by Di Pearson
The Sydney Harbour Regatta 2013 is about to start in roughly three weeks, 9-10 March, and the Middle Harbour Yacht Club officials are urging boat owners to get their entries in quickly before the deadline on February, 22 February.
Three time Olympian Karyn Gojnich leads the Yngling fleet last year -Saltwater Images
NSW’s largest regatta, which uses the entirety of Sydney Harbour, including the Manly Circle and utilising offshore race courses as well, offers opportunities to yachts and keel boats of all designs and sizes - and once again - one-design and production boats will play a major part in MHYC’s annual regatta, which is now in its eighth year.
Twenty four classes/divisions split across nine course areas will make for spectacular viewing, even for those racing, as a kaleidoscope of spinnaker colour is splashed around the most beautiful harbour in the world for two days of top-notch racing.
Serial Dragon sailors will face a surprise this year, as multiple winning yachtsman, Marcus Blackmore, has switched his TP52 Hooligan entry for a Dragon of the same name. The Northern Beaches owner of Australia’s leading natural health brand has purchased two Dragons, with the intention of competing on the European circuit as well.
Blackmore will put it all on the line when he takes on the likes of class proponent, Norman Longworth (Tom Thumb III), with other big names such as Gordon Ingate and Andrew York also expected on the start line.
In the Adams 10 class, last year’s winner, Ben Nossiter and his crew on Sirius remain the ‘ones to be beaten’, having first won the event in 2008. His two main rivals, 2010 winner and second placegetter in 2011, Rock Solid (Mitchell Miller), and 2006 winner and 2010 runner-up, Contentious (Brian Lees), will be back to try and dislodge Nossiter’s crown.
The thrill-seeking Flying Tiger sailors are back too. Last year’s winner, Brian Wood (Balmain Tiger) and third placed Bruce Tavener (Ophir) are hot to trot and are among the regulars already signed on. These trapeze boats offer heart-stopping action, especially when gybing the big kites in gusty winds.
2012 Sydney Harbour Regatta hosted by Middle Harbour Yacht Club.
The Premier Class for IRC yachts is also shaping up well. John Bacon is back for a second tilt with his year-old much touted MC38, Dark Star, along with multiple Sydney Harbour Regatta winner, Peter Sorensen (The Philosopher’s Club). Middle Harbour Yacht Club’s event will also mark the return to racing of Ray Roberts with Obsession, which perfectly describes his love of the sport.
A big name in keel boat and ocean racing internationally, in Australia and Asia for countless years, Roberts let work get in the way of a good time for the past 12 months, after blazing a trail in Asian waters for over five years. The Sydney sailor left no stone unturned, culminating in enticing other Australians to the various regattas he won several times over.
Other classes out in force at the Sydney Harbour regatta include former Olympic Women’s class Yngling, where triple Olympian and 2011 winner Karyn Gojnich will be the star attraction; Etchells, J24, Melges 24 and 32, Sportsboat, Super 30, Cavalier 28, Production and the Sydney 38 class, which will hold its national title at the event and the many yacht classes competing in the IRC and PHS series’.
Not to be missed and starting from 4.30pm on the last racing day, competitors, family and friends are invited to rock the night away on the beach in front of the Club to the ‘yachties choice’ award-winning country band, The Wolverines, and enjoy a barbecue ahead of the official prize giving.
The Sydney Harbour Regatta could not be held without the valuable assistance of the CYCA, MYC, NCYC, RANSA, RPAYC, RPEYC, RSYS, SASC, and SFS.
The Sydney Harbour Regatta is sponsored by leading water sports and technical apparel supplier, Helly Hansen, and supported by Sydney Ports, Robert Oatley Vineyards and Sydney City Marine.
Dark Star and Cone of Silence - Sydney Harbour Regatta hosted by Middle Harbour Yacht Club, Mosman. 237 boats take to Sydney Harbour in the largest regatta in Sydney.
Entries close at 2400 hours on Friday 22 February – so enter now at the official event website
Sydney Harbour Regatta 2013