Please select your home edition
C-Tech 2021 America's Cup 728x90 TOP

Swell start to Sail Port Stephens windward-leeward series

by Sail Port Stephens Media 26 Apr 18:33 PDT 26-28 April 2024
Noclecks at 2024 Sail Port Stephens Act II - Windward/Leeward © Promocean Media

Rock fishermen were being advised to stay indoors but the sea conditions off Port Stephens made for an action-packed opener to the Anchorage Marina Windward-Leeward Series, part 2 of the 2024 Sail Port Stephens Regatta Series comprising the NSW IRC Yachting Championships, Pallas Capital Gold Cup Act 3 and Rob Hampshire Trophy.

A crewman from the TP52 Celestial hit the drink and was collected by a media boat, the JPK 10.8 Saltwater Wine hit the stern of the Bull 9000 Bullwinkle, and there were plenty more war stories in the wake of the Anzac Day break.

Southerly swells of around 2.5m, with sets rising to 4m, gave the fleet plenty of surfing opportunities off Hawks Nest beach, the wind gradually swinging from south-west to south better align with the rollers. As it built to around 18 knots, a challenging chop was created.

In the TP52s, Marcus Blackmore’s new Hooligan was fast from the outset, winning all three races on scratch and claiming the second two on IRC. The ever-consistent Matador finished 1 point adrift, with four races still to come, after overcoming some hurdles greater than the swells.

“We were fast but created some problems for ourselves and also broke a winch,” owner/skipper David Doherty said. “So we lost a fair bit of time but the crew did a great job, we fought back, and it got us into an okay position.

“It was really choppy, with big shifts, but we can pretty well change our modes now to meet the conditions. And we certainly had some things go our way tactically.”

Matador took three firsts in the class-based TPR handicap system to lead Craig Neil’s Quest and Gordon Ketelby’s Zen, currently tied on 9 points.

In Division 2, conditions were ideal for Ray Roberts’ Team Hollywood, the lightweight Botin Fast 40 flying downwind under its big asymmetric kite. Among the crew are three international sailors flown in for the NSW title, and they helped guide the CYCA yacht to three consecutive wins.

Another powerful entry, the Mylius 50 Daguet 2 from Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, also appreciated the stronger winds after competing in last week’s lighter Sail Port Stephens Passage Series. The Italian-designed boat only recently landed from St Tropez for its new owners, and this is its first windward-leeward event.

“After the Commodores Cup last week this was another step up for us, but having more wind today was probably good for us. We’re learning how to sail the boat and getting better each day,” tactician Sean Kirkjian said.

“In the first race the wind went big-time left, but you could see that as the clouds were 30 degrees different to the wind angle on the race track. It kept going left, which made it easier for the smaller boats in that race. The other two races had a bit more breeze, so it became more interesting.”

Joel Skelton’s Farr 30 Noclecks, though dwarfed by some of the seas, sailed well to currently reside in third place, ahead of the Queensland entry Let’s Get it On (Garry Holt). Daguet 2 leads on ORC from Let’s Get it On and the Beneteau 40.7 Wailea.

Today’s Race 4 will comprise an offshore Passage Race, however the breeze is predicted to drop to around 5 knots at the 11.30am start time.


Sail Port Stephens is supported by the NSW Government via its tourism agency Destination NSW, Port Stephens Council, Pantaenius Australia and subsidiary sponsors.

Related Articles

Vaikobi looking forward to the Paris 2024 Olympics
Proud of all the Vaikobi athletes who will represent their country on the big stage To all these athletes and many others athletes who will be using our gear in Paris, we feel privileged that you trust us to provide you with the highest performing gear to help you achieve your goals at the Games. Posted today at 8:15 pm
British Classic Week overall
8mR Anne Sophie and 6mR Sioma are overall winners It was a week of two halves in terms of the weather at this year's British Classic Week hosted by the British Classic Yacht Club, but when the results were in it was 6mR Sioma and 8mR Anne Sophie who took home the overall regatta trophies. Posted today at 2:15 pm
GWA Wingfoil World Cup Fuerteventura day 2
Wild and windy elimination series put tour leaders and challengers in jeopardy There were moments when they seemed beatable - a fraction behind on the starting line, a bit wide at a turning mark as competitors' hydrofoils hummed on their heels - but there was no real passing lane for anyone trying to overtake tour leaders. Posted today at 11:26 am
Olympic Sailing Events Explained Part 2
The 470 is the Mixed Dinghy at Paris 2024 The 470 is the Mixed Dinghy at Paris 2024. Germany's Anna Markfort and Simon Diesch give us details on the longest serving boat in the Olympic fleet. Posted today at 8:30 am
GSC 2027 Presentation and Press Conference
At the Real Club Náutico de Vigo on Tuesday I am excited to invite you to the Real Club Náutico de Vigo for the presentation of the 2027-2028 edition of the Global Solo Challenge from its new host city of Vigo and its new host port and partner, the Real Club Náutico de Vigo. Posted today at 6:00 am
Stormy, challenging Chicago Mackinac Race
For most J/Teams in the race, it would go down as a fast, thrilling race The annual pilgrimage by land and sea to the fabled Mackinac Island took place last weekend on Lake Michigan. This year's 289.0nm Chicago Mackinac Race saw the fleet start in light to medium southeasterly winds and bright sunshine. Posted on 21 Jul
GWA Wingfoil World Cup Fuerteventura day 1
FreeFly-Slalom kicks off with streamlined elimination series Day one of competition starts with a streamlined elimination series and tour leaders Nia Suardiaz (ESP) and Francesco Cappuzzo (ITA) showing why they're the benchmarking speed and pumping. Posted on 21 Jul
Final stage of Clipper 2023-24 Race underway
The fourteenth and final race departs from Oban, Scotland The fourteenth and final race of the epic 40,000nm Clipper 2023-24 Round the World Yacht Race got under way at 1500 LT, from Oban, Scotland today, 21 July. Posted on 21 Jul
49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 Junior Worlds overall
ISicilian Blondies dominate final day to win first FX Junior World title It was a two-team dual in the 49erFX atop the standings heading into the final day of racing. Katharina Schwachhofer with Elena Stoltze (GER) leading Sofia Giunchiglia with Giulia Schio (ITA) by just a few points. Posted on 21 Jul
ACO 13th Musto Skiff Worlds overall
Sam Pascoe wins, Rob Richardson and Danny Boatman complete the podium After five days of racing at this year's ACO 13th Musto Skiff World Championship at Weymouth and Portland, British sailor Sam Pascoe kept his cool under pressure as the event favourite to win the 2024 Worlds Title. Posted on 21 Jul
MySail CrewCyclops Marine 2023 November - FOOTERPredictWind - Offshore App 728x90 BOTTOM