Please select your home edition
Edition
T Clewring J-class

Sydney Harbour Regatta - Another successful regatta comes to a close

by Di Pearson on 11 Mar 2012
Sirius - Sydney Harbour Regatta 2012 Saltwater Images
Sydney Harbour Regatta, hosted by Middle Harbour Yacht Club and sponsored by Helly Hansen and Sydney Ports Corporation, was held this weekend. Winners across the 16 classes and 24 divisions were cheered this evening as they received their trophies and Helly Hansen prizes for the feats in the Club’s seventh running of the Sydney Harbour Regatta, which boasted 237 boats.

For some victors, yesterday’s performance put them into the box seat going into the final day, but for others, the pointscore was so close that final races made it or broke it.

Warwick Rooklyn (CYCA) did not put a foot wrong, winning all six races in the increasingly popular Melges 24 one-design sports boat. His nearest rival this weekend was Kevin Nixon and his Accru crew, which features his wife and children.

Try as they might, none could scramble quickly enough to beat Rooklyn, who has been sailing his whole life, courtesy of his late father Jack, of Apollo and Ballyhoo fame. The Eastern Suburbs sailor is keen to see others join the class he loves so much.


'Middle Harbour Yacht Club do an awesome job just to cater to so many classes on Sydney Harbour and we all enjoyed it – and to win six from six – it can’t get better; we’re over the moon,' Rooklyn, the owner/skipper of Bandit said.

'We’re blessed to come together as a team. Going to the Melges 24 World Championship in Texas has helped us understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses. We came back with a lot of knowledge about the boat,' said Rooklyn, who has had an excellent season with four wins from four regattas, including taking out the National Championship in January.

'Conditions were testing all weekend; the morning light shifty breeze yesterday was hard, then the light north easterly left a lot of wash and made it choppy on the course – it was a very good event.

The larger Melges 32 One-Design was dominated by Tasmanian entry 2 Unlimited Seven Star, owned by Greg Prescott. In his absence, the boat was steered to five wins from six races, by Sydney Farr 40 guru and MHYC Immediate Past Commodore, Martin Hill.


Olympian, Bobby Wilmot from Sydney, was on mainsheet and there were three Tassies aboard; Darren ‘Twirler’ Jones, who has called Sydney home for many years, Mark Jeffrey and Ollie Nicholas. And although the crew had not sailed together before, they dominated from go to whoa and are thrilled to be heading to the National Championship at Pittwater next Friday as ‘the boat to beat’.

Ollie Nicholas admitted he was surprised by their domination in the hot fleet: 'It’s been good to come up to Sydney and sail with a good bunch of blokes and to finish this well – we had no idea how we’d go – to win so many races was a bit of a surprise,' he said.


Interstate entries were big winners in a few divisions this weekend. Rob Hanna brought his recently purchased TP52, Shogun, up from Victoria for the IRC windward/leeward racing off Sydney Heads.

At the forefront of the Royal Geelong Yacht Club yachtsman’s mind was to even the score with fellow TP52, Hooligan (Marcus Blackmore), which beat Shogun V by three points to lift the Rolex Trophy in December. Hanna was not disappointed, scoring Division A victory in four out of five races, with Hooligan finishing five points behind in second place. Game, set and match!


Division B also went to a ‘foreigner’, with the David Lambourne/Barry Cuneo Farr 40,Lambourdini/Envy Scooters from Queensland coming up trumps, their Race 3 win sealing the deal in the four race series. They were thrilled with their unexpected win.


In Division C, a second Victorian boat came up with the goods. David Ellis trucked his Archambault 31, Penfold Audi Sport from Melbourne to Sydney with high hopes, but unsure of his potential in a hot fleet that included two-time Audi IRC Australian champion, Peter Sorensen and his Sydney 36CR, The Philosopher’s Club.

Ellis, from the Royal Yacht Club of Victoria, was thrilled to win the series with three wins from four races. 'Sailing in Sydney is very different to sailing on Port Phillip, so we were more than happy to beat the likes of The Philosopher’s Club and L’Altra Donna (Andy Kearnan’s Summit 35 from Sydney), they were always going to be hard to beat,' he said.

'We got Peter Shields to truck the boat up, because we didn’t want anything to go wrong with the boat and he always does such a great job,' said Ellis, who is originally from Sydney and felt the need to 'test ourselves against some of the best IRC boats around.'

Ellis did not let the flukey breeze which started at 6 knots in the east-sou-east and eventually bent around to the north-east and increased up to 12 knots by afternoon. Nor did he and his crew let the delay of over an hour while the race crew waited for the breeze to settle, get the better of them. Due to delays on both days, Division 2 and 3’s series was cut from six to four races.

The Victorian yachtsman said that although they had recently won the Club Marine Series at home and the Victorian IRC Championship, he was still unsure of his place in the scheme of things. That is not the case anymore. 'I have a great crew and boat, and I feel lucky for that. It was also great to sail against one of my early mentors, Nev Wittey, who I saw on L’Altra Donna.'

Ellis said he could not let the weekend go by without saying, 'I want to thank Middle Harbour Yacht Club and its commodore, Julie Hodder, for their hospitality and for making us feel so welcome. We’re heading back to the Club tonight to enjoy the festivities.'

The Cavalier 28 NSW Championship was sailed in conjunction with the Sydney Harbour Regatta and was won by Greg Purcell and his Scuttlebutt crew from the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron. As expected, the racing was tight all weekend, but Purcell had that extra bit of oomph that won him three out of five races and the Championship from Dancelot (Charles Pearse) and Centaurus (Craig Mitchell).

'We had a pretty amazing couple of days on the Harbour,' Purcell said. 'The Club did a great job with the courses, there were 13 very keen crews racing and it was tight racing throughout the Championship,' he added.

In PHS Division 1 Non-Spinnaker, Trevor Bailey and his Beneteau 45 Carbon Credits overcame a challenge from Gunther Schmidtlindner’s Lyons 46, Austmark to claim the spoils by four points.

The Austmark crew were gracious in defeat. On board, helping the owner to second place, was two-time Olympian Nicky Bethwaite, the first Australian woman to sail at the Olympic Games ( Seoul, 1988).

'After the terrible weather we’ve had, was the weekend magic,' Bethwaite said. 'It couldn’t have been better – light and shifty and then spanking winds that let us all pick up our heels and run both days – we’ve had a ball.'

Bethwaite’s crew from the 1998 Olympics also sailed the Sydney Harbour Regatta, in the Yngling class, in which she also contested the 2008 Olympic Games in. Gojnich, a mother of two girls, finished fourth overall after being unable to sail yesterday’s three races. However, her trio of second places today showed she still has what it takes. The winner was Hamish Jarrett (Miss Pibb). Both competitors are from Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron.

Julie Hodder, the commodore of Middle Harbour Yacht Club, commented this evening: 'This was a fantastic regatta for Sydney Harbour, competitors, yacht clubs and spectators. It’s a time when all yacht clubs get together and celebrate how lucky we are to have the best sailing facilities in the world.'

Mariner Boating’s Trevor and Maggie Joyce were on hand to hand over their generous donation of a trip for two in the 2013 ‘Italian Job Yacht Rally’ along the Amalfi Coast, valued at $15,000, including international airfares and domestic transfers. The only stipulation being the winner had to be at tonight’s presentation.

Brad Newton from the yacht Toybox, a Middle Harbour YC yacht, won the prize. It was Newton’s lucky night, as only minutes earlier he was drawn as the winner of $1500 worth of Helly Hansen sailing clothing.

The company held a fashion parade showing the latest Helly Hansen sailing gear and the country blues band, The Wolverines, played to their appreciative yachtie audience throughout the night.

Wolverines drummer, John Clinton, also sailed the regatta with his Beneteau ‘Holy Cow’, with its standout cow patch headsail.

Middle Harbour YC thanks the following yacht clubs for their assistance in running the Sydney Harbour Regatta; Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, Manly YC, RANSA, Royal Prince Alfred YC, Royal Prince Edward YC, Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, Sydney Amateur SC, Sydney Flying Event website

Related Articles

From Olympic flag to Olympic Gold and maybe another
The Sydney Olympics was a Sailing double 470 Gold event for Australia. Having won the 420 World Championship in 2000, the feeder class to the 470, while still at school in Australia young Matt Belcher was given the honour of carrying the Olympic flag during the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
Posted on 28 Apr
The Road to Rio now 99 days short
The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win. The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win in Hyeres, at some World championship events and Weymouth World Cup but for many crews: 'It's 106 miles to Chicago we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses.' Whoops wrong movie.
Posted on 28 Apr
America's Cup - Oracle Racing win in Court but with collateral damage
Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Mitchell focussed largely on the circumstances of the matter and introduced into the public arena some interesting documents to support his claims.
Posted on 23 Apr
An interview with Jake Beattie about the 2016 Race to Alaska
In 2014, Jake Beattie and a few friends envisioned the Race to Alaska. Now, it’s time this wild race’s second edition. In 2014, Jake Beattie-the executive director of the Northwest Maritime Center in Port Townsend, Washington, and a few friends hatched the bold idea of a human-powered race to Ketchikan, Alaska, took flight. They decided that their human-powered race would start in Port Townsend, Washington and run to Ketchikan, by way of the inside passage between Vancouver Island and British Columbia.
Posted on 14 Apr
Children of the Internet, Rio and Hong Kong
I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. The kind of conversations I have with her run along these lines.... In the olden days we did not have television until I left school and they had a thing called print magazines, that reported events between two weeks and four months after they happened. And her sceptical response... Hoh! Daddy, Hoh!
Posted on 14 Apr
Go fast girls - 49er FX sailors Paris Henken and Helena Scutt
Paris Henken and Helena Scutt will be representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics, which will be their first Olympiad. American’s Paris Henken (20) and Helena Scutt (23) recently won a berth to represent the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the high-performance 49er FX skiff, a goal that the team has been working on for almost three years. While this is their first Games, writing them off as Olympic newbies would require ignoring their recent results and their strong teamwork.
Posted on 13 Apr
World Sailing Cup V3 - A Dead Rat in a Shoe or Spring Daffodils?
While a host of major sailing events go from strength to strength, the Sailing World Cup has very major issues. Last night my Irish better half was sitting beside me on the sofa watching an Australian version of the popular TV Cooking Program My Kitchen Rules on a tablet with her headphones while I was watching Diehard II for the seventeenth time (it’s a boy thing) on TV. She suddenly spluttered and laughed, took off her headphones and motioned for me to mute Diehard. (Seriously!!)
Posted on 9 Apr
Volvo Ocean Race appoints stadium racing pioneer as new CEO
Sail-World forecast the appointment of Mark Turner as Volvo Ocean Race CEO a month ago. We profiled Turner at that time. Sail-World forecast the appointment of Mark Turner as Volvo Ocean Race CEO a month ago. We profiled Turner at that time. Today his appointment has been confirmed.
Posted on 31 Mar
Large spectator fleet heading north for boat watching season
I’m absolutely not going to lay claim to the phrase, but it is insanely apt and hilarious all at the same time, however. I’m absolutely not going to lay claim to the phrase. It is insanely apt and hilarious, all at the same time, however. Well then, boat watching season is definitely upon us once more. The whales will soon be gathering again off the coast of Queensland to observe all manner of racing and cruising craft as they head North for a Winter in the sun.
Posted on 29 Mar
Laser creator Ian Bruce passes away (1933 - 2016)
Ian Bruce, driving force behind the Laser dinghy, sadly passed away at his daughter's home on Monday March 21 2016. Ian Bruce, driving force behind the Laser dinghy, sadly passed away at his daughter's home on Monday March 21 2016. His legacy to our sport, Canadian sailing and his beloved Royal St. Lawrence Yacht Club will be praised and honoured for years to come.
Posted on 24 Mar
T Clewring AC72NaiadBarz Optics - Kids range