‘A perfect location’ say cruising sailors who will participate in the record Commodores Cup fleet at the sixth annual Sail Port Stephens 2012.
Start line. Commodore’s Cup Day 3 Sail Port Stephens 2011
The Commodores Cup will sail from Monday 16 April to Wednesday 18 April on the sheltered waters of Port Stephens and offshore. Already 43 entries have been received and applications do not close until Tuesday 10th April at 5pm.
Spinnakers Commodore's Cup day 2 Sail Port Stephens 2011
Amongst the big fleet will be Keith Taylor and his wife who have sailed in all six Sail Port Stephens regattas. Members of the Wollongong Yacht Club for 25 years, these days they keep their yacht Moet, a 1989 vintage Australian built North Shore 38, in Pittwater.
Taylor says the reason why they have been supporting Sail Port Stephens since its inception is location, location and location.
‘While we’ve flown up and done five Hamilton Island Race Weeks on charter boats, it’s a long, long way to take a boat. This venue is perfect for us. If we have to get home it’s only a matter of three and a half hour drive and we are back in Wollongong.
He continued 'There is some great scenery out amongst the islands, so these days I try and book the month on the marina rather than the week, so we get the Easter holiday in as well and that is what we’ve done this year. We arrived the weekend before Easter, have family and friends up with us for the holiday, then the regatta and another relaxed week after that.
‘Most of my crew own their own boats. It’s not very often we get together, this is our once a year gathering. I suppose over the years we’ve sailed with each other long enough to know each others’ capacities and Sail Port Stephens is definitely the major regatta in the year for us all - it’s the highlight.’
‘In fact there is a good little group from Wollongong participating at this year’s event.
'Derek Shepherd’s Cavalier 395 Kahoona, Wayne Taylor's Northshore 38 Negotiator, which is the twin sister to my boat - they are Wollongong lads. Clay McClellan and the fellas from the Hanse 400 Harlequin are all Wollongong lads and they like me, keep their boat in Sydney.
‘The thing we all love about Port Stephens is that it’s just far enough away to be a holiday - there is plenty of accommodation and lots of things to do as well as a great sailing venue and above all the logistics are really easy!
‘The reason why we’ve never taken Moet to the northern circuit is that its way too far, we just don’t have the time, but when we chartered up there we got eaten up by the bigger boats. The run of the mill boat became 42 foot to about 45 foot and they have huge draughts on them, they are drawing three, three and a half metres.
‘At Sail Port Stephens there are plenty of the smaller boats in the 35 to 40 foot range and Moet at 38 feet, is still competitive with them. They always manage to kill us on handicap but I don’t go sailing for the win, I go sailing for the enjoyment - but I will take a win when I can get it.
‘We sail the Commodores Cup in the first part of the week, Monday through Wednesday, then after the Thursday lay day we sail in the Cruising fleet right through into Sunday and that gives us some really good racing’ Taylor concluded.
View from the breakwater. Sail Port Stephens Trophy day 1
Principal Race Officer Denis Thompson said today ‘We have excellent entries and we are looking forward to a great week. We know there are still a number of entries to come through, with some marina berths booked by skippers who have not yet officially entered and the Race Committee expects those entries to arrive very shortly.
‘However Skippers should note that entries close at 5pm on Tuesday April 10, so entry should now become a priority online task.’
d'Albora Marina Nelson Bay - Sail Port Stephens 2011 Lay Day
Soldiers Point Marina website
Visit the website Sail Port Stephens http://www.sailportstephens.com.au for the latest news on one of the best regattas in one of the most beautiful spots in Australia.
Notice of Race is available here
Online entry is now available here
Current entry list
Rhumb with kite up, Commodore's Cup day 2 Sail Port Stephens 2011
Janelle Gardner Sail Port Stephens 0422 844 198
Images available on the event site High Resolution images available for accredited media.