Competitive keel boat owners locking in their calendar of ‘must do’ sailing events are choosing Sail Port Stephens. Corlette Point Sailing Association (CPSA) in partnership with Events Port Stephens reports a steady flow of entries, now past the 100 mark.
This year’s event offers boat owners three options; the NSW IRC Championship (April 11-13), Pantaenius Port Stephens Trophy (April 11-13) for performance racing and performance cruising boats, and the Pantaenius Commodore’s Cup (April 14-16) for cruising boats.
In two weeks’ time Sail Port Stephens opens on the last day of term for NSW schools. The reversal of the Commodore’s Cup and the IRC Racing component, the opener to this year’s regatta, is a deliberate one-off to give IRC crews time to complete their state title then head straight to Newcastle for the Audi IRC Australian Championship, Thursday 17 – Sunday 20 April, 2014.
CPSA Commodore Dom Grundy said, 'We appreciate the support of the cruising division changing their plans to fit this year’s special timetable. For owners doing the feeder races from Pittwater and Newcastle and arriving early there are good marina rates available for extended stays. It’s a good opportunity for some maintenance or to enjoy some down time with the family prior to the cruising competition.'
The inaugural Sail Port Stephens in 2008 was a quiet success with 25 boats competing. One of those was Keith Masters and his original Northshore 38 called Moet.
Like others in the early run of signings, the Wollongong based skipper who keeps his boat in Pittwater hasn’t missed one since and his current Northshore 380c In The Mood is entered for the seventh edition.
2013 Sail Port Stephens Commodores Cup Cruising day three, hosted by Corlette Point Sailing Club. - Craig Greenhill Saltwater
'I work for myself and can’t get the time off to get the boat up to Queensland for the winter regattas so instead we head to Port Stephens,' Masters explained.
'The area offers a variety of scenery and courses and is tactically very interesting. It’s a challenge with the current and shallow depth in some parts and sometimes the breeze is all over the paddock. You don’t know what you are going to get, but everyone’s in the same boat.'
Masters has entered his current Northshore, In the Mood, for the Commodore’s Cup for cruising boats, both spinnaker and non-spinnaker, and is anticipating plenty of good times on and off the water.
'It’s good catch up with sailing friends. We see a lot of familiar faces from Pittwater, the CYCA and Wollongong.'
Each time Masters enters Sail Port Stephens the crew is joined by more partners and family than the year before.
Sail Port Stephens’ scenic and safe courses cater for all level of sailor and children and teens are welcome to crew as there’s no minimum age restriction.
Commodore Grundy adds, 'The Commodore’s Cup component of the series is perfect for the whole family who can all race together. Otherwise some can sail and others can be off sightseeing and enjoying a plethora of local delights and family activities.
'The Cup finishes just before the Easter long weekend, the perfect opportunity for an extended stay in the region during the NSW school holidays.'
Sail Port Stephens is proudly supported by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency Destination NSW.
Event website: click here