteau First 40
Storage King Wallop, Peter Hewson,Sydney 41,
She’s the Culprit, Michael McDonald, Inglis-Jones/Hart 39

Pittwater to Coffs Harbour 2013