Club Marine Pittwater & Coffs Regatta - Warm water call to action

With seven weeks to the close of entries, those yacht owners planning to start the New Year by turning left at Barrenjoey to compete in the race dubbed ‘the warm water classic’, are being encouraged to get a wriggle on and submit their paperwork.The first race of the Club Marine Pittwater & Coffs Harbour Regatta, the 226nm Club Marine Pittwater to Coffs Harbour yacht race starts at 1pm on 2 January, hosted by the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club at Newport on Sydney’s northern beaches.

The formula for the regatta is five races, the opening Coffs race followed by four races in Coffs Harbour over two consecutive days, on Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 January. These races consist of an 8nm sprint windward-leeward race followed by a 20nm offshore race around the majestic Solitary Islands.

There are IRC, PHS and ORCi divisions with all entries given the opportunity to race in all three and in the Australian PHS Championships, an integral part of the regatta. There is also a shorthanded division providing the opportunity for shorthanded sailors to compete in this ocean race.

With 55 boats expected on the start line, the race and the regatta will attract racing enthusiasts from a broad base of clubs across Australia and a mix of experienced offshore sailors, youth and newcomers to the sport of ocean racing.

With a memorable, tough, tactical and long uphill battle including winds that clocked up to 25 knots from the north east, the 2012 Club Marine Pittwater to Coffs Harbour yacht race offered up a new line honours winner in Craig Ellis’ Elliott 57 Future Shock (CYCA) in a time of 35hrs 53mins and handicap winners in Middle Harbour Yacht Club’s Rob Reynolds’ DK46 Exile (IRC) and Future Shock (PHS).

This year’s Coffs race saw an interesting 40 hour match race between the two DK46s which battled it out for first and second on handicap. Rob Reynolds’ DK46 Exile took out the IRC crown with a corrected time of 46hrs 27mins 36secs to win by twelve minutes from Middle Harbour club compatriot and good mate, Bob Cox’s Nine Dragons.

Only eight seconds separated third to fifth in IRC overall with Joseph Earle’s Kaiko 52 Merlin taking the final podium position in the end ahead of Tony Kinsman’s Beneteau First 40 Blunderbuss and Mark Griffith’s Sydney 38 Old School.

In the overall regatta results, count backs decided the top honours in both divisions with IRC going to the Sydney 38 Old School, skippered by the RPAYC’s Mark Griffiths, from Exile. In PHS, the podium honours went to the Coffs Harbour boat, the Sydney 41 B52, skippered by Paul D’Olier, from the RPAYC Commodore Rob Curtis and his Murray 42 Secret Men’s Business #1. In doing so, D’Olier became the inaugural Australian PHS champion.

Having entered for the 2013 regatta, RPAYC Commodore Rob Curtis and his syndicated Murray 42 Secret Men’s Business #1 said, 'Both the RPAYC and Coffs Yacht Club are putting a lot of hard work into setting up the regatta and with Club Marine coming on board as our major sponsor, we know it will be another great event for everybody. I invite all past competitors and indeed any debutantes to get their entry in as soon as possible.

'With the Australian PHS Championships open to all boats this year we hope that it will provide for some excellent competition in the PHS arena. I am looking forward to competing in the event again this year and hoping to go one better after finishing a close second last year. My crew and I are very much looking forward to the race and regatta this year, especially the turning left aspect towards Coffs.'

The Club Marine Pittwater to Coffs Harbour Yacht Race is one of the most popular offshore races in Australia. The annual warm water classic is a scenic 226 nautical mile course starting under Barrenjoey Headland and finishing in Coffs Harbour on the mid north coast in the midst of summer. The race offers a strategic challenge as competitors work their way north between the surf line and the south flowing current.

The event had humble beginnings back in 1981, when 14 boats entered, and has grown in stature over its 32 year history.

The current race record held by Bob Oatley’s Wild Oats IX is moving towards its 10th anniversary in 2013. It stands at 18hrs 29mins 14secs.

The race will once again feature the Yellow Brick yacht tracking system with 15 minute updates from the start gun until the last boat crosses the finish line. The following audience can stay up to date on all the event action and yacht positions via the website www.pittwatertocoffs.com.au with additional updates on Facebook and Twitter.

Entries close Friday 7 December at 1700hrs AEDT.

The 2013 Club Marine Pittwater & Coffs Harbour Regatta Notice of Race and online entry is available from the event website at www.pittwatertocoffs.com.au

For race enquiries and documentation please contact the RPAYC Sailing Office on (02) 9998 3771 or yachting@rpayc.com.au

By Damian Devine, Club Marine Pittwater & Coffs Harbour Regatta Media

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Club Marine, Australia’s largest provider of pleasure craft insurance, is proud to be the naming rights sponsor of the 2013 Pittwater & Coffs Harbour Regatta.

Official regatta website: www.pitttwatertocoffs.com.au

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