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Newcomers in for Nautilus Marine Insurance Sydney Short Ocean Racing Championship

by Di Pearson / MHYC media 13 Nov 2023 22:41 PST 25-26 November 2023
Jostling for position at a start - Sydney Short Ocean Racing Championship © Andrea Francolini

Middle Harbour Yacht Club's (MHYC) 2023 Nautilus Marine Insurance Sydney Short Ocean Racing Championship (SSORC) is less than two weeks away and among the emerging entries are two newcomers; Robert Kelly's Virago and Andy Offord's Borderline.

A Reichel/Pugh 52 one-off, Kelly took Virago to third overall in IRC Division 2 at Hamilton Island Race Week in August. However, Virago is likely to have competition from Gordon Ketelbey's TP52, Zen from MHYC, which has just undergone a major refit, including a new rig, so is predicted to be more competitive than ever. The two will fight it out in the Super 50 group, a new addition to the event.

Borderline is a Jeanneau Sun Fast 3300 that is entered in Division 2 of the Premier class, where she will be the new kid on the block. Her Division 2 contemporaries, including Peter Farrugia's Bullwinkle, Jack Stening and Colin Gunn's Stormaway and Matt Wilkinson's Foreign Affair, will be monitoring their rival.

Andy Offord, says, "We've only had this boat since Christmas 2021. It's a two-handed boat that we sail with five people. We're currently doing the Ocean Pointscore at CYCA. This year we're staying on to race both days at the SSORC and see if we can get a podium place in division!

Offord added with a laugh, "I'm mainly doing it to race against Matt (Foreign Affair), we like beating each other! We're not the best on the windward/leeward courses, the boat isn't built for that, but we hope to beat him in the passage race. We're mates who like to beat each other."

As Offord said, Saturday's race will be held in conjunction with the CYCA Ocean Pointscore race to Lion Island and return, or to Cape Baily in a southerly.

The Sunday program comprises two short offshore windward/leeward races, each one starting and finishing on Sydney Harbour. The Super 50 Division has been added to provide close competition for TP52s and similar yachts.

CYCA Ocean Pointscore entrants can join in the SSORC free of charge, enjoy two days of close racing and be in the running to win this prestigious Championship. To enter, visit ssorc.mhyc.com.au and select Division B - Fee Exempt Premier Class.

CEO of Nautilus Marine Insurance, Lyndon Turner, is enthusiastic about the company's ongoing support of the Sydney Short Ocean Racing Championship and its partnership with MHYC: "We are a proud partner of Middle Harbour Yacht Club and its two major yachting events.," he said of the SSORC and Sydney Harbour Regatta.

"This regatta is a perfect opportunity for our team to share our expertise and reinforce our commitment to supporting the sailing community. We look forward to seeing you all at the regatta," Turner ended.

The Seven Islands Race will again be held alongside the SSORC and attracts a wide variety of designs whose crews prefer the cut and thrust of inshore round the buoys racing. This event starts and finishes at MHYC and rounds some of the most famous islands on Sydney Harbour.

Standard entries for the SSORC close on Wednesday 22 November at 2359 hrs. Please note that NOR 5.3 Late Entries shall not apply.

To enter the 46th running of the SSORC, to take place on 25 and 26 November and to download Sailing Instructions for both events, please go to: ssorc.mhyc.com.au.

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