Please select your home edition
Edition
Southern Spars

Club Marine Pittwater & Coffs Regatta bar raised by IRC heavyweights

by Lisa Ratcliff on 13 Dec 2012
2012 Pittwater to Coffs race IRC handicap winner Exile, a DK46 - photo by Damian Devine - 2013 Club Marine Pittwater & Coffs Harbour Regatta Damian Devine
The battle for IRC honours in the Club Marine Pittwater & Coffs Harbour Regatta has moved into a different sphere with a number of well-known grand prix entries raising the handicap bar for the popular summer ocean race, hosted by the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club.

While the largest boat usually sets the fastest time, the real battle among sailors playing on a level field is for the prized handicap trophy.

Darryl Hodgkinson’s Beneteau 45, Victoire, most recently named Class 2 Audi IRC Australian Champion and also the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s current Blue Water Pointscore Champion, last took part in the 226 nautical miler in 2005 with his Sydney 38.

'We enjoyed it in 2005 and in 2013 it will be something new for Victoire,' said the Sydney based plastic surgeon. 'This year we wanted to give the Hobart race a break, everyone’s a bit tired, but we wanted to keep the boat going.

Some of my crew will race south then fly back up and join us for the start on January 2.

'I see the format has changed a bit, now it’s a long race followed by four short races, which is probably easier. What hasn’t changed is that Victoire’s old adversary, Exile, will be sailing against us. It will be a good match up.'

Rob Reynold’s DK 46 Exile is the defending Pittwater & Coffs Harbour Regatta IRC champion.

On the likes of Bill Wild’s Queensland RP55 Wedgetail appearing on the starters list, Hodgkinson says 'It’s nice to see a boat of that ilk taken out of mothballs, it adds a lot of interest'.

Now based on the Gold Coast, Wild’s work pile has kept him buried for the past 15 months and his prized Wedgetail, formerly Geoff Ross’ Yendys, idle.

Wedgetail’s crew is being assembled this week, the owner/skipper confirming that North Sails’ Michael Coxon will join a majority Queensland team as tactician and helmsman.

'If we get nor’easters we’ll be pretty competitive, if it’s off the breeze the TP Ragamuffin will be hard to beat,' admits Wild, who last raced in the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club’s premier event in early 2000.

'I had a couple of good placings with my Mumm 36 back in the dark ages, but I’ve never won it.'

Wild will use the Club Marine Pittwater to Coffs ocean race to deliver his boat north to Brisbane where he will plans to race more regularly.

At 85, the doyen of Australian ocean racing, Syd Fischer, will join the throng of young professional sailors and those still with an appetite to satiate after the 628 nautical mile Rolex Sydney Hobart returning to Sydney for the 1pm start of the Club Marine Pittwater to Coffs Harbour Race on January 2.

Fischer will campaign his 100 foot super maxi Ragamuffin Loyal in the Sydney Hobart and have his TP52, Ragamuffin, ready and waiting back in Sydney for the first bluewater race of the New Year.

'Some of the crew will bring the 100 footer back and some will fly back and race on the TP. We’ll have a pretty good crew going north,' Fischer assures.

When asked what has motivated him to make a return to the northern sprint race he replied in earnest, 'Something to do'.

Fischer needs a significant pool of seasoned offshore sailors to operate his expanding fleet of yachts and the northern assault will give those who missed out on the cutthroat crew selection for Hobart an opportunity to feel part of the swelling Ragamuffin family.

'Everything is so bloody heavy on the 100 footer, it’s a different dimension. We’ll take some of the blokes to Coffs who missed out on the maxi ride to Hobart.'

With a former Ragamuffin, Fischer scored the double in the 1996 Pittwater Coffs, line honours and the IMS handicap trophy, and it’s feasible the octogenarian’s famous moniker will again be added to the winner’s list.

The race is appealing to a new audience with 14 of the 38 boats entered so far first time entrants and skippers like Hodgkinson, Wild and Fischer making a comeback after an extended break.

The organising club, the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, has extended the deadline for entries to 5pm this Friday, December 14.

The 2013 Club Marine Pittwater & Coffs Harbour Regatta Notice of Race is available from the event website at www.pittwatertocoffs.com.au

Online entry via Top Yacht Software

For race enquiries and documentation please contact the RPAYC Sailing Office on (02) 9998 3771 or yachting@rpayc.com.au
Giacomo Yacht SaleRS Sailing 660x82C-Tech Emirates TNZ

Related Articles

Clipper World Yacht Race – Day 3, Race 1 – Tackling the Bay of Biscay
As the fleet makes steady progress south past the UK and towards Northern France, Skippers focus on the next challenge Ahead of the fleet, the weather is changing somewhat. A new low moving southeast across the race track should reach the Portuguese coast by the weekend. Whilst it does not look particularly strong, it will provide several tactical options for the twelve teams.
Posted on 23 Aug
Five athletes added to US Sailing Team Roster
Steph Roble (East Troy, Wisc.) and Maggie Shea (Wilmette, Ill.) have been added in the women's 49erFX Chris Rast (Holland, Mich.) and Trevor Burd (Marblehead, Mass.) have been named in the men's 49er, and Haddon Hughes (Houston, Texas) has joined the team in the women's Laser Radial class.
Posted on 23 Aug
Rough going for Ida Lewis Distance Race fleet
A forecast calling for storms to pass over course during night convinced seven of the original 40 entrants to drop out Of the remaining 33 teams, an additional ten were forced to retire due to damaged equipment or other problems incurred during multiple squalls that left memorable impressions and their calling cards of driving rain and winds gusting 40+ knots.
Posted on 23 Aug
J-Class Worlds – Day 1 shots by Carlo Borlenghi
Carlo Borlenghi provided this gallery of images from J-Class World Championship 2017 – Day 1 Carlo Borlenghi provided this gallery of images from J-Class World Championship 2017 – Day 1
Posted on 23 Aug
Nice points jump for Facundo Olezza after U23 Finn Worlds opener
Facundo Olezza, from Argentina, made some sense of the chaotic wind conditions on the first day The only young sailor at the U23 Finn World Championship in Balatonfured with Olympic experience, Facundo Olezza, from Argentina, made some sense of the chaotic wind conditions on the first day to build a 13 point margin after three very tricky races were sailed.
Posted on 23 Aug
J-Class Worlds - Day 1 action-shots by Ingrid Abery
Ingrid Abery was on water at 2017 J-Class World Championship and provided this gallery of images from Day 1's action. Top international photographer Ingrid Abery was on water at 2017 J-Class World Championship and provided this gallery of images from Day 1's action.
Posted on 23 Aug
Pulling G’s with Beneteau – Pt I
In a car, just the one G will have you straining at your seatbelt. In a car, just the one G will have you straining at your seatbelt. Over nine (+ve) in an aircraft, and without a G-suit, you will be unconscious. So at three G’s, and pulling no punches with them either, we not only enjoyed our opportunity to sit with Gianguido Girotti (G3), we got to learn a lot as well!
Posted on 23 Aug
Clipper Yacht Race – Day 2, Race 1 – Strong tides divide fleet
Strong tides running North have divided the fleet tactically overnight, with the front of the pack heading close inshore The gap between first and last place has widened over the last 24 hours, with 68 nautical miles separating the teams and a group of four teams pulling away from the pack. At the top of the leader board is Unicef which has crept four nautical miles ahead of Visit Seattle this morning despite sitting in second place overnight.
Posted on 22 Aug
Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup – Building on success
Pulses look set to race once again at the Mediterranean’s greatest festival of big boat competition. As usual, this year’s fleet will be grouped into classes depending upon several factors, including size, rating and racing capabilities. Within the smaller participating yachts, between 18.29 metres and 24.08 metres, the sub-division promotes close and fair racing under the prevailing handicap systems.
Posted on 22 Aug
Joshua one-design yacht to be inaugurated in 2022 Golden Globe Race
Knox-Johnston set out from Falmouth aboard Suhaili on June 14. Moitessier followed 79 days later in steel ketch Joshua The 2018 race, set to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Knox-Johnston’s victory in his traditional 32ft yacht Suhaili, has attracted 27 sailors from 14 countries to compete in similar type yachts between 32-36ft in length.
Posted on 22 Aug