Please select your home edition
Allen 2018 US A4866XB 728x90

Sail Port Stephens 2019 gets ready to roll

by Mark Rothfield 9 Dec 2018 22:23 PST 8-14 April 2019
Sail Port Stephens - Performance cruising © Salty Dingo

With online entries and the Notice of Race now up and running for the 12th annual Sail Port Stephens regatta, an unforgettable sailing holiday experience awaits for everything from IRC, Super 12 and Farr 40 yachts to cruising boats, trailer sailers, 16-Foot skiffs and junior dinghies.

Dates for 2019 are 8-14 April, which falls outside the busy school holiday and Easter periods. The iconic Commodores Cup is held over the first three days, followed by a lay-day to allow crews to enjoy the region's many attractions. Racing then heats up for the final three days, both inshore and off, with the Pantaenius Port Stephens Trophy.

Jewel in the crown is the Garmin NSW IRC Championship, which attracts one of the largest and most competitive fleets on the domestic IRC scene. The Super 12 division, for PHRF-rated boats between 9.1 and 12.2 metres, also conducts its State titles in conjunction with Sail Port Stephens.

The 2019 event will welcome the Farr 40 One Design fleet, while invitations have been issued to trailer yachts (under Cat 7 safety) along with 16-Foot skiffs and junior dinghy classes.

Following consultation with competitors, there are new divisions including a TP52 Class under the IRC banner and a Cruising Non-Spinnaker Class and Jeanneau Class (spinnaker and non-spinnaker) for the Commodores Cup. That means more prizes up for grabs and an easier task for the handicapping committee.

In another change of format, racing for the trailer yachts, skiffs and junior dinghies will be staged during the main event, not as satellite events in the following week. Their courses will be immediately off Nelson Bay breakwall to bolster spectator viewing and allow more competitors to feel part of the regatta festivities.

At least six TP52s are expected, including Marcus Blackmore's Botin-designed Hooligan that will defend its NSW crown.

"When you look at the sailing calendar, this is one of the outstanding regattas for IRC boats in Australia," Blackmore says. "I love coming here because it has great sailing and a real holiday atmosphere, while my wife gets to play golf while I go off sailing."

Early bookings are encouraged for those seeking marina berths, as fleet sizes have been on a consistent upward trajectory in recent years. The three major marinas – d'Albora Marina Nelson Bay, The Anchorage and Soldiers Point Marina – all reach capacity yet bend over backwards to assist Sail Port Stephens entrants.

The social calendar is equally packed, again commencing with a Monday welcome party hosted by Wild Oats Wines. The Commodores Cup presentation night, traditionally a sell-out, has a beach-themed ball. Post-racing events are also held on the Friday and Saturday at d'Albora Marina's Broughtons at the Bay function centre, which becomes regatta headquarters.

The Women Who Sail Australia (WWSA) group are holding their third consecutive "Gathering on the Bay" on April 6-7 before making way for crews from a large feeder-race fleet from Pittwater's Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club and Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club.

Principal Race Officer Denis Thompson is hoping for a repeat of last year's 'endless summer' weather, when temperatures hovered above 30 degrees and breezes mostly stayed light to moderate, bringing the popular offshore courses into play and keeping incidents to a minimum.

"Generally the racing is quite laid back, although in the high-performance classes it can be as willing as you'll find anywhere. Fortunately, we've got a high-powered jury to sort out any rules issues," Thompson said.

"It's also a versatile sailing area, with some interesting courses inside the bay and beautiful islands near the Heads to sail around. And what I think is the best race course in Australia lies just to the north of Cabbage Tree Island in Providence Bay. It's perfect sailing and we have some great races out there."

Regatta co-sponsors Port Stephens Accommodation and Winnings Holidays, through parent company Alloggio, offer a wide range of accommodation options in and around the regatta hub.

Sail Port Stephens is organised by Corlette Point Sailing Association with ongoing support from the NSW Government via Destination NSW, Port Stephens Council, Pantaenius Insurance, Garmin Australia, Alloggio Port Stephens, Port Stephens Strata, d'Albora Marina, Anchorage Marina, Beneteau, Gill, Wild Oats, Lion Nathan and Seabreeze Hotel.

Quick Links:

Related Articles

Clipper Race renewes partnership with TIMEZERO
TIMEZERO by MaxSea announced as Official Navigation Software Supplier to the Clipper 2019-20 Race The eleven strong fleet of 70 ft ocean racing yachts will be equipped with TZ Professional for the 40,000 nm circumnavigation. Posted on 25 Mar
RS Aeros at Sarasota One Design Midwinter Regatta
Fifth and final regatta of the RS Aero US Winter Series Sunny Sarasota was the setting for the fifth and final regatta of the 2019 RS Aero US Winter Series supported by KO Sailing. Despite the tropical location, wind patterns were disrupted by the Cyclone Bomb event up north. Posted on 25 Mar
St. Thomas International Regatta overall
Squalls sent windy curve balls across the courses on the final day Clouds and a couple of squalls sent windy curve balls across the courses set for the 50-plus boats racing in the 46th St. Thomas International Regatta (STIR). STIR, long known as the 'Crown Jewel of Caribbean Yacht Racing' Posted on 25 Mar
Butler Cup at Long Beach Yacht Club overall
Price edges ahead to win Australian Harry Price, the 23-year-old No. 3 Ranked Match Racer won the Butler Cup, an event in which so many highly-experienced sailors and rated match racers participated, competitors were wondering if they were really competing in a Grade 1 event. Posted on 25 Mar
Nacra 15 Youth Worlds Qualifier in San Francisco
Sutter and Versavel win in fleet of seven cats Jack Sutter and Charlotte Versavel bested the fleet of seven competitors to win the second and final stage of the Nacra 15 Youth World Qualifier at St. Francis Yacht Club, March 22-24, 2019. Posted on 25 Mar
The Ocean Race: New race team set to enter
The Mirpuri Foundation announced they will be entering a race team in The Ocean Race As part of the launch of The Ocean Race broadcast live from Alicante, Paulo Mirpuri of the Portuguese based The Mirpuri Foundation announced they will be entering a team, rather than just sponsoring an entry. Posted on 24 Mar
Famous martini
Shaken, not stirred - we're talking about the Sayonara Cup Ah huh. So that would make it shaken, not stirred. Right. Now what we are referring to is the recent running and winning of the Sayonara Cup, which we featured last week in Left Languishing. Posted on 24 Mar
North Sails Weekly Debrief
St Barths Bucket, Melges World League Preview, World Champ Insights, Downwind Sails The annual St Barths Bucket had their first race today, with a full weekend of superyacht sailing ahead. Hear why this “must do” Corinthian regatta is a truly unique event. Posted on 24 Mar
Inside Melges: The March Issue
Details of clinics and latest fleet news Time to start thinking about the season ahead! Melges put together a story in anticipation of the year ahead. Watch the latest MC video, get excited for top regattas, read about the new boat design, and learn how we can help you meet your racing goals. Posted on 24 Mar
2019 Fireball Worlds set for Montreal
An exciting change from the recent past The 2019 Fireball World Championship will take place in Montreal. In an exciting change from the recent past, this year's sailing venue will be in a major urban centre, promising a tremendous array of activities when the sailing is done. Posted on 24 Mar
Vaikobi 2019 - Footer 1Gul 2018 October - Code Zero FOOTERRS Sailing 2019 - RS21 Spring Offer - Footer