4 - 5 March, 2017 - Middle Harbour Yacht Club

Successful Sydney Harbour Regatta wraps up for another year

More rain and confusing conditions on the final day of the annual Sydney Harbour Regatta, hosted by Middle Harbour Yacht Club, but in the end, those who could run the gamut of conditions succeeded.   

Among the 21 divisions and 226 competitors was world-famous American yachtsman, Paul Cayard, who was at the helm of Karl Kwok’s TP52, Team Beau Geste. Another big name, Kiwi Gavin Brady called tactics. It wasn’t difficult to understand their dominant IRC performance in IRC Division 1. They won every race, with Lindsay Stead’s Yeah Baby/Boatec second overall.


Paul Cayard at the helm of Team Beau Geste - Andrea Francolini, MHYC

While Kwok is from Hong Kong, the boat is here representing New Zealand. Her crew found the Sydney Harbour Regatta the perfect preparation for the upcoming Australian Yachting Championship later this month.

“This is a great event and was a good hit out before the Yachting Championship,” Kwok’s boat manager, Cameron Ward said. “It was very fresh and very challenging. It was a good way to put the boat and crew through their paces.


Yeah Baby - Andrea Francolini, MHYC

Yngling NSW Championship goes to Evie

Ruth McCance from the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron won the final three races to take the Championship by two points from Hamish Jarrett (Miss Pibb). Gary Wogas finished third.


Ruth McCance and her Evie Crew - Andrea Francolini, MHYC

McCance and her crew of Sara Ladd and Russell Ford were over the moon. “It’s my first big win as a skipper, so we jumped in the water when we got back to the Squadron,” McCance said. “We had great competition throughout. Yesterday most of us had some damage – we had to jury rig our vang. We had lots of good competition throughout.

“It’s great seeing so many women in the Ynglings. It’s a friendly class and they are very encouraging. We are about 50/50 men and women now,” she ended.  

Jackal named new J70 NSW champion

Peter Rozenauer’s Jackal became the J70 NSW champion for 2017. Her owner will be sorry he missed out. Called away on business, 18 year-old son, Nick, steered the boat to victory.

“It’s a real family affair – my mum Anne is on the crew and my 16 year-old brother Alex. Things got a bit heated at times – that’s family,” Nick said laughing. “Only the bowman isn’t family, but he may as well be.”

“The racing was extremely close – especially between us, Juno (Reg Lord) and James (last year’s winner owned by Tim James). It came down to shifts in the final moments of each race.” There was two points between first and second, and two between second and third.

“This is an awesome regatta – over 200 boats - we’ll be here next year. The race committee did an excellent job with all that they had to combat. Yesterday the wind was so high and the sea state was terrible, so they had to move us inside Middle Harbour,” he said.  


Accrewed Interest in foreground - Andrea Francolini, MHYC

Cavalier 28 NSW Championship successfully defended by Centaurius

Craig Mitchell and his Centaurius crew were just too good again, defending the title they have won for the past two years at the Sydney Harbour Regatta, leaving the rest to battle for the minor placings.

Centaurius won two races, adding to a pair of second places and a third. Andrew McPherson’s U2 finished second on countback to Greg Purcell’s Scuttlebutt.

Sydney 36 Championship goes to Midnight Rambler

Ed Psaltis has won the Sydney 36 Championship having only recently joined the class after retiring from long offshore racing. Blooded into competitive racing early on, courtesy of his sailing parents, Psaltis recently made the move to round the buoys racing, buying a Sydney 36, and keeping in theme, named her Midnight Rambler.


Midnight Rambler leads the pack - Andrea Francolini, MHYC

Psaltis won all but one race, so cleared out on second and third place getters, Saltshaker (Peter Franki) and Alpha Carinae (Damian Barker). Ten boats took part in this competitive series.

PHS

PHS spinnaker and non-spinnaker divisions are a major component of the Sydney Harbour Regatta and make a spectacular sight on their long Harbour courses. Ray Parrott (X-Ray) was thrilled to win Spinnaker Division 1, not in the least because his X-332 was the smallest boat in the division.

“It was a great regatta. Very challenging – we saw lots of carnage around us. We didn’t do any damage, but we did have a broach and a Chinese gybe, but nothing broke. It was my first, and hopefully my last,” Parrott said laughing.

“We had some thrilling rides with 30 knots behind us. We sailed well and fought for every race against longer and faster boats,” he said after beating Ian Box’s Toy Box 2 by one point overall after three races. Another local, Patrice Six (Shaun Lane) was third.

“I want to congratulate all competitors and especially my sailing buddy, Ian Box, on winning the X-Yachts division (sailed within the PHS division). I also want to thank the organisers and race officers who did a brilliant job in hard circumstances. They are volunteers and we forget that sometimes,” Parrott ended.

During the afternoon, PRO Denis Thompson commented, “The breeze is all over the place, starting in the south-west, up to 20 knots, but it’s gone right around to the west. When the rain hit, there was no breeze. It’s a disaster on the Harbour.”


Bushranger - Andrea Francolini, MHYC

The 12th anniversary Sydney Harbour Regatta will be imprinted on everyone’s minds for its high winds, big swells, downpours and scattered rain throughout.

Luke McCall, General Manager for Abell Point Marina, a major sponsor of the Sydney Harbour Regatta took in some of the action today: “What a spectacle, so many boats concentrated in one area - and having the Harbour Bridge and Opera House as the backdrop.

“We watched some starts, then saw sports boats capsize, spinnakers tangling – very tricky sailing. A good test for the strategists,” he said.


Balance - Andrea Francolini, MHYC

“We’re looking forward to welcoming some of these competitors at Airlie Beach to race – or to have a cruising holiday,” added McCall, who enjoyed the close proximity to racing on the Harbour.

Winners will be lauded in style tomorrow evening at the official prize giving at Middle Harbour Yacht Club.

MHYC thanks competitors who make the regatta the undoubted success it is. We thank the following clubs for the same reason: the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, Manly Yacht Club, RANSA, Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, Royal Prince Edward Yacht Club, Sydney Amateur Sailing Club and the Sydney Flying Squadron.

Thank you also to sponsors Abell Point Marina, Helly Hansen, Sydney City Marine, Robert Oatley Vineyards and Air New Zealand for their support.

For all the results, photos and news please go to: www.shr.mhyc.com.au   

By Di Pearson, SHR media

Ikon38 walks away with Sydney 38 trophy at Sydney Harbour Regatta

Kirwan Robb and his Ikon38 crew from Victoria have walked away with the inaugural Sydney 38 OD International Championship trophy at Middle Harbour Yacht Club’s Sydney Harbour Regatta this afternoon.


Ikon38 - Andrea Francolini, MHYC
 

Robb, from Hobsons Bay Yacht Club, maintained the status quo, adding a further two wins to his tally, making it six bullets from seven races. They were in a class of their own. Robb was not available for comment following racing.

Nearest rivals were Renaud Gerardin and Mana Malmezac from New Caledonia, who surprised themselves to finish second overall with their charter boat, Calibre.

You have to give it to the French, they have only been sailing a Sydney 38 since 2015 and not against a one-design fleet. “We are in Sydney racing for the first time, to learn from the more experienced sailors,” Gerardin explained.

Calibre’s crew got better as the Championship progressed, a surprise package at the end of the day. After an unsteady start, Gerardin and Malmezac finished the last four races in second place. Richard Holstein’s Next (CYCA), did the reverse, starting the event in great form, they dropped to third overall, with fifth seventh and fourth places today.


Sydney 38s getting a workout - Andrea Francolini, MHYC
 

Breeze on the offshore windward/leeward course peaked at 30-32 knots, the 12 boats receiving a good workout.

Principal Race Officer, Denis Thompson commented: “Racing got away on time at midday, but the breeze was all over the place for a while because of rain. It was blowing hard offshore.”

The Sydney 38 OD International Regatta was an historical moment for the class and the Sydney Harbour Regatta, the first regatta with international status. Teams came from the USA and New Caledonia to compete against those from NSW and Victoria.

More events of this status are planned as the class goes through a revival.

Winners will be presented with their trophies at the official prize giving at Middle Harbour Yacht Club tomorrow evening.

MHYC thanks competitors who make the regatta the undoubted success it is. We thank the following clubs for the same reason: the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, Manly Yacht Club, RANSA, Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, Royal Prince Edward Yacht Club, Sydney Amateur Sailing Club and the Sydney Flying Squadron.

Thank you also to sponsors Abell Point Marina, Helly Hansen, Sydney City Marine, Robert Oatley Vineyards and Air New Zealand for their support.

For full results and all information please go to: www.shr.mhyc.com.au   

By Di Pearson, SHR media

Notice to Competitors #1

Notice to Competitors#1 - Grand Prizes - click here

Make or break time at 2017 Sydney Harbour Regatta

Despite the rain and winds of 30-35 knots yesterday, a record 226 entries hit the water for Middle Harbour Yacht Club’s Sydney Harbour Regatta and do so again today as they vie for victories in the 21 classes taking part.


Calm before racing - Andrea Francolini, MHYC

Participants in NSW’s largest keel boat regatta will make up for lost time after officials were forced to cut short racing when winds and a big swell on the Harbour rendered racing unsuitable. Even so, many broke gear, wiped out, struggled to keep their boats on an even keel, while the most experienced revelled in the big conditions.

Racing is due to get underway in all classes from 12pm again, both on the Harbour and just outside for IRC/ORCi, Farr 40, Sydney 38 and Sydney 36 classes.

“We plan to do as per the race schedule. At the moment we have a light westerly, there is a 1-2 metre swell offshore, but the sea is smooth,” Principal Race Officer, Denis Thompson said at 9am.

“But the forecast is for 25 knots, so we will play it by ear as to whether we send the one-design and IRC boats offshore or not. We’ll just keep monitoring the situation this morning and make a decision.”


View from Middle Harbour Yacht Club this morning - Andrea Francolini, MHYC

Competitors will not face the big downpours of yesterday, according to weather reports, but rain is still on the cards. Many are sharing stories on yesterday’s racing and conditions over a hot breakfast at Middle Harbour Yacht Club this morning.  

Yngling NSW Championship

Some classes were fortunate to stay on schedule, including the Ynglings, which sailed on a course near the Opera House. Gary Wogas (Karma) leads the chase for the Yngling NSW Championship title following a pair of second places and a win. One and two points away are Ariane Ritchie (Miss Pibb – the defending champion), and Ruth McCance (Evie) in this close series.

Cavalier 28 NSW Championship

Sailing in the same vicinity, the Cavalier 28’s also put three races to bed in their NSW Championship. Winner of the last two state championships, Craig Mitchell (Centaurius) is proving a hard customer again. Two second places and a win have given him a two point buffer over Peter Donnelly’s Flying Circus, while David Brown’s Quattro is a further four points in arrears.

J70 NSW Championship

The J70s only put one of their three races to bed and Peter Rozenauers Jackal won from Reg Lord’s Juno. Last year’s Sydney Harbour Regatta winner, Tim Ryan, sailed James into third place.

Sydney 36 Championship

The Sydney 36’s sailed two races and Ed Psaltis (Midnight Rambler) has made an easy transition from offshore sailing on a larger yacht to his new ‘36’, winning both races to lead Jack Stening/Colin Gunn’s Stormaway and Peter Franki’s Saltshaker in a strong fleet.

Other divisions

On other courses, Karl Kwok’s Team Beau Geste was on top after two of three races were sailed. Representing New Zealand, the TP52 cleanly won both races. Paul Clitheroe’s TP52 Balance and Phil Turner’s RP66 Alive share six points in second place, both showing a retirement each.

Division 2 is led by Bob Cox’s DK46, Nine Dragons. Neil Padden’s Wailea is second and Gerry Hatton’s Bushranger third on eight points each, six behind the leader.

The Etchells sailed one race and Matthew McCann won from Carabella IV from Crowle Grant’s ‘The Hole Way’ and Christian Brook’s Umami.

Chris Way’s Melges 32 Easy Tiger III won the only race completed in the Super 12 series. Kim Williams’ Melges 32 Rock N’ Roll was second and Adrian Walters’ Rob Shaw 11 Metre, Little Nico third.

Rod Jones from Queensland won the lone Melges 20 race from Matthew Crawford’s Big Booty and John Bacon’s Dark Star.

Andy Wharton (Accrewedinterest) won the one Melges 24 race from Kevin Nixon’s Bandit/Accru and Dug Russell’s Amigos.

Following two races, Tom Hogan sailed Very Tasty to the top of the Super 30’s leaderboard with two wins from Grant McKellar’s Stockade and Andrew Parkes’ Saudade. Division 2 is led by Lindsay Brown’s Dreamtime with Tony Craven’s Capriccio second and David Coleman’s Vitamin Sea holding third.

With one race away, Jim Curtis (Another Dilemma) leads the Adams 10 pointscore from Patrick Delany’s Powderhulk and Brian Lees’ Contentious.

Martin and Lisa Hill’s Estate Master won both Farr 40 One Design races to lead from Robert Pitts’ Double Black and Jeff Carter’s Edake.

Other classes will be covered after racing is finalised this evening.

Full results and all information at: www.shr.mhyc.com.au   

By Di Pearson, MHYC media

Tough day at Sydney Harbour Regatta doesn’t faze 90 year-old Gordon Ingate

The ‘main event’ got underway at Middle Harbour Yacht Club’s 12th anniversary Sydney Harbour Regatta today, when 21 classes and divisions joined the Sydney 38 class, which started its international championship yesterday – and everyone came ashore with a story to tell when big breeze accompanied a big swell on the Harbour.


Easy Tiger III going for the kill - Andrea Francolini, MHYC
 

Prior to racing, PRO Denis Thompson made the decision to bring those scheduled to sail offshore into the Harbour due to steep seas and winds up to 25 knots on the courses for the one-design boats and the IRC/ORCi racing fleet, citing safety as the reason.

During racing, Thompson conferred with the race officers on the various courses, and eventually most shortened the schedule when winds peaked at 30-32 knots. “We want the sailors and the boats safe, not sorry,” Thompson said.


Etchells fleet on the breeze - Andrea Francolini, MHYC
 

And while others struggled and broke gear, as witnessed below, none of it fazed Gordon ‘Wingnut’ Ingate, who at 90 years of age steered his Dragon ‘Whimsical’ to a pair of wins.

Ingate, who turns 91 on 29 March (his rival over many years, Syd Fischer, turned 90 today), has lost none of his zeal, zest and panache.

“The wind got up to 30 knots and a bit more. A very different story to the forecast 10 knots. It was very hard sailing, but great fun. Of course, I didn’t do it on my own, I had David Giles (Olympian and former America’s Cup sailor) and his daughter Amy – the same crew who helped me to win the Prince Philip Cup in January.

Mike Gallagher, owner of the Jeanneau 409, Galan, raced in PHS Spinnaker Division 1 concurred: Describing the day on the Harbour course: “We got more wind than we were expecting, which set the scene for a really exciting race from North Harbour to Rose Bay and back,” he said.

“Sensible sailing and good sail control was the order of the day. At least five boats required doctoring from the sailmaker the one race we got in.”


Melges 24 start line - Andrea Francolini, MHYC
 

“Aside from good speed, those who lost control must have found the roundups challenging, not to mention managing the unusually large swell.

“It was easy to consider your own sail planning when watching the boats ahead crossing the Heads where the weather caused havoc for a number of participants,” ended Gallagher, MHYC’s Vice Commodore, Racing. 

Roundups, broaches, loss of helm control and breakages took their toll on this rainy day. Colourful wet weather gear stood out in stark contrast to the grey day, when the full contingent of 226 boats of varying types and sizes populated Sydney Harbour from Kirribilli down to the Sound, just inside Sydney Heads – where more havoc was wreaked.

Keith Le Compte, crew member aboard Gunther Schmidt-Lindner’s Lyons 46, Austmark, commented: “We split our main, and we saw others just like us. Alacrity (Robert Peters) in PHS Spinnaker division also split theirs.

“We lost a man overboard, retrieved him and retired,” Le Compte said.

“It was pretty lively out there,” added Nicky Bethwaite, also on Austmark. “Lots of round ups, broaches, near-misses, you had to keep a good lookout.”

There was also a report that Alive, Phil Turner’s RP66 from Tasmania, buried her rig off North Head and lay on her side for a good 10 minutes, while Martin Hill laid his Farr 40, Estate Master over and showed some keel and still managed to win both races.

Phil Turner's 'Alive' with pace on - Andrea Francolini

Aboard Peter McDonald’s 5.5M Pam, Jim Nixon told of the exhilaration of boat speed. “I reckon we did 14 knots downwind, the fastest Pam’s ever gone. She’s a heavy dinosaur and just ploughed through the waves.

“In the middle of the Heads, we couldn’t get our kite down it was so wild. It’s the wildest sailing I’ve ever done on The Sound, exciting,” he said.

Aboard the Sydney 36, Onya, Andrew Hurt commented: “We saw 34 knots as we broke the main halyard for a second time. It was very windy.”

What it amounted to was a lucky escape for some and protests and damage for others. It didn’t stop the throng of sailors from kicking back at Middle Harbour Yacht Club when all swapped stories.

And so ended Day 1 of racing for all but the Sydney 38’s, which started their competition yesterday.

Racing concludes tomorrow when new champions will be crowned in five classes and winners of the remaining classes will be celebrating ahead of the official prize giving at Middle Harbour Yacht Club on Monday evening.

MHYC thanks the following clubs for their ongoing support: the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, Manly Yacht Club, RANSA, Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, Royal Prince Edward Yacht Club, Sydney Amateur Sailing Club and the Sydney Flying Squadron.

Thanks also go to sponsors Abell Point Marina, Helly Hansen, Sydney City Marine, Robert Oatley Vineyards and Air New Zealand for their support.

For full results and all information please go to: www.shr.mhyc.com.au   

By Di Pearson, SHR media

Ikon38 maintains Sydney 38 lead at Sydney Harbour Regatta

Big conditions on Sydney Harbour pulled racing up short by one race today when 30 knots was registered on Sydney Harbour, but it was water off a duck’s back for Kirwan Robb and his Ikon38 crew, who continue to lead the Sydney 38 OD International Championship at Middle Harbour Yacht Club’s Sydney Harbour Regatta.

Robb and his crew, representing Hobsons Bay Yacht Club in Victoria maintained their solid performance of yesterday, with a third in Race 4 and a bullet in Race 5 to increase their overall lead to six points over Race 4 winner, Richard Holstein’s Next (CYCA), dropped to fifth place in Race 5.


Close quarters in the Sydney 38 start - Andrea Francolini, MHYC

Meanwhile, Renaud Gerardin and Mana Malmezac (Calibre) one of two entries representing New Caledonia, become a serious threat after placing second on both races. It means third place for the French, just five points adrift of Next.

Leon Thomas, one of two Aussies aboard Calibre, which is representing the Cercle Nautique Caledonien, explained how they sailed so consistently: “We sailed conservatively, did the basics, stayed stable. It was blowing 27 knots on the last leg of the second race.”

Due to sail their series offshore, Principal Race Officer Denis Thompson moved all offshores courses to inside Sydney Harbour for today’s races, because of steep seas and winds in the 25 knot range. “Safety first,” Thompson said.


Next flying to a win - Andrea Francolini, MHYC

Even so, racing was not incident free. Matthew and Nick Hundleby’s Rush and Peter Byford/David Hudson’s Conspiracy involved in a collision in the first race of the day, Race 4, on approach to the first windward mark on the first leg of the windward leeward race.

Both yachts sustained damage, Conspiracy’s deck parting company with the hull and Rush breaking a pole.

“Hopefully we can repair the deck and get racing tomorrow,” said Byford, President of the Sydney 38 class.

“It’s very disappointing (they missed that and the subsequent two races) because we put in such a big effort to be here. But if we get out tomorrow, all will be good.”

A protest will likely be heard this evening.

Another overcast and rainy day on which Principal Race Officer, Denis Thompson made the decision to bring the fleet into the Harbour due to steep seas and winds up to 25 knots on the planned offshore course on the Manly Circle this morning.


Calibre romping to second - Andrea Francolini, MHYC

This evening Sydney 38 and Sydney 36 competitors combined to enjoy the ‘Sydney Yachts’ party at Middle Harbour Yacht Club.

The Sydney 38 OD International Regatta is a first international event for the class, but the Association’s Peter Byford said, “this is just the beginning,” for the reinvigorated one design class.

Racing concludes tomorrow with a further three windward/leeward races planned.   

For full results and all information please go to: www.shr.mhyc.com.au   

By Di Pearson, SHR media

Internationals among record 226 boats in 2017 Sydney Harbour Regatta

Despite the rain, a record 226 entries will set sail in Middle Harbour Yacht Club’s 12th Sydney Harbour Regatta this weekend, rivalling and outnumbering Australia’s largest regattas.

Made up of 21 classes/divisions including the inaugural Sydney 38 OD International Championship; Sydney 36 Championship; state championships in the Cavalier 28, Yngling and J70 classes, Open IRC/ORCi, Farr 40, Adams 10, Etchells, Dragon, Melges 20, Melges 24, 5.5 Metre, Super 12s, Sports Boat, Super 30, Historic 18ft Skiff, PHS Spinnaker and Non-Spinnaker and Productions boats, MHYC officials are over the moon.

Preparing in the rain this morning - Andrea Francolini, MHYC 

Entrants for NSW’s largest keelboat regatta have come from New Zealand, New Caledonia and the USA, joining those from NSW, Tasmania and Victoria, Including Hong Kong businessman Karl Kwok’s TP52 Beau Geste on the IRC course joining Phil Turner’s RP66, Alive and 2015 Rolex Sydney Hobart winner Balance, owned by Paul Clitheroe.

Racing is due to get underway in all classes from 12pm, both on the Harbour and just outside for IRC/ORCi, Farr 40, Sydney 38 and Sydney 36 classes.

Principal Race Officer, Denis Thompson gave his thoughts on how the day could pan out. “He and I are not on speaking terms today,” Thompson said, pointing skywards.

“The forecast has the weather all over the place, but it’s settling down. I think we’ll get 15-18 from the south, with passing showers and rain easing during the afternoon.

“All divisions will be sailing in their designated areas, but the race officers are out checking the offshore courses where the One Design (Manly Circle) and IRC boats (Macquarie Circle) will be sailing as it could be quite bumpy offshore. Safety is of paramount importance and if necessary, we’ll bring those boats to a Harbour course,” he said.  

Middle Harbour Yacht Club offers breakfast each morning of the regatta, with a beach grill and sausage sizzle on the beach to follow racing each day.

The prize giving will again be held at MHYC on Monday evening (6 March) allowing all placegetters a chance to enjoy the evening with their crews.

MHYC thanks the following clubs for their ongoing support: the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, Manly Yacht Club, RANSA, Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, Royal Prince Edward Yacht Club, Sydney Amateur Sailing Club and the Sydney Flying Squadron.

Thanks go to sponsors: Abell Point Marina, Helly Hansen, Sydney City Marine, Robert Oatley Vineyards and Air New Zealand for their support.

Full results and all information at: www.shr.mhyc.com.au   

By Di Pearson, MHYC media

 

Ikon38 makes it three from three on Day 1 of Sydney 38’s at Sydney Harbour Regatta

Kirwan Robb’s highly fancied Ikon38, is looking slick at the end of Day 1 of the Sydney 38 OD International Championship at Middle Harbour Yacht Club, winning three from three races today to be named ‘Boat of the Day’ and cart off the North Sails prize.


Ikon 38 approaches a mark the clear leader - Tim Vine, Yoti

Robb’s Victorian entry, nominated the boat to beat, is living up to expectation. His nearest rivals at the end of the day are Richard Holstein’s Next, which scored a third and a pair of second places, and Renaud Gerardin and Mana Malmezac, one of two entrants from New Caledonia, who have chartered Calibre.

The New Caledonians, representing Cercle Nautique Caledonien, came in over the top of Rick Welch’s The Bolter in Race 3, ending the day with 4-7-3 results. The Bolter was looking better in the earlier two races with 2-3 results, but dropped to 10th place in Race 3 and now lies fourth, just a point behind Calibre.

Ikon38, representing Hobsons Bay Yacht Club, clinched victory in Race 1 by two minutes from The Bolter from the RPAYC on Pittwater, with Next from the CYCA in third place, 17 seconds astern of The Bolter.

In Race 2, the Victorians dominated again, to beat Next by just under a minute, with The Bolter hot on her heals, 21 seconds behind. Ikon38 backed up in Race 3 to take the gun from Next and Calibre in a closer finish of under a minute.   


Going to windward under a dark sky - Tim Vine, Yoti

This evening Kirwan Robb said he and the crew had enjoyed the mixed conditions. “The first race was quite light, around 8 knots, with the wind flicking 30 degrees. It was quite shifty all day. We sailed the second race in 12 knots and the third in 18 to 21 knots – a bit of everything,” he said.

“I really enjoy one-design racing compared to fleet racing for the obvious reasons,” added Robb, citing Next as their main competition today. “They are quite quick and were right on us in Race 3.”

Renaud Gerardin and Mana Malmezac were thrilled with their day’s work, though a little surprised to find themselves third overall. Like Robb, they enjoyed the mix of conditions, “Although we were better in stronger winds, especially under spinnaker – compared to others who drove too hard and broached,” Malmezac said.

Gerardin, who is the skipper of the pair said, “This is the first time we’ve raced here individually, or as a crew. We brought a good crew from three boats in New Caledonia. We also have two Australian guys with us, Leon (Leon Thomas, previous owner of the Sydney 38 Guilty Pleasures he sold to the French pair) and Dan (Hayden). Both are from Townsville.

“We spent one day training in 'Frendlish', he said of the initial language barrier of boat talk between the French and English.

On today, Malmezac commented: “We were not expecting to do so well, especially after making so many mistakes in the first two races. But finally by the third race, we got it all together – we worked together better.

“It is also the first time we have raced in a one-design fleet. We came here for the experience, to make new friends and get an understanding of how the other guys are sailing their boats – how to make them go faster,” added Malmezac, who with Gerardin has been sailing Guilty Pleasures for three years on home waters, but not in one-design configuration.

An overcast day with a couple of downpours thrown in, Sydney 38 crews saw it all on the opening day of their competition. However, it did not dampen anyone’s enthusiasm in this history-making Championship, racing providing the panacea. This evening, all were enjoying the Norths Happy Hour at Middle Harbour Yacht Club.


Hard downwind as the rain approaches - Tim Vine, Yoti

Twelve Sydney 38’s are contesting the inaugural Sydney 38 OD International Regatta as part of the 12th anniversary Sydney Harbour Regatta including Austral (Peter Mayo), Wld 1 (Stuart Jones, USA), Conspiracy (Peter Byford/David Hudson); Risk (Chris Heraghty/Greg Moore), Rush (Nick Hundleby), Chutzpah38 (Jim Conway) and Zen (Mark Thompson/Michael England/Malcolm McEwan).

Racing continues tomorrow with a further three races on the menu, provided the weather plays ball. Officials are hoping to complete nine races in total.  

For full results and all information please go to: www.shr.mhyc.com.au   

By Di Pearson, SHR media

Sydney 38’s ready to blast off at Sydney Harbour Regatta

A dozen Sydney 38’s from Australia and overseas are making history today as they prepare for the first ever Sydney 38 OD International Championship at Middle Harbour Yacht Club as part of the 12th anniversary Sydney Harbour Regatta.

It was not without incident that the 12 will make the start line for the first of three planned windward/leeward races today, according to class stalwart and executive member of the Association, Peter Byford, co-owner/skipper of Conspiracy. 


Sydney 38's go head-to-head - Andrea Francolini
 

On one of the favourites, Kirwan Robb’s IKON38, a crew member was injured on the delivery trip from Melbourne, but they have overcome that problem ahead of the practice day yesterday.

Meanwhile, New Caledonian son and father, Malo and Thierry Malo Leseigneur, struggled to ready their charter boat during practice races yesterday.

“Nothing went right yesterday - and we broke gear. Hopefully it will be better today, it will be our practice day as we didn’t have the chance yesterday,” Malo said.

The lone American crew, on the other hand, is in fine fettle with their charter boat, Larki Missiris’ Wild One.

In the class for just over a year, skipper Stuart Jones is actually an Aussie from Cronulla, living in Philadelphia. His own Sydney 38 is based at the home of one design, Annapolis, Maryland.

“Six months after I bought the boat we did the Newport Bermuda Race with it. Surfing downwind at one stage, I got the boat to 18 knots. It was something else,” Jones said this morning.

During their learning curve, Jones was in touch with the Sydney 38 Australian Association who convinced him to return home for the Sydney 38 One Design International Championship. “They offered to arrange a charter and were very helpful and I thought ‘why not, we could learn a lot from this’, Jones said.

Larki has also been fabulous in helping us,” said Jones whose crew make up includes four from Philadelphia, two in Chicago and two in Maryland.

A second New Caledonian pair, Renaud Gerardin and Mana Malmezac, have left their ‘Guilty Pleasure’s’ at home and chartered well known Sydney boat, Calibre. They are ready to go and according to Peter Byford, are in good shape.

“Their only problem is a little barrier with language, as they have some Australian crew mingled with their French crew, but they’re cranked up and ready to go,” Byford said.

Of his own chances at the event, Byford admitted that acquiescing to his two sons in recent times has improved their chances.

“Ben (39) and Tim (37) both sail with me – it’s a real family affair, which makes it interesting. These days I steer and do as I’m told,” he said laughing.  

Others entered included Bruce Taylor’s Chutzpah38, minus Taylor who could not make it. But as a committed Sydney 38 sailor, the Victorian sent his crew, headed by Jim Conway, and they should be in the money.

Others in the mix include Austral (Peter Mayo), Next (Richard Holstein), Risk (Chris Heraghty/Greg Moore, two time national champion Rush (Nick Hundleby), The Bolter (Rick Welch) and Zen (Mark Thompson/Michael England/Malcolm McEwan) which reaped good all-round results for previous owner, Gordon Ketelbey.

Racing starts from 12pm today, tomorrow and Sunday. Officials are hoping the weather help them put three races away each day on offshore windward/leeward courses.

According to the Bureau of Meteorology, the fleet can expect south-easterly winds of around 10 knots, increasing to 15 to 20 knots in the morning, and tending east to south-easterly in the late afternoon or early evening. A thunderstorm and rain showers are also on the cards.

Full results will be found at: www.shr.mhyc.com.au   

By Di Pearson, SHR Media

Win $1700 worth of Helly Hansen Sailing Gear at SHR

Here's your chance to win $1700 worth of Helly Hansen sailing gear at this year's Sydney Harbour Regatta!  The prize will be drawn on Sunday 5th March, 2017, at Middle Harbour Yacht Club after the weekend's racing.  Entry forms will be available at the Club over the weekend.

Helly Hansen is also offering great prizes for 1st, 2nd & 3rd in all divisions of the Sydney Harbour Regatta to be awarded at the presentation on Monday 6th March, 2017, from 6.00pm.

Great Line Up of Live Music for SHR

The Sydney Harbour Regatta is fast approaching over the weekend of 4th & 5th March, 2017.  Live entertainment will be on throughout the weekend so be sure head down to MHYC to catch some of the action:-

Friday 3rd March 2017, 6pm - 8pm - Jay Parrino - Over the past 10 years Jay Parrino has established himself as one of Australia's most promising and hardest working musicians, wowing audiences with his virtuoso guitar playing and powerful vocals. His charm and cheeky charisma made him a popular favourite with millions of viewers as finalist on Channel 7's Australia's Got Talent.

 

 

Saturday 4th March, 2017, 4pm - 8pm - Endless Summer Beach Party - The Endless Summer Beach Party brings alive the sounds of the beach and classic 60’s mixing it with retro sounds of the 70’s and 80’s and spicing it up with current modern chart toppers.

 

 

Sunday 5th March, 2017, 4pm - 8pm - Simone Waddell Trio - Simone’s versatility of style includes gospel, jazz, soul, funk, pop, ballads and R&B.  She was a featured artist at the acclaimed Manly Jazz Festival and  has toured Australia with "Elvis to the Max", and as lead female singer in "The Marvin Gaye Experience", and was privileged to play keyboard and sing backing vocals for the multi-award winning hit artist Taylor Dayne.

 

 

 

Monday 6th March, 2017, 6pm - 9pm - Di Solomon - Di Solomon has a life-long background in music and performance. She is a multi-instrumentalist and has supported a myriad of local and international acts including: Don McLean, Christopher Cross, John Rowles, Sir Howard Morrison and The Searchers, and has performed on live television, on Good Morning Australia, Midday Show and At Home.

Entry extended as new sponsor announced for 2017 Sydney Harbour Regatta

With entries at a record high of 170, Middle Harbour Yacht Club announces a new major sponsor has joined forces with the Sydney Harbour Regatta, NSW’s largest keelboat regatta, and officials could not be more pleased.

Abell Point Marina, one of the largest marinas in Australia with over 500 wet berths accommodating vessels up to 70 metres in the heart of the Whitsundays, Airlie Beach, has joined Helly Hansen, as a major sponsor of MHYC’s annual event to be held on the weekend of 4-5 March.


Abell Point Marina, Whitsundays, Airlie Beach
MHYC Commodore, John McCuaig said: “We are extremely pleased to welcome the highly awarded Abell Point Marina as a new major sponsor of the 2017 Sydney Harbour Regatta, joining Helly Hansen, our long-time major sponsor.


Fast pace - Andrea Francolini, MHYC
“Located in the Whitsundays, Abell Point Marina has a great respect and understanding in meeting the needs of yacht racing and boating. Their support of this regatta comes at an exciting time with the number of entrants exceeding the last two years. We look forward to our event being another great success – thanks to all our sponsors and supporters.”

An ideal fit for the regatta, Abell Point Marina includes a vast and vibrant marina village, containing a range of marine services, including chandlery, electrics and electronics, mechanical, shipwright and yacht management services.

The range of first class facilities and focus on customer service ensure every customer is extended the Blue Carpet Treatment. In 2016, Abell Point Marina became the first marina in the world to attain global ‘5 Gold Anchor marina accreditation’, providing an international benchmark standard of quality in terms of service and facilities.


Catch the action at the Sydney Harbour Regatta - Andrea Francolini, MHYC
This year’s regatta will include the Sydney 38 OD International Championship, the Sydney 36 Championship and state championships in the Cavalier 28, Yngling and J70 classes, not to mention the multiple other classes that make the event what it is.

“With just over a week to go we have over 170 entries over some 22 classes. We’re on a roll, so to maintain the momentum, we have extended the Standard Entry fee period until close of entries at 2400 hours on 24 February,” said Special Events Chairman, Ian Box.


Speedwagon at her best last year - Andrea Francolini, MHYC
“We have a quorum in most classes, but would like to see a few more entries across the board, especially in the Open Class IRC; Farr 40; Cavalier 28 (a state championship).

“If you have not yet entered, please enter online now via the event website,” he said.

Middle Harbour Yacht Club offers breakfast each morning of the regatta, with a beach grill and sausage sizzle on the beach to follow racing each day.

The prize giving will again be held at MHYC on Monday evening (6 March) allowing all placegetters a chance to enjoy the evening with their crews.

MHYC thanks the following clubs for their ongoing support: the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, Manly Yacht Club, RANSA, Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, Royal Prince Edward Yacht Club, Sydney Amateur Sailing Club and the Sydney Flying Squadron.

Thanks also go to sponsors Abell Point Marina, Helly Hansen, Sydney City Marine, Robert Oatley Vineyards and Air New Zealand for their continued support.

Enter on line now at: www.shr.mhyc.com.au   

By Di Pearson, MHYC media

Class championships to feature at Sydney Harbour Regatta

Battle lines will be drawn when a variety of classes hold their championships at NSW’s largest keelboat event, the Sydney Harbour Regatta, to be hosted by Middle Harbour Yacht Club over the weekend of 4-5 March.

The 11th anniversary regatta is just two and a half weeks away and already close to 150 national and international entries have been received, boosted by the Sydney 38 OD International Championship, the Sydney 36 Championship and state championships in the Cavalier 28, Yngling and J70 classes.


James - a strong J70 contender - Andrea Francolini

Competition in the Sydney 38’s will start one day earlier, on Friday 3 March and class proponent, Bruce Taylor, points to fellow Victorian entrant, Kirwan Robb (IKON38) as “the one to beat.”

“Kirwan Robb has been sailing consistently well with the Sydney 38 and a Beneteau – he is the benchmark – the favourite. My guys should do well, I hope they make the podium,” he ended.


The Sydney 38 competition is sure to be tight - Andrea Francolini

Taylor, who is also an experienced offshore racer, is the long-time owner of Chutzpah38, and while his boat will be on the start line along with the core of his ocean racing and one design crew, Taylor will not.

“I’m disappointed I can’t be at the regatta, but I have to be overseas at that time. I’m entrusting the boat to my crew. My main trimmer, Jim Conway, will skipper,” he said.

Many new faces have joined the class, so Chutzpah and others will be grappling with relatively unknown quantities, including overseas entrants such as Renaud Gerardin and Mana Malmezac from New Caledonia, charterers of Calibre, and Malo Leseigneur with Faster Forward.

New Caledonian, Leseigneur, is former world class Laser sailor introducing a crew with just a year’s experience together. He says, “I have sailors from various horizons and levels, but they are filled with the same passion for sailing. We come to Australia in order to learn more about the boat as we prepare for the next edition of the Groupama race in 2018.”  

The Sydney 36 makes its Sydney Harbour Regatta debut as a class event and has also drawn some recognized faces from the ocean racing ranks. Ed Psaltis, best known for winning the 1998 Sydney Hobart, sold his ocean racer and replaced her with a Sydney 36 of the same name – Midnight Rambler.

“It’s going to be a real challenge, sailing around the buoys at this regatta, and it’s one I’m looking forward to,” says Psaltis.

“The boat’s a cruiser/racer, it’s got lots more below than any of my other boats (this is his seventh), but they’re fast. I spoke to other owners and my crew and they told me ‘go for it’. It’s got a spinnaker pole, which I’m not used to, but my son Ben will be along to help out.

“I've  also got some of my old experienced crew along and we’re looking forward to a fun regatta, and that’s what I want to get out of it, some fun racing.”

Psaltis’ rivals will include those who have trodden the Sydney Harbour Regatta path before: Crosshaven (Sean Rahilly/Justin Pelly), Stormaway (Jack Stening/Colin Gunn) and   Yputakiteup (Alex Stewart/Robyn Drew).

Crosshaven will be amongst the Sydney 36 contenders - Andrea Francolini

The Melges 20 class has also attracted some big names and according to MHYC member and one-design enthusiast, Guido Belgiorno-Nettis, is “one of the most competitive classes in the world. All the best sailors race them. It’s a sports boat on steroids.

“I bought a Melges to add to the excitement and X-factor,” says Belgiorno-Nettis, a longstanding Sydney 38 and Farr 40 owner/skipper who cites Matthew Crawford and his ‘Big Booty’ crew of 49er sailors as the ones to beat.

“If I get anywhere near the podium I’ll be happy. It’s been a few years since I last entered this regatta, so I’m looking forward to returning,” he ended.

This fast and fun boat made its Australian debut at last year’s Sydney Harbour Regatta where Big Booty was the standout, winning all six races from Scott Lawson’s Numero Uno, which is also entered this year. Others worth watching include John Bacon (Darkstar) and Queensland’s Rod Jones (Machiatto 20); both have been successful in a variety of classes.

A raft of classes, including other one-design and production boats, along with open yacht classes, will take part in the popular event on both Harbour and offshore courses.


PHS fleets always add colour to the Harbour - Andrea Francolini

There is still time to enter, with entries closing at 2400 hours on Monday 20 February 2017. After this date, entry shall be made in writing and may only be accepted at the discretion of the Organising Authority.

MHYC thanks the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, Manly Yacht Club, RANSA, Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, Royal Prince Edward Yacht Club, Sydney Amateur Sailing Club and the Sydney Flying Squadron for their ongoing support.

Thanks also go to sponsors Helly Hansen, Sydney City Marine, Robert Oatley Vineyards and Air New Zealand for their continued support.

Enter on line and view entries at the new website: www.shr.mhyc.com.au   

By Di Pearson, MHYC media

Entries open for 2017 Sydney Harbour Regatta

When summer racing comes to an end, the focus will shift to the Sydney Harbour Regatta - the last hurrah at the beginning of autumn when the weather is still warm and the Harbour a picture postcard of sailing boats, from the Historical 18s to the most technically innovative boats on the planet.  

Harbour start for Performance boats - Andrea Francolini

Entries are open and the Notice of Race is available via the newly launched website for Middle Harbour Yacht Club’s Sydney Harbour Regatta, to be held over the weekend of 4-5 March, 2017.

Broadening in its appeal, NSW’s largest keelboat regatta has been expanded to include the Farr 40s and the Sydney 38 International Championship, with overseas and interstate entries expected.

The two high profile one-design yachts will start their competitions on Friday 3 March, and continue on with the rest of the large cast of divisions through the weekend. 

On Harbour courses and adding to increasing numbers in 2017, MHYC will also host the Yngling and J70 national titles at the Sydney Harbour Regatta, while the Etchells and Dragon keel boats return following a two-year hiatus, resulting in a strong showing from RSYS. 

Flying Tiger fun at SHR 2016 - Andrea Francolini

“It’s exciting to have these classes choose the Sydney Harbour Regatta to run their championships,” MHYC Commodore John McCuaig said.

Regular one-design classes returning to the annual event include Adams 10, Melges 20, Melges 32 and VX-One. They will be joined by the Super 12s, Sports Boats, Cavalier 28 Performance class and Super 30’s.

Pulling in the kite at SHR 2016 - Andrea Francolini

Larger yachts sailing in the IRC and ORCi classes are offered windward/leeward and passage divisions, enabling them to ‘warm-up’ for the impending Australian Yachting Championship. A Sydney 36 division will race alongside these boats. 

A Performance class (Ocean Passage) and Harbour courses for Performance Class boats in Spinnaker, Non-Spinnaker and Classic divisions and Production Boat Class (X-Yacht, Hanse) will again draw big numbers.

Now in its 12th year, “the Sydney Harbour Regatta”, says MHYC Commodore John McCuaig, “Is increasingly evolving as its reputation continues to grow. The Club prides itself on offering a diverse range of classes, this time including the most competitive one-design yachts in Australia.”

Close action at SHR 2016 - Andrea Francolini

And ashore, Middle Harbour Yacht Club’s program is unique in that it offers live entertainment each afternoon on the Club’s beach with drinks available from the Sandbar.

Rather appropriately, the band ‘Endless Summer’ will keep sailors and their guests rocking from 4pm on Saturday, followed by more entertainment on Sunday afternoon and into the evening when the fabulous Helly Hansen prize draw will take place.

Breakfast is offered each morning with a beach grill and sausage sizzle on the beach following racing each day. For those opting for a quieter crew debrief and downtime, the upstairs bar and Harbourview Bistro will be open.

As it was so well received over the past few years, the prize giving will again be held at MHYC on Monday evening (6 March) allowing all placegetters a chance to be there with their crews.

All entries will close at 2400 hours on Monday 20 February 2017. After the ‘close of entries’, any additional entry shall be made in writing and may only be accepted at the discretion of the Organising Authority.

Those whose entry fees are received prior to 2400 hours Friday 3 February 2017, will make a substantial saving, while late entries will attract an additional cost - see the NoR online for full details.

MHYC thanks the following clubs for their ongoing support: the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, Manly Yacht Club, RANSA, Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, Royal Prince Edward Yacht Club, Sydney Amateur Sailing Club and the Sydney Flying Squadron.

Thanks also go to sponsors Helly Hansen, Sydney City Marine, Robert Oatley Vineyards and Air New Zealand for their continued support.

Enter on line at the new website: www.shr.mhyc.com.au   

By Di Pearson, MHYC media