Please select your home edition
Edition
YY.com app (top)

Double-handers to duel in 2018 Pantaenius Newport Coffs Coast

by Mark Rothfield 13 Sep 2018 22:15 PDT 27 December 2018
Pantaenius Newport Coffs Coast Race - Lee Condell sailing © Mark Rothfield

The 2018 Pantaenius Newport Coffs Coast race is set to become the latest major yachting classic to combine a double-handed division with its fully-crewed fleet when the gun fires on December 27.

In trialling the new format, race organisers from the Royal Motor Yacht Club Broken Bay and Coffs Harbour Yacht Club have recognised the increasing popularity and acceptance of two-crew racing overseas, including prestigious bluewater events such as the Rolex Fastnet Race.

Short-handed enthusiast Lee Condell initiated discussions with race director Rob Brown and is backing the move with sponsorship of divisional prizes for overall winners, mixed crews and all-women's teams through his yacht brokerage business Performance Boating.

"The Coffs race is an obvious step towards what we're seeing internationally," Condell says. "What drew me to it, initially, is there are only two nights at sea, maybe less – that's not too demanding for those who are considering short-handed racing for the first time.

"The delivery trip home is also easy for boats from the south."

Rob Brown says the Coffs race has a long tradition of welcoming boats of all shapes and sizes, along with crews of varying ocean racing experience, and he's confident the double-handers won't clash with the existing IRC, ORCi, PHS and AMR entries.

"In Europe they're not so much the radical water-ballasted flyers of the past, more standard cruiser-racers such as J/Boats, JPKs, Sunfasts, Sigmas and so on. Most are between 32 and 38 feet, so they're not too physically demanding," Brown says.

"Production yachts are the bread-and-butter of our sport and potentially a strong growth area for the Pantaenius Newport-Coffs Coast race as it becomes harder for some time-poor skippers to retain regular crews."

Condell caught the short-handed bug when his duties as a Jeanneau yacht dealer and broker began hindering racing opportunities.

"I became involved with the SSAA [Short-Handed Sailing Association of Australia] who run events over the winter months, which is a time of year when I can get away from work more easily," he says.

"It's a different style of racing, where you need to think in advance and know when to change gears. That starts before the race, when you look at the forecasting and the likely course... then you have to respond to changing conditions and execute manoeuvres, which adds another element that I really enjoy."

Condell intends to sail a 2000-model Jeanneau Sunfast 40 in this year's Pantaenius Newport Coffs Coast. It's equipped with furling headsail, boom bag and lazy jacks while flying symmetric kites that are typically letterboxed under the mainsail and down the companionway.

Production designs like this lend themselves to being managed by cruising couples, being more stable and having control lines running aft to within reach of the helm.

Allaying concerns about safety, Condell believes that the track-record for short-handed sailing in mixed fleet and offshore regattas speaks for itself. "It has been proven all over the world – the last Fastnet race, for example, had no fewer than 57 short-handed entries," he said.

"While the fully-crewed boats look to hug the shore all the way to Coffs, we tend to take a slightly more conservative approach," he says. "The rules allow for two people and an autopilot as the minimum. We obviously have to keep watch the whole time but there's no reason that can't be done safely."

Condell's co-skipper will be Queenslander Lincoln Dews, one of Australia's most successful watermen in Ironman events, prone paddling and competitive SUP racing where he is currently ranked #2 in the world. He actively races his father's First 34.7, usually as co-skipper and crew boss.

The Pantaenius Newport-Coffs Coast race is run by Royal Motor Yacht Club Broken Bay in association with the Coffs Harbour Yacht Club under Safety Category 3 Plus. Multihulls are also welcome to compete.

Co-sponsors include Road Tech Marine, B&G, Robert Oatley Wines, Musto, Pacific Property Management and Performance Boating.

For more information visit www.royalmotor.com.au/coffs-race

Related Articles

A big fortnight for Women .. Sydney Hobart Furore
It has been a great start to 2019 for Women's sailing - in multihulls and offshore With 68yr olds winning races in a multihull World Championship, and 14 year old and 17 year old helmswoman being outstanding in the same Tornado fleet, it has been an interesting start to 2019. Plus a look at the AIS debacle in the Rolex Sydney Hobart. Posted today at 1:46 am
Block Island Race Week announcement
Storm Trysail Club expects 150 boats IRC, ORC and PHRF are returning, as one might expect. In addition, an exciting, new, innovative format will be introduced– "Plus+1". Plus+1 allows the crew to be one person larger than the first digit of hull-length. Posted on 18 Jan
RS21 charter available for HH NOOD Regatta
Newest keelboat model from RS Sailing is a pleasure to sail RS are excited to announce their involvement in the Helly Hansen National Offshore One Design (NOOD) Regatta series 2019, presented by Sailing World, with the new award-winning RS21 keelboat. Posted on 18 Jan
The Jacksons to headline at St. Maarten
Motown royalty to grace the Heineken Regatta The St. Maarten Heineken Regatta is famous for world-class racing and attracting some of the world's top musical acts for their legendary parties. This year is no different. Motown royalty, The Jacksons, will perform on Sunday March 3rd, 2019. Posted on 18 Jan
Announcing the J/80 World Championship in Bilbao
75 boats and over 500 sailors from all over the world expected For the host nation, it will be a real fight for national honors for the top three teams from last year's 2018 J/80 Copa de Espana that were held on the same waters. Posted on 18 Jan
OC Sport opens international base in France
One of the first to take advantage is VOR-winning skipper Charles Caudrelier 'Le HUB by OC Sport' will draw on the company's successful track record in the organisation of major offshore events and team management, to offer a full-service solution for international offshore sailing campaigns. Posted on 17 Jan
Nikki Barnes and Lara Dallman-Weiss talk 470s
A Q&A with Nikki Barnes and Lara Dallman-Weiss about their 470 campaign I checked in with USCG Lt. (j.g.) Nikole 'Nikki' Barnes and Lara Dallman-Weiss, via email, ahead of the 2019 World Cup Series Miami to learn more about their dreams to represent the USA at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in the Women's 470 class. Posted on 17 Jan
Stars&Stripes Team USA unveils AC75 build details
Challenger aims to create sustainable legacy for American yacht industry Stars & Stripes Team USA, American flagged Challenger for the 36th America's Cup, today released additional details outlining their boat build and design process. Posted on 17 Jan
Oakcliff first to preview Olympic offshore event
A double-handed, mixed, overnight, one-design event in New York When World Sailing announced a mixed two-person keelboat offshore event for the Paris 2024 Olympics, Oakcliff started planning. The New York-based training and coaching center will run an offshore race this spring. Posted on 17 Jan
Nations Cup Grand Final heads to San Francisco
10 countries represented in the Open, and 8 in the Women's category St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco, USA has been selected by World Sailing to host the 2019 Nations Cup Grand Final April 9-14, 2019 and will use its matched fleet of J/22s. Posted on 17 Jan
YY.com app (top)