Sail Port Stephens, one of Australia’s fastest growing regattas, is attracting a very high quality fleet. The sixth annual regatta will run from 16 to 22 April 2012.
Quest on her way to winning the 2008 Rolex Sydney Hobart - Gascoigne Cup 2011
Commodore Dom Grundy from the Corlette Point Sailing Club, the organizing authority, feels that the importance of the event is now being recognised.
Grundy said today ‘Over the last two decades thousands of boats, both racers and cruising yachts, have sailed north to race in Queensland and now it seems with the rise and rise of Sail Port Stephens owners are realising that to sail here first, as a stepping stone for a new crew going north or for a new boat, makes a lot of sense.
‘We have some of the cream of Australia's ocean racers entered already. Some 2010 Sail Port Stephens skippers are embarking on a new campaign with a lot of new crew keen to pit themselves against old rivals, and we also have some very exciting brand new designs that have not before raced at Sail Port Stephens. We think that we will the hottest new boats in the country having their first major out of home town regatta at Port Stephens, before facing the more complex logistics or regattas another 1,000 nautical miles or more north.
'This year great things are expected of Jamie Neill’s McConaghy Mc38 and also of Matt Allen’s new Ichi Ban, the Farr 400, and their appearance at this event will be start of a big winter campaign for both boats.
'These are very exciting new boats and both these owners and their very high quality crews know how to win and we look forward to seeing them on the race course.
‘There are still a lot of entries to come through, with lots of owners having already booked their marina berths but not yet entered and we expect that will be happening over the next few weeks. We already have top class fleets in the Commodores Cup and the NSW IRC Championships.
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'The 2012 Elliott 7 Australian Championships will be sailed as part of Sail Port Stephens 2012 and the event is expanding further with the introduction of our first Junior Regatta and we are expecting to have quite a lot of Optimists as the core for this fleet.'
Principal Race Officer Denis Thompson said ‘The IRC fleet is looking very impressive with Stephen Ainsworth's 63 footer Loki and four TP52’s at the front of the fleet. There will be Rob Hanna's new Shogun V, Calm, Jason Van Der Slot’s boat, Marcus Blackmore’s Hooligan is back to defend her NSW IRC Championship title and Bob Steel, the 2010 IRC winner and dual Sydney to Hobart winner is coming back into the fray with his TP52 Quest.
‘The Commodores Cup fleet is again looking very strong. Quite numbers of the key boats are being sailed in this event by one crew or family and then will be arc'ed up for full racing in the IRC NSW Titles. Sail Port Stephens 2012 is certainly going to be a very exciting regatta.’
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.
Online entry is now available here
Notice of Race is available here
Soldiers Point Marina website