Please select your home edition
Edition
Hella Dual Colour Floodlights - Top 728 x 90px - 1 jpg

TP52 racing to start off Newcastle with all guns blazing

by Mark Rothfield 8 Apr 22:46 PDT 10-11 April 2021
Celestial at the SailFest Newcastle Regatta © Mark Rothfield

A blast of cannon fire from Fort Scratchley will signal the start of SailFest Newcastle's signature event, the TP52 Gold Cup, around 12.30pm tomorrow (Saturday), with eight yachts hitting the line off Newcastle's coast.

It's believed to be the biggest gathering of the international class anywhere in the world over the past year, as Europe's Super Series was suspended in 2020 due to COVID and doesn't resume until July, while a number of Australian events were also cancelled.

Among the fleet are former Sydney-Hobart winner Ichi Ban, Patrice, Denali, Matador, Quest and Smuggler for the first time, joining Celestial and Koa from the previous Gold Cup in 2019. Aboard are many of Australia's top professional and champion sailors.

Built entirely of carbon fibre, the boats have powerful sail areas and deep keels for exceptional performance. In stronger breezes they surf at well over 20 knots under spinnaker.

The world-class sailing action began earlier today on Newcastle Harbour with the opening salvos of the Sailing Champions League Asia Pacific match-racing finals. Top yacht club crews from Tasmania, Victoria, Queensland, the Defence Forces, Sydney and Newcastle are racing directly in front of Honeysuckle Hotel over the three days.

From 2pm tomorrow on the Stockton shoreline will be an iconic race known as the Cock of the Harbour, run by Port Hunter Skiff Sailing Club to determine the fastest sailing craft on the Harbour. Not only is it one of Australia's oldest sailing trophies, the event is also arguably one of the richest off-the-beach races in the country as the high-performance skiff, dinghy and catamaran classes will vie for monetary vouchers.

"Everyone's welcome... skiffs, cats, MGs, Moths, VSs, 49ers, Flying Ants - everyone," says club stalwart Arran Gore. "And anyone can win - in light winds the 16s are hard to beat, whereas the cats like fresher conditions."

Not too fresh though - the defending champion from 2019 is the Port Hunter 16-Foot skiff Kilo, piloted by Rob Flanagan, Anthony Johnson and Graham Roberson, who outlasted the much-fancied multihulls as the breeze built to gale strength.

Families can also participate in a free Try-Sailing experience in the sheltered waters of Throsby Basin, adjacent to Carrington Bridge, running 10am-2pm on both days. It will give novices of all ages the chance to learn a new skill aboard one of NCYC's OziOpti trainers, Pacer dinghies or Windsurfers. Kids can also visit the 'Pirates of the Carro-bbean' face-painting stall.

Continuing the pirate theme on the Saturday night, competitors will follow a map to some of the treasures of Newcastle's pub scene, all close to the Harbour.

The regatta rekindles over 175 years of sailing history on the port. It is being supported by the City of Newcastle and NSW Maritime. Boating Education Officers will be running lifejacket servicing clinics over the weekend and providing safety advice.

For more details, see sailfest.com.au

Related Articles

Can You Feel It?
Well? Can you? The Jacksons certainly did back in 1980 with this single from their Triumph album. Well? Can you? The Jacksons certainly did back in 1980 with this single from their Triumph album. Some of the names that went into included the exceptionally talented, and most sought after Greg Phillinganes on ivories, and then one Venetta Fields. Posted on 11 Apr
SAILING Champions League Final overall
Tasmanians heralded kings and queens of Newcastle The Royal YC of Tasmania has claimed the 'best sailing club' crown, their exemplary crew work in gusty westerlies and ability to strategise under pressure landing the young team the coveted SAILING Champions League: Asia Pacific open win in Newcastle. Posted on 11 Apr
SailFest Newcastle overall
Flying TP52 start sets for perfect finish Newcastle Harbour has hosted sailing regattas for over 175 years, but never has it witnessed a sight more exciting or nail-biting than this - eight grand-prix TP52s planing across the line under spinnaker, fanned by 25 knots of wild, wild sou-westerly. Posted on 11 Apr
SAILING Champions League Final day 2
Set for thriller final in Newcastle The title of best sailing club in Australia for 2021 is less than 24 hours from being awarded and the same young Tasmanian and Sydney teams sit at the top of the points table after day two of the SAILING Champions League Asia Pacific Final. Posted on 10 Apr
SailFest Newcastle day 1
Ichi Ban on top as TP52s go toe-to-toe It was a rare sight indeed to see eight top-flight TP52s going toe-to-toe on a start line, but ultimately a familiar name topped the IRC leader board on Day 1 of the TP52 Gold Cup at Newcastle SailFest Regatta. Posted on 10 Apr
SAILING Champions League Final day 1
Being held as part of the huge Newcastle sporting weekend The SAILING Champions League Asia Pacific Final opened Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club's annual SailFest event with a massive tally of 24 races rolled out in the harbour, while at Mereweather beach, the Rip Curl Newcastle Cup continued on a 30 degree day. Posted on 9 Apr
Full sail ahead for Newcastle Harbour regatta
A huge weekend of world-class sailing action A huge weekend of world-class sailing action on Newcastle Harbour begins tomorrow morning with the opening of SailFest Newcastle. Posted on 8 Apr
SCL Final combining with Newcastle's SailFest
Youth and women's teams will put on spectacular fleet racing show for Newcastle's waterfront crowds SAILING Champions League Asia Pacific organisers today made the exciting announcement that the final of the current season will be built into Newcastle's annual SailFest maritime festival program, supported by the City of Newcastle. Posted on 23 Mar
SAILING Champions League paused
A high pressure system over the southern Tasman Sea is combining with an intense coastal trough. A gale warning along the New South Wales coast kept disappointed crews ashore on day one of the SAILING Champions League (SCL) Asia Pacific Northern Qualifier out of Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club. Posted on 20 Mar
SCL to bring excitement to the Newcastle foreshore
Sailing Champions League action this weekend The Newcastle foreshore will be brought to life this weekend as the City of Newcastle, in conjunction with the Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club, gets set to host the second qualifying leg of the Sailing Champions League - Asia Pacific. Posted on 18 Mar
Hella Dual Colour Floodlights - 728 x 90px - 1 jpg BottomPineapple Cup 2022 FOOTERJ Composites 2020 - FOOTER