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High stakes and great prizes at Nautilus Marine Insurance Sydney Harbour Regatta

by Di Pearson / MHYC media 23 Feb 21:50 PST 4-5 March 2023
PHS Division 2 last year will compete under ORC Club - Sydney Harbour Regatta © Andrea Francolini

Numbers are building for the 2023 Nautilus Marine Insurance Sydney Harbour Regatta and the good news is that organiser, Middle Harbour Yacht Club (MHYC), has extended the early entry fee to 28 February 2023.

To take place on the weekend of 4-5 March, the headline acts will be the 2023 Sydney 38 NSW Championship, the inaugural J/99 Australian Championships, and the Farr 40 NSW Championship.

The J/99 title is to be decided by six windward-leeward races, in the same race area as the Super 30 and Super 40 groups. A new kid on the block is the J/99, Chris O'Neill's Blue Planet. She only made the 2022 Rolex Sydney Hobart start line by a whisker due to a late launch, so is yet to reveal her true potential.

Another new boat that bears watching is David Ross' Super 30 entry, Kukukerchu, a Cape 31. If his previous Cape 31 of the same name is anything to go by, look out!

The Farr 40s will race on the same course area as the Adams 10 and J/24 fleets. First to enter was Brendan McAssey with S1. McAssey almost tasted success at the 2022 Australian Yachting Championships, but just missed the podium, placing fourth overall.

Rob Reynolds Exile is also entered and Jeff Carter has thrown his hat in the ring with Edake. Holder of three NSW Championships, the 2022 National title and a reigning two-time Corinthian World Champion, Edake should be the one to beat.

"Nuh Uh," says Carter. I'm giving everyone a good chance to beat me. I've got all my old crew. We haven't sailed together for around 12 years. We'll be sailing off with Exile for the 'Dad's Army' award," Carter said laughing. "Come and get us - but be a bit gentle."

The Super 40s are shaping up nicely with the likes of Michael Ritchie's Revolver. The self-designed Ritchie 38 will arrive from Pittwater having placed third overall in Division 2 at the NSW ORC Championships. Ross Hennessy has entered Condor and the ultra-competitive 'Dr Darryl' Hodgkinson has signed up with Victoire.

And speaking of ultra-competitive, rumour has it that Marcus Blackmore will be competing in this division with his MC38, Hooligan.

Some other classes will have their own division, such as the Fareast 28R, which will share a course area with the J/70s.

"It will be an action-packed weekend of racing across many different classes and divisions and we're excited to be hosting Championship events at the Sydney Harbour Regatta this year," said MHYC Commodore, Rob Aldis, who will race Kayimai in Spinnaker Division 1, while Sandy Farquharson, his partner in the DK46, Khaleesi, will race in the Open IRC class.

Khaleesi will face all those she competed against at the NSW ORC Championship at Pittwater a couple of weeks ago. Most formidable is Gerry Hatton's Bushranger, which won five of six races to successfully defend the title. Then there are the rest...

Division 2 is as strong. Peter Farrugia's Bullwinkle and Martin Cross's Transcendence Crento finished second and third in that division at the NSW ORC Championships and are coming from Pittwater to have another go.

Despite Sydney boats competing at the Australian Yachting Championships at Port Lincoln, a small fleet of TP52s is on the cards. Gordon Ketelbey is trucking his globe-trotting Zen back from South Australia specially to take part.

Craig Neil, owner of Quest and President of the TP52 class association commented, "We expect the TP52s to be at the Sydney Harbour Regatta in force next year. A couple are having repairs after the Hobart, others, like us, are at Port Lincoln and one is in the build stage."

For the first time, the primary scoring system to be used for the for Performance Spinnaker divisions is ORC Club, with PHS the secondary scoring system. ORC is becoming increasingly popular among the masses. Who will win? Only time will tell.

Everyone is expected to be at their best to make it into the Grand Prize Draw to be conducted at the Official Presentation on Monday 6 March. Each boat placing first, second and third in any Class/Division where six or more entries have been received, are eligible.

First Place Draw is for a - A V8 Supercar Track Day at Sydney Motor Sport Park and a Ross & Whitcroft Quality Marine Clothing Merchandise voucher valued at $1,500.

Second Place Draw - Three nights' Hamilton Island accommodation for two persons, including a Reef Tour and a Gin Company 'Distillery Experience.'

Third Place Draw - A Nautilus Marine Insurance voucher for $1,000 and a 'Brewery Experience'.

Crews don't miss out. A Crew Prizes Draw for two Ross & Whitcroft Quality Marine Clothing merchandise vouchers to the value of $500 and pairs of Maui Jim sunglasses - one for male crew members and one for female crew members, will also be presented at the Official Presentation.

Don't miss out, enter the Nautilus Marine Insurance Sydney Harbour Regatta now at:

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