Have Wings? Can do the Club Marine Pittwater to Paradise Regatta

The annual Club Marine Pittwater to Paradise Regatta appeals to owners from the Sydney catchment area and beyond with boats from regional New South Wales, Queensland, Tasmania, Victoria, South Australia and New Zealand represented in previous editions. Rikki Starting in the Club Marine Pittwater to Paradise Regatta 2018Rikki Starting in the Club Marine Pittwater to Paradise Regatta 2018

Shorthanded, multihull, straight-out racer, cruiser/racer and a newly introduced cruising division offer the full gamut of entry options for the IRC/ORCi optimised through to well-performing production boats, and now those crews focused more on the journey than the destination are well catered for.

The NSW coastal fringe is a dramatic ever-changing landscape of beaches, cliffs, towns, safe harbours and islands. Each January the 370 nautical mile Australian Sailing Category 2 ocean race – the Pittwater to Paradise Regatta’s opening pointscore event - takes the fleet north along the NSW coast to the easternmost tip of Australia at Cape Byron before the final leg along Queensland’s golden beaches to the finish line off Main Beach at Southport.

Ray Haslar’s Reichel/Pugh 42 Rikki made the journey from New Zealand to Pittwater for the start of the 2018 Club Marine Pittwater to Paradise ocean race and the skipper said this of the adventure: “We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. For the first-timers on board it was the experience of a lifetime. The delivery over took seven days, clearing into Newcastle, with a six-day crossing for the return trip.”

Haslar appreciated the professional support of both the host Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club and Southport Yacht Club, the finish club and host of the Bartercard Sail Paradise Series. “The service and hospitality at both clubs were excellent; you couldn’t have asked for better.”

Already registered for the start of the 2019 race to Southport, starting January 2 just to the north of Palm Beach headland, is Wings, a new Dehler 46 launched last November for RPAYC members Lindy and Ian Edwards.

Wings’ racing calendar is a busy one, the owners soon to leave Sydney for the CYCA’s lengthy PONANT Sydney Noumea Yacht Race, a reinstated 1,064 nautical miler starting June 2, then back to Queensland in winter for consecutive race weeks at Airlie Beach, Hamilton Island and Magnetic Island.

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Direct Downloads in the Offshore App have been available for some time on Mac, iOS and Windows 7 but are now available on the Windows 10 and Android Offshore App. This sets the PredictWind Offshore App apart from the competition when it comes to GRIB viewers and downloads.

2019 Club Marine Pittwater to Paradise Regatta first entry

Within hours of the Notice of Race going live, the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club’s sailing office accepted its first Club Marine Pittwater to Paradise Regatta entry – John Bacon’s Class 40 Nexba Racing. Nexba_Racing_training_in_Sydney_credit_Bob_FowlerNexba_Racing_training_in_Sydney_credit_Bob_Fowler

Until Cyclone Iris sent competitors to a safe place to wait out the worst conditions, Nexba Racing was tracking well in the double-handed Melbourne to Osaka fleet. Bacon and crewmate David Sampson made for the port of Gladstone on the advice of organisers butweren’t able to return to their position within the prescribed time, due to ongoing extreme weather. Two days later, on April 6, they made the difficult decision to withdraw, 11 days into the 5,500 nautical mile challenge.

Bacon was back at the RPAYC in Sydney this week when the Club Marine Pittwater to Paradise Regatta Notice of Race went live and he took the opportunity to put Nexba Racing forward as the first entry for the annual coastal race startingat 1pm on January 2, 2019 just north of Barrenjoey Headland at the entrance to Broken Bay.

“The boat is a beautifully prepared offshore boat and we always had intentions of campaigning it at other races and regattas in Australia,” Bacon said. “We aren’t sure whether we’ll sail double-handed or crewed; either way we are fully committed to being part of the Club Marine event.”

For the 2019 edition of the annual Category 2 passage race the RPAYC has clarified some ambiguity around what they will accept as equivalent crew experience, which is a minimum 150 nautical miles of offshore yacht racing by at least 50% of the planned crew aboard the yacht entered.

Race director Nick Elliott explains: “In keeping with the club’s philosophy of supporting boat owners with ambitions of offshore racing and reducing the number of hurdles to qualify for major events we’ve established simpler pathways to gain the necessary experience in order to tackle our premier race to Southport.

“We offer a complete summer bluewater program of Cat 3 and 4 races which means owners and crew can train together to meet the experience requirement in order to step up to the Cat 2 race to Southport and then the really ambitious can in future work up towards the Cat 1 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.”

A second identified challenge for owners has led to the RPAYC working closely with the IRC office at the Royal Ocean Racing Club and national body Australian Sailing to understand what information is already available regarding stability data for standard boats.

2018 Club Marine Pittwater to Paradise Regatta Hailed "Friendliest Race"

The diverse fleet in this year’s Club Marine Pittwater to Paradise Regatta has hailed the event “a brilliant way to start the year” and a great reason to travel north for summer on the Gold Coast, sight seeing and some competitive sailing.

Michael Martin’s TP 52, Frantic arrived first at Southport Yacht Club on Thursday 4 January at 07:24 AEDT, taking line honours after 418 nautical miles, compared to nearest rival Nine Dragons which sailed 398 nautical miles. They had the Club to themselves for a few hours and after a shower and well earned beverage, they toasted their win over a hearty breakfast and declared the P2P “THE best race we’ve ever sailed!” 

Ahead of starting the P2P, Frantic made the return from Hobart, where they came 11th in their Division and 24th over the line.

The P2P was their first win of 2018 and something the whole crew are very proud of.

“It’s a new race and is gradually making a name for itself – it’s a great destination,” said Mick of the P2P, hinting that they would be keen to enter again in 2019.

Overall winner, Ray Roberts’ Checkmate of Hollywood, came in fifth place and was unanimously admired for her looks and her performance.

The legendary 40 year old, 50-foot, IOR Doug Peterson design Checkmate of Hollywood was competing in her first Australian race and after missing the Sydney Hobart due to damage on the delivery to the start line, all eyes were on this classic yacht and she did not disappoint.

“It was our first Australian race, after the disappointment of missing the Hobart,” said Michael Spies. “We backed ourselves. The competition wasn’t soft. Nine Dragons is an Australian champion. It wasn’t ideal conditions for our boat, but the boat lived up to our expectations – more than! 

“Having run grand prix boats for 30 years, with a world champion crew, a mix of youth and experience, Checkmate was vastly different. It’s a 40 year-old timber boat, not carbon fibre. She’s a lot harder to steer, but more forgiving in motion, not as hard on the body. It was nice to have a hot meal and good sleep. We actually had an oven! It just proves the IRC rule is doing its job.

“Full credit to Ray Roberts and his enthusiasm for Checkmate and supporting this event,” continued Spiesy. “He had a vision and supported getting this boat back to Australia. For the crew, it was different, we worked hard without breaking the boat, learning about it on the way.”

Second over the line and winner of IRC Division 1, Dk46 Nine Dragons, followed Frantic a few hours later at 11.28 AEDT, but enjoyed a close battle with the TP52 in the early stages of the race.

Nine Dragons’ owner, Bob Cox said his crew enjoyed “a relatively easy race, with only a few challenges when the number 4 spinnaker exploded, but the crew did a great job”.

He was impressed with the fleet and the event, saying that despite the relatively small numbers, “competition was intense and you can’t beat ending up on the Gold Coast”.

“It’s an enjoyable and worthwhile race,” Bob continued. “We would seriously consider coming back next year.”

Pretty Woman, the Farr 45 co-owned by RPAYC Commodore, Michael Lockley, Richard Hudson and Russell Murphy, shadowed Nine Dragons the whole way to the Gold Coast, where Pretty Woman missed “slaying the Dragon by just 4 minutes.”

The appeal of the P2P, according to Michael is the mixed bag of conditions that summer sailing delivers. “We sailed upwind, downwind, and used every sail. We enjoyed the full spectrum of sailing. We used three different spinnakers, as well as J1, JT and J2.”

Forecast - Friday 5 January

FRI 05

SITUATION    

High pressure Tasman Sea next 3 days with increasing N winds along the NSW coast

The next S change will reach Sydney Sunday afternoon – and expected to weaken and fade near Newcastle overnight

NE winds then back Monday ahead of a stronger S change expected on Tuesday.

That S change will push further north, but expected to slow and stall somewhere not far north of Seal Rocks.

Then SE going NE for the following days until an even stronger S change expected to move north on the NSW coast on SAT 13.

Frantic Digs Deep, Takes Line Honours

Michael Martin’s TP 52, Frantic enjoyed sensational sailing up the NSW north coast to arrive at Southport Yacht Club under the light of a full moon and rising sun at 07:24 AEDT, taking line honours in the 2018 Club Marine Pittwater to Paradise Regatta, Thursday 4 January.

After 418 nautical miles, compared to nearest rival Nine Dragons which sailed 398 nautical miles, Mick and the Frantic crew enjoyed a boaties’ breakfast at SYC, reflecting on the race, and declaring it “THE best race we’ve ever sailed!”

“We couldn’t have sailed better,” said the affable owner and skipper. “We had a crew of 12, long-term crew and a few new guys. It was a good race. Our fastest speed was 29.8 knots, but we were a constant 20 to 24. There was a period of calm for about 6 hours around Seal Rocks, and everybody caught up to us, but we eventually took off and did well to make it here in time for breakfast.”

FRANTIC crossing the finish line in SouthportFRANTIC crossing the finish line in Southport

Simon Hunter, Frantic boat manager and professional sailor, prepared the boat after the Sydney-Hobart, and admitted the toughest part of the race, since Boxing Day, was managing crew fatigue.

“It was all about making sure everybody was ready and fresh for their watch,” he said. “I think if we hadn’t been becalmed there for a while we could have smashed the race record and adding a World Record to our win.”

Frantic made the return from Hobart, where they came 11th in their Division and 24th over the line, just in time for the race start in the P2P.

“We did one of our quickest Hobarts,” continued Mick. “Two days and 1 hour. We got smashed around Flinders Island in 51 knot winds, and hit a sailfish, so we had a few repairs. We watched the New Year’s Eve fireworks on the NSW coastal towns as we headed back to Sydney. That was nice.

“But it was truly special to come into Southport with the full moon.”

Credit: RPAYC Media - FRANTIC racing up the coast to the finish lineCredit: RPAYC Media - FRANTIC racing up the coast to the finish line

Eye on the Prize

Michael Martin’s TP 52, Frantic is storming up the NSW coast, leaving the rest of the 2018 Club Marine Pittwater to Paradise fleet in its wake and consistent southerlies are likely to push her to the finish line well ahead of the pack, with estimates putting her arrival at between 6am and 7am QLD time, Thursday 4 January.

It will be no race record, Frantic trailing the position of race record holder, the Rogers 46 Shakti, owned by Doug Coulter, by around 69 nm.

In a tussle for second position are Nine Dragons, Bob Cox’s Dk 46, and Pretty Woman, the Farr 45 co-owned by RPAYC Commodore, Michael Lockley, Richard Hudson and Russell Murphy.

Speaking from onboard Nine Dragons, roughly 3 nm out to see off Hat Head, Edward Hawthorne said the south-easterly was providing “exhilarating sailing”.

“We saw a few storms, but it wasn’t too wild. We caught a 25 knot breeze which was helpful, but we blew up a spinnaker, which was a bit of a shock. We’re a bit slower than we’d like, but once it eases off, we’ll try a different spinnaker. Right now, we’re focused on chasing Frantic.”

Biting at their heels, or rather “riding the tail of the Dragon” as Michael Lockley put it, was Pretty Woman.

“We got plenty of breeze, around 31 knots, which is good for us. We’re sailing at about 20 knots boat speed and quite happy. We missed the storms, but we saw them.”

Mick Martin, owner of Frantic, “is definitely pot hunting” said Michael, referring to Frantic’s dizzying schedule of sailing since the Boxing Day start of the Sydney Hobart.

 

 

Pittwater to Southport

 

The Pittwater to Paradise Regatta will be starting on Sydney's Pittwater,  1 hour drive north from Sydney's CBD on January 2, 2019 and run through to 9 January, 2019.

The ocean race offers competitors a strategic challenge as they race between the surfline and the current, past unsurpassed scenic coastlines, prior to arriving in one of Queensland's most popular coastal cities. Once on the Gold Coast boats will enjoy a four day series regatta hosted by the Southport Yacht Club.

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Contacts

 

The Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club
E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
T: 02 9998 3700
A: 16 Mitala St, Newport 2106 Australia
W: www.rpayc.com.au

Southport Yacht Club
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T: 02 6652 4390
A: 1 Macarthur Pde, Main Beach, Queensland, 4217 
W: www.southportyachtclub.com.au