Please select your home edition
Bakewell-White Yacht Design

Pittwater to Coffs Harbour Yacht Race off to a spectacular start

by Damian Devine on 3 Jan 2012
Merlin, the Kaiko 52 will be amongst the front runners - 2012 Pittwater & Coffs Harbour Regatta Damian Devine
Pittwater to Coffs Harbour Yacht Race 2012 fleet had spread 20 nautical miles from top to tail between Belmont to Norah Head at the first sked reported at 1800hrs this evening.

At the sked, the Volvo 60 Bruce Absolon’s 'Spirit of the Maid’ was in a neck and neck battle with Craig Ellis’ ‘Future Shock’ with both boats within a few hundred metres of another. Host clubs Richard Hudson’s ‘Pretty Woman’ was third closely trailed by the Kaiko 52 ‘Merlin’. The lead boats were travelling between 7-8 knots in a building 20 Nor’ Easter.

Nick Johnstone’s Lidguard 50 ‘Santana 3’ was the first retirement with a broken D shroud mid afternoon and made his way back to the RPAYC. William Hutchinson’s ‘Freya’, a Hanse 411 retired at approximately 1900hrs.

The fleet were graced with a 15 knot Nor’ Easter to get them off the line for a spectacular start at 1pm for the 31st Pittwater to Coffs race, making their way towards Cape Three Points at a blistering pace.

The fleet were evenly spread down the line with a slight pin end bias, seemingly offering the shortest route out of Barrenjoey. The best of the start was to be seen at the pin end with 'Santana 3' the first to jump, closely followed by 'About Time', 'Pretty Woman' and ‘Spirit of the Maid’. 'Future Shock’ came off the middle of the start line in good clean air to take the early ascendency, opting for a path close to the western shore before tacking out to get around Cape Three points.

Michael Logan from BOM presented the weather briefing earlier in the day at the host club the RPAYC, summing it up beautifully, 'I will keep it brief, in two words, North East.' He did elaborate but essentially with a stationery high covering the Tasman this is the forecast for competitors, summer has finally arrived and with perfect sunshine, 26 degrees and a building sea breeze, providing the perfect ingredients for a great start.

By 8pm, the bulk of the fleet were off Lake Macquarie with the lead boats off Newcastle Harbour, all sticking close to shore, with a lot of place changes happening. It's obviously a tricky part of the race as the first night settled in. Future Shock had taken the lead over Spirit of the Maid but had broken a couple of headsail halyards in the process.

The lead for IRC is constantly changing with the two DK46s ‘Exile’ and ‘Nine Dragons’ from the MHYC skippered by Rob Reynolds and Bob Cox respectively performing well as to is Phil Arnall’s smart looking Corby 43 ‘Anger Management’, the two Beneteau First 40s Tony Kinsman’s ‘Blunderbuss’, and Graeme Hall’s ‘Close Halled’ and the Hudson/Murphy/Lockley Farr45 ‘Pretty Woman’ all doing well up front. Mark Griffith’s Sydney 38 ‘Old School’ is within reach of the leading bunch and ready to pounce.

In PHS, it's the Coffs Harbour boat Paul D’Olier’s Sydney 41 'B52' leading from RPAYC’s Commodore Rob Curtis and SMB syndicate Murray 42 ‘Secret Men’s Business#1’ with Rob Alder’s Cookson 12 ‘OCL One’' and ‘Kaliber’, the Beneteau 47.7 enjoying the stronger conditions, the front runners in the Division at this early stage.

But there’s still a long way to go and as the sun set on the first night, it was going to be a long, bumpy night for the crews and boats in the 31st Pittwater to Coffs race. On current predictions the first boat is not expected to cross the finish line until 10pm tomorrow night ensuring the race record of 18hrs 29mins 14secs, held by ‘Wild Oats IX’, is defintely safe for another year.

Richard Hudson owner / skipper of the Farr 45 ‘Pretty Woman’, one of the handicap contenders said prior to the race, 'The forecast should suit us, we have some brand new sails and a good crew on board. The strategy will be to get off the line cleanly, find clear air and find the straightest route there. Obviously looking for those pockets of land breeze early tomorrow when the breeze softens will be one of the keys and could be crucial to the outcome. We’re hoping this will be our year but time will tell. We'll give it our best shot. It should be a good race.'

The five race regatta kicks off with the Pittwater to Coffs Harbour Race followed by two sprint and two 20nm offshore races in Coffs Harbour on fifth and 6th January to round out the regatta. The Pittwater and Coffs Harbour Regatta offers IRC, ORCi, PHS and shorthanded Divisions and also incorporates the inaugural Australian performance handicap (PHS) Championships.

Each boat is fitted with a 'Yellowbrick' satellite GPS tracker and positions will be updated on the event website every 15 minutes during the race. A brand new addition to the race is the Yellowbrick iPhone App, available on iTunes.

Pittwater and Coffs Harbour Regatta website

Zhik Dinghy 660x82Colligo Marine 660x82Naiad

Related Articles

The Countdown on to the 33rd Pineapple Cup – Montego Bay Race
In 100 days you could be sailing out of Biscayne Bay and heading out towards the Gulf Stream with the competitors' fleet Have you planned your 2017 Winter Escape yet? In just 100 days, you could be sailing out of Biscayne Bay and heading out towards the Gulf Stream with the fleet of competitors in the 33rd edition
Posted today at 12:53 pm
Top Chinese solo sailor missing on record attempt to cross Pacific
Top Chinese solo sailor Guo Chuan has gone missing while trying to break the record for crossing the Pacific alone The first Chinese sailor to sail single handed around the world alone, Guo Chuan has gone missing while trying to break the record for crossing the Pacific alone. He was a few days into a voyage from San Francisco to Shanghai sailing alone on a large transoceanic trimaran.
Posted today at 10:35 am
Exit interview with Josh Adams, US Sailing's Olympic boss, part one
I caught up with Josh Adams, Managing Director of U.S. Olympic Sailing at US Sailing, for a two-part job-exit interview. While the USA is a historically strong sailing nation, the team suffered a medal-ceremony shutout at the London 2012 Olympics. A planned leadership change transpired and Josh Adams was named Managing Director of U.S. Olympic Sailing. Unfortunately, the job requires constant travel, which doesn’t mix with raising kids and Adams recently resigned. I talked with him for a two-part job-exit interview.
Posted on 26 Oct
Vendée Globe – Master of the School of Hard Knocks
Jérémie Beyou ranks as one of the favourites to win this eighth edition. His two last attempts ended in early abandons. Triumphant in the summer's warm up New York – Vendée Transatlantic Race and three times winner of La Solitaire du Figaro, the incredibly competitive solo one design classic stage offshore race which is sailed each summer in 32-foot one design Bénéteau Figaro 2s, Jérémie Beyou on Maître CoQ ranks as one of the favourites to win this eighth edition
Posted on 26 Oct
Rolex Middle Sea Race – Overall winner announced
The Royal Malta Yacht Club announced that Vincenzo Onorato's Cookson 50 Mascalzone Latino is the overall winner This race crew was a mix of Italians and British sailors who have raced all over the world under the Mascalzone Latino banner and with great success.
Posted on 26 Oct
The Gitana Team Series – Awakening the senses – Smell
This week, Sébastien Josse has left the Vendée to hook up with his Breton way of life, at home, not far from Lorient. It is just eleven days until the start of the eighth Vendée Globe. In Port Olona, the public is out in force, the village and the pontoons are always full and the pressure mounts a little more each day for the twenty-nine solo sailors, who will set sail on 6 November 2016.
Posted on 26 Oct
Melges 24 World Championship in Miami – 30 days to go
This championship is anticipated to be the most crowded event of the international one-design sailing scene this year. With the day of the first start quickly approaching, the organizing machine is working in full swing: for an event of such importance, everything from race management to the on-shore activities must be organized down to the smallest detail.
Posted on 26 Oct
Rolex Middle Sea Race – Will they, won't they?
Tension was heightened as the door opened by Rambler 88’s finish in the early hours was widened further by more arrivals It was a trickle of finishers rather than a flood, but there was drama all the same, where the battle to secure class wins and post a claim to the overall title raged throughout the day. With the forecast suggesting a period of fading breeze on the course area, the race pendulum was swinging in favour of the bigger, faster yachts. The incentive to keep pushing to the finish was evident.
Posted on 26 Oct
2016 Rolex Middle Sea Race - The big picture
107 yachts started 2016 Rolex Middle Sea Race with 94 yachts racing for the overall prize of the Rolex Middle Sea Trophy 107 yachts started the 2016 Rolex Middle Sea Race with 94 yachts racing for the overall prize of the Rolex Middle Sea Trophy, awarded to the best yacht racing under the IRC Rating system.
Posted on 26 Oct
Atlantic Cup is first sports event in U.S. to be ISO 20121 Compliant
The Atlantic Cup announced that the 2016 race is the first sports event in the United States to be ISO 20121 compliant. The Atlantic Cup presented by 11th Hour Racing announced today that the 2016 race is the first sports event in the United States to be ISO 20121 compliant. In addition, the Atlantic Cup’s official carbon offset supplier, We are Neutral, announced it has calculated and offset the carbon footprint of the 2016 race.
Posted on 25 Oct