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ORC NSW Championship at Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club - Day 1

by Di Pearson/RPAYC media 9 Feb 01:51 PST 9-11 February 2024
Division 1 start - ORC NSW Championship 2024 © Andrea Francolini / RPAYC

Day 1 of the ORC NSW Championship conducted by Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club (RPAYC), was a testing Passage Race; competitors describing conditions as lumpy, bumpy, and shifty with plenty of current.

Division 1 went to David Ross and crew on Kukukerchu. The DK46 Nine Dragons (Bob Cox) and Ian Box's XP44, Toy Box 2, filled out the top three.

Ross' Cape 31 goes like a rocket downwind. It held them in good stead today, keeping Kukukerchu in touch with her larger rivals and resulting in her win.

"We were third around the first mark. Pretty good for a little boat," Ross said. "It was a beat to Long Reef and it was bumpy, so the big boats got away. Downwind heading north, though, we managed the conditions well. Downwind is what the boat is good at. The DK46s got around the mark only 100 metres ahead of us. Then they got away on the tide upwind.

"The race was good fun. We know the boat goes well and it just happens that the conditions suited us," Ross said of his yacht's performance. "We managed 6.8 to 7.2 knots upwind and 16 downwind. I have a really good crew who knows what is going on, so we were cautiously confident."

Ross, who normally sails on Sydney Harbour commented, "I've not sailed against any of the other boats, except Toy Box, so we didn't really know what to expect initially. Overall, it was a good day. But it's only Day 1, with a lot more to come."

Ross continued, "It's really well organised here, including information provided, start boat, everything. It's professional. And it's just such a nice place to be up here, on the water and off."

Division 2's top spot went to the Queensland entry, Let's Get It On, the Corby 36 owned by Garry Holt, with Neil Padden's Beneteau 40.7, Wailea, second. These two were also top two in that order under IRC. Third went to Rob Brewer's Young 88, Coyote.

Simon Grosser, who won Division 2 in 2022 and 2023 with his Young 88, Young at Heart, was fourth. The competition between the two Young boats will no doubt be interesting over the next two days.

Back with the winner, Holt came armed with a very good crew: "I've got some of the crew that helped me win at Hamo (he won Division 4 at the 2022 Australian Yachting Championships at Hamilton Island). Warwick Rooklyn is sailing master and others are Peter Sheldrick, Don McPhee, Will Finlay, Darren Nicholson and Michael Kennedy."

All can claim top results in offshore and/or skiff events.

"The course was good. It was a pleasant sail, with 16-17 knots," Holt explained.

"Wailea gave us the hurry up and kept us honest today. We won the start though and faced current, lump and swell. We're looking forward to the next two days."

Race 1 for both divisions was a Passage Race and set up for the south-easterly. Division 1 was sent on a 25 nautical mile course, while Division 2 contested a 22nm course. Both divisions were away on time at 12pm in a building 12 knot breeze in lumpy and rough conditions off Barrenjoey. From there, the yachts headed east to the first mark before hardening up to the laid Newport Reef mark.

The ORC NSW Championship continues tomorrow from midday with windward/leewards on Pittwater.

Entrants in the two-day Pittwater Regatta hit the water for the first time tomorrow, with the Broken Bay 5 Heads Race scheduled to start at 11.30am.

Late this afternoon, competitors, family and friends attended the presentation and the AC40 Simulator launch at the Club and entertainment provided by Roc Koren.

For full results and all information, please visit:

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