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NSW Jeanneau Rendevous 2023 at the Royal Motor Yacht Club

by Performance Boating 20 Sep 2023 13:26 PDT
NSW Jeanneau Rendevous 2023 © Performance Boating

A very warm morning with some promising Northwest wind greeted over 25 yachts congregating on Pittwater for the Performance Boating's 2023 NSW Jeanneau Rendezvous.

Skippers and crew met at the Royal Motor Yacht Club - Broken Bay, for the days briefing and a sumptuous morning tea sponsored by local shipyard/marina The Quays.

A RIB shuttle service brought owners moored nearby to the briefing, and we were delighted to welcome owners from Shellharbour, Lake Macquarie, and Newcastle who joined fellow Jeanneau owners from Pittwater and Sydney Harbour.

PBS Director Lee Condell briefed all on the day's events, and ran through the courses for the two race divisions and the cruising division.

With conditions looking promising the cruising division were directed to sail to The Basin and given a picnic hamper and gift yacht cook-book courtesy of PBS. For racing the decision was made to send the spinnaker red division around Lion Island, while the non-spinnaker blue division had a course that took them via Stokes Point to a mark at Mackerel Beach and return.

Unlike previous years we had a staggered start and pursuit format where the starting time for each yacht was based on their handicap and expected duration of racing, so the finishing order being the race results.

The wind had faded a little to six knots when the first start commenced at 11.30 and the starting sequence ran until the last starters at 12.10. There were some fun starts with three Sun Odyssey 410's starting at the same time, and a group comprising of a Sun Odyssey 42i, 45DS and SO44i in proximity. The last starters where two Sun Fast 3300's manoeuvring around each other to be the first to cross the line.

The start line was formed with the Salt Pan Cove pylon as the pin end, and primary sponsor The Quays Marina RIB, with the Quays' Stephen Hosking and PBS' Lee Condell running operations. In the start area we had Phil Ross taking photos and video from the PBS runabout, while sponsor Pantaenius Insurance had their RIB out on the water with a photographer as well.

Not long after the start it became apparent that further up the bay a feint sea-breeze was fighting the North Westerly and causing significant patches with no wind and considerable wind shear. The Sun Odyssey 349 "Elysium" did a great job to make it to the first mark at Stokes Point still in the lead, while sistership "Pinta Bay" sailed a blinder to do same and then got to the sea-breeze first off Snapperman beach and looked like it would lead the spinnaker division by half an hour by Lion Island!

In the meantime, the cruising division were either on a mooring at The Basin, or sailing their way leisurely there, so the PBS centre-console dropped off chilled bottles of Sauv' Blanc to the boats, both under way and at anchor.

The non-spinnaker boats fell into little wind, but by and large managed to just about keep moving to make it to the Mackerel Beach mark for the return home, while the lead spinnaker division boats sailed into nothing at the mouth of the Hawkesbury and struggled their way to Lion Island. Several times it looked promising that the sea-breeze would win, and the boats would quickly get going, but it wasn't to be.

Back down Pittwater the blue division boats were in an eight knot Northerly deep running to the finish. For the entire run home the SO349 "Elysium" and SO36i "Alegria" looked like they were tied together as they tried everything to make a break from each other. The finish was very close with "Alegria" taking the win in just a few boat lengths from "Elysium".

Next home just clear of a bunch of bigger boats and only a minute later was the Sun Fast 3200 "Joint Venture", with the 45DS "Nirvana's Kitchen" a further minute behind and just one and a half boat lengths ahead of the SO44i "Weekend Option", closely followed by the SO42i "Jindarra" with a small gap of two minutes to the SC39 "Toucan". Extremely close finishing!

Back to the red division and "Pinta Bay" got caught a little too close to the Western side of Lion Island and was overtaken by another SO349 "Nawi" with the SO410 "Cheeky", SO389 "Mynooka" and the two Sun Fast 3300's closing in.

The decision was made to shorten the course to West Head, as it looked like it would take far too long to get back into the breeze further down Pittwater and result in finishing too late. "Pinta Bay" managed to regain the lead to win by five minutes from "Nawi", with "Cheeky" next only 30 seconds later. The SF3300 "Beluga" came though less than 2 minutes later to take 4th, followed another 2 minutes later by "Scarlett Sun", only 50 seconds ahead of "Mynooka".

The yachts made their way back to bases while the PBS team prepared for the evening function. Again, a shuttle service was provided to bring participants there and to make logistics easier.

Over 90 people gathered for the prize-giving function back at the Royal Motor Yacht Club, with over $10,000 in spot prizes being awarded, as well as the racing medals and line honours Trophy.

At intervals during the meal PBS Director Lee Condell, with the assistance of sponsor Andrew Hawkins of BoatCrewGear.com and Jeanneau Ambassador Peter Lewis, drew boat names from a hat to be awarded vouchers and gifts from the following list of generous sponsors, with two $1500 antifoul vouchers from Q Service awarded last.

Every yacht that participated received a gift or voucher and we thank all those companies that support all of our events.

The Line Honours Trophy generously donated by Willie Whyte some years ago was awarded to first boat home in the red division, being "Pinta Bay", while 'Best Dressed" went to clear favourites "Gee Whizz".

Another terrific day of fun was had, both on the water and off, with owners and crew catching up and sharing tall tales and stories of what might have been. Always a great day of camaraderie!

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