5 - 6 March, 2022 - Middle Harbour Yacht Club

Nine Dragons scored the IRC Open win - Andrea Francolini pic

Middle Harbour Yacht Club’s (MHYC) Sydney Harbour Regatta (SHR) concluded this afternoon with winners decided after competitors dealt with big gusty winds, heavy downpours interspersed with a teasing watery sun for a short spell, before the clouds closed over and visibility became limited. 

All courses were sailed on Sydney Harbour today, including the Open IRC and Super 50 fleets. The two divisions started and finished their three races at Watsons Bay. All bar the Super 40s were away on time in a 15-knot breeze, gusting to 18 knots, substantially more than the forecast 10 knots.

The Super 40 start was delayed when Adrian Walters’ Little Nico broached and lost two crew members overboard. This is an experienced owner and crew, so both were crew retrieved quickly and are fine. From there, Walters decided to abandon racing for the day. 

IRC Open

Nine Dragons (Bob Cox) led Keiran Mulcahy’s Soozal by one point, with Mark Hellyer’s Cicero is a further four points behind in third place when they headed to the race course today for two more races. Cox’s win and a second means he is the clear winner by seven points from Cicero. Soozal placed third, a further point behind. It was a delayed gift, as Cox had a birthday on 3 March.

“I’m very happy with our result,” Cox said. “It was a shame a couple of boats from RPAYC couldn’t make it, especially Bushranger, it’s so competitive. It was still very close competition, especially with us and Khaleesi at the bigger end and Soozal at the smaller end. Soozal never gives up.

“It was very shifty today. The windward/leeward races were good to get our crew work sorted out. It’s been good practice for Sail Port Stephens. We’ve had five wins there in the past, and we’re going back to try again,” Cox ended.

Matador hit her straps - Andrea Francolini pic

Super 50

The new kid on the block, David Doherty (Matador) has carted off first place in the Super 50 division, which also doubles as the first event of the inaugural TP52 Series. Matador beat local boat, Zen (Gordon Ketelbey) to the punch by four points. Matt Donald/Chris Townsend’s Gweilo carried over their third place from yesterday, a further four points in arears.  

Super 40

Revolver’s (Michael Ritchie) fourth place today was enough to give her the series win after she led into the day with two wins. With Little Nico (Adrian Walters) out of the picture, Darryl Hodgkinson moved up to second overall with his Carkeek 40, Victoire, his Race 3 win lifting him up. 

Super 30

Peter Woodhead’s XC3SS trailed BruceTavener’s Ophir coming into the day and Woodhead followed through. Seventh and fourth places gave the local sailor a three-point buffer over Ophir. 

J/70

New NSW J/70 champion, Reg Lord (Juno) has made two on the trot, winning the class at this Sydney Harbour Regatta. Runner up at the Championship, Tim Ryan and his Vamos, made a comeback to finish runner-up here as well. It shows how consistently well these two boats sail.

Adams 10s - an extremely competitive class - Andrea Francolini pic

Adams 10

Tracy Richardson’s Artemis led Brian Lees’ Contentious on countback coming into the day, but Lees bounced back to claim the overall win from Richardson by three points. The competition between the two was thrilling.

“Last time I won, I won an Audi. We’ve won here a couple of times. Looks like we’ve come good again – older and smarter,” Lees said laughing.

“I was pleased to see Tracey do well – she hasn’t been sailing very long. We didn’t find the conditions too hard to handle. On our course the breeze was pretty consistent. It was very tight racing and we had a few close calls. The boats were doing 10 and 11 knots quite a lot of the time.”

Black Adder new Yngling NSW champion

Gary Pearce (Black Adder) had the bit between the teeth, unwilling to relinquish the 2-point lead he carried into the day from Gary Wogas (Karma) in the Yngling NSW Championship. Pearce and crew fired off three more bullets from three races. He claimed the title from Wogas, who scored a trio of second places. Jan Newland’s Yertl held onto third overall, scoring a trio of third places.

Performance Spinnaker Divisions 1 and 2

Peter Sorenson (Advanced Philosophy) kept the pressure on Brendan McAssey’s S1 to win overall by two points, the same margin he led by yesterday. It seemed likely the win would be between the pair – and so it was. Sorro was always going to be the benchmark, but he is still tinkering with his Sydney 38 and changing crew around.

PHS Division 2 get off the start - Andrea Francolini pic

“Rain, wind, it was very unpleasant,” Sorensen commented. “In the second race we got pushed over the line early, had to come back, then broached gybing the spinnaker in 20 knots - and nearly ran into a start boat – not the one for our course though.

“It was a terrific race otherwise,” he said without a hint of sarcasm. “It was very fast. We saw 32 knots, but generally it was under 25, it was coming and going.”

Sorensen owed his success, he said, “To changing the crew around a bit and it worked pretty well,” he said. “I’m pretty pleased with how we went, especially after finishing second to Conspiracy at the Sydney 38 NSW Championship a couple of weeks ago.”

In Division 2, it was unusual to see the Jack Stening/Colin Gunn sailed Stormaway out of the top placings at the end of yesterday, but the pair ‘stormed’ home with third and fourth places to steal the series from under the noses of the rest. Graeme Neuhaus, who sat in second place coming into the day with Crowded Haus, finished the regatta the same way, two points adrift of the victors.

However, neither of the top two won a race today. Simon Oliver’s Odyssey claimed Race 3 and Rumba (Rob Carr/Steph Cook/Kerry Burke) won Race 4.

Performance Spinnaker Division 3 and Non-Spinnaker Division

John Crawford finished the way he started. Innamincka led the Beth Abbott skippered Rapid Transit in Performance Spinnaker Division 3 coming into the day and has won the series from Abbott cleanly, six points separating the pair after a further two races were sailed.

Neither won a race today, those honours went to Dean Dransfield’s Escape (Race 3) and Michael Bleakley’s Scaramouch (Race 4), lifting the two up to third and fourth places overall respectively.

The view from Super 30 Very Tasty this afternoon - Peter Lowndes pic

John Crawford came ashore unaware Innamincka had won. “Are you sure? I didn’t think we had that good a day. The weather suited the bigger heavier boats. We’re very happy to win. The forecast was miserable, we got a bit of rain, but nothing horrendous,” he said.

MHYC did a good job with this regatta. Sydney Amateur Sailing Club and RANSA ran our courses and did a good job too.” 

In the Non-Spinnaker division, yesterday’s leader, Sea Change, skippered by charterer, Angus Ekberg, held on to win overall – just. Sixth and third places meant he won on countback from Nathan Lockhart’s Scarborough, which scored fourth and second places today. John De Meur’s Elysium won Race 3 to finish third overall, while the Race 4 win went to Martin Blake/Mark Bothwell’s Sol.

Post-race festivities included a DJ on the beach in front of the Club as crews made the most of a sausage sizzle and drinks, including at the Fever Tree Gin Bar.

The official presentation and prize giving will be held tomorrow (Monday) evening at 1900 hours at Middle Harbour Yacht Club. The Grand Prizes will also be drawn at this time.

Middle Harbour Yacht Club acknowledges the support of Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, Sydney Amateur Sailing Club, Royal Australian Navy Sailing Association, Royal Prince Edward Yacht Club, Manly Yacht Club, Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club and the Sydney Flying Squadron. 

MHYC wishes to thank key sponsors: Club Marine, Robert Oatley Wines, Short Marine, Quality Marine Clothing and Telstra Business Technology Centre.

All information on the Sydney Harbour Regatta, including results at: www.shr.mhyc.com.au  

By Di Pearson, MHYC media

Tracy Richardson and her mainly female crew on Artemis
Margaret Fraser-Martin photo

Tuesday 8 March marks International Women’s Day 2022 and here at Middle Harbour Yacht Club (MHYC) this weekend, we salute all females taking part in the Sydney Harbour Regatta (SHR), NSW’s largest keelboat regatta.

Women are involved at all levels in this event, from sailing to race management on and off the water to media boat drivers and protest committee members.

Encouraged by the national authority, Australian Sailing, and clubs around Australia, women’s participation in sailing is growing substantially via specialised programs, learn to sail classes and Women’s regattas.

This weekend there are women spread throughout the classes and divisions. Owner/skippers include Tracy Richardson, owner of the Adams 10 Artemis.  Richardson, the new president of the Adams 10 Association, started sailing only seven years ago. “I turned up to Middle Harbour Yacht Club to try twilight racing on a Thursday night. I loved it – I couldn’t get enough,” she said. “Then my brother-in-law and I bought Artemis in February last year.”

Going into today’s final races, Richardson leads the pointscore, unusual for a relative newcomer racing against those who have been around for years. And the class is super competitive.

In the Yngling keelboat, once an Olympic class, you will find Jan Newland. She is contesting the Yngling NSW Championship and is in a good third place overall coming into the final day.

Jan Newland between races on her Yngling Yertle
Margaret Fraser-Martin phot
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In Performance Spinnaker racing, one of the largest fleets sailing at the regatta on Sydney Harbour is Lisa Callaghan with her Sydney 38, Mondo. Callaghan is also the President of Manly Sailing Club. Stephanie Cook is the enduring co-owner of Rumba, a Northshore 370. In the same division is Julie Clark, who has entered Senta, a Beneteau First 35.

Cook’s advice for newcomers: “Try twilight sailing at your local yacht club. Most have a list you can put your name on. It’s a great way to see if you like the sport . It’s very friendly, social. You don’t usually need experience to do the twilights and it fits in with most people’s work hours.

“You could also do a competent crew course through your local club’s sailing school. They normally introduce you to boats to race on as part of the deal. “They’re not cheap to buy and run, so you want to know you’re in for the long-term, not just a season.”

Racing aboard Keiran Mulcahy’s Soozal in the IRC Open Class offshore, and currently placed second, is Stacey Jackson. A veteran of 14 Sydney Hobarts, Jackson skippered an all-female crew on Wild Oats X to second overall in the 2018 Hobart. She used that campaign to highlight the high calibre of women sailors. She also has a Volvo Ocean Race behind her.  

An internationally respected yachtswoman, Jackson is a huge advocate of women in sailing and a mentor through the international women’s Magenta Project. She has a vision – and that is to see the day when there is parity in numbers between male and female sailors.

Lisa Wilkinson does mainsheet on husband Matt's Foreign Affair
Margaret Fraser-Martin photo

Lisa Wilkinson does mainsheet on husband, Matt’s competitive Farr 30, Foreign Affair. “She’s very good at it – she does a very good job,” says Matt, “She races with us in all inshore events.”

Annie Taylor from the Northern Beaches is a long-time inshore and offshore racer. Taylor sails anything from one-design to small and larger yachts. At the Sydney Harbour Regatta she is in the IRC Racing division aboard Pete Farrugia’s Bullwinkle.

On the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club start crew is another Northern Beaches resident, Rosemary Merrington. She and husband Steve are integral to on-water race management teams at regattas and events Australia wide.

“It’s been at least 15 years and I still enjoy it,” says Merrington, whose interest is highlighted by the Merrington sons, Peter ‘Billy’ and Anthony, who sail at the grand prix level.

Sailing Administrator at MHYC is Catherine Rofe, who is also on the race committee at Manly Yacht Club. Rofe raced aboard the all-female crew aboard Calibre in the Sydney 38 One Design NSW Championship last month. Skippered by Liz Charles, the boat was chartered for them by the Sydney 38 Association which was keen to have more women sailing in the class and perhaps buying into it.

Although the crew had not sailed together on the one-design Sydney 38 before, they finished third on countback in a quality field, indicative of female talent in Australia these days.

“She is all over sailing,” MHYC’s Sailing Manager, David Staley says. “If there’s a race on, J24s, Sydney 38s, whatever, she’ll be there. She’s passionate about sailing and does a great job with us.”

Erica Kirby is Chair of the Protest Committee
Andrea Francolini photo

Driving a media boat this weekend is MHYC youth sailing instructor, Jess Longstaff. She coaches the Optimist class and has a background sailing Lasers, Pacers and 420s.

“I started sailing at six or seven through my dad,” Longstaff comments. “I love the different people of all ages I meet, sailing a lot of different boats. I just love being on the water,” says the 18-year-old, who was Sailing Captain at Wenona School.

On the protest committee, the Chairperson is Erica Kirby. She has been involved in umpiring, judging and sits on protest committees for the last 12 years. She is a rarity and says, “I’d love to have more women involved, especially in NSW. I’d advise interested women to get involved in the jury at your local club and see if it appeals. It’s very rewarding - I love travelling to different events.”

MHYC is a champion of women involved in all aspects of sailing. Julie Hodder is a past commodore and remains a respected navigator in offshore racing with 13 Sydney Hobarts on her resume. She has also co-owned grand prix racing yachts. Hodder would usually be sailing at this event but was tied up with a niece’s wedding this weekend.

For all information on the Sydney Harbour Regatta, including results: www.shr.mhyc.com.au   

By Di Pearson, MHYC media

ORC/PHS classes on the Harbour course - Andrea Francolini Photo

The veil of fog lifted just in time for the start of the Sydney Harbour Regatta (SHR) this morning, with racing due to start from 11am on the eight course areas from the Harbour Bridge to Manly on Sydney Harbour. 

A 3-knot breeze meant racing on the IRC Open and Super 50 offshore course was delayed. The AP came down and the Warning Signal replaced it at 11.40am in the Middle Harbour Yacht Club (MHYC) hosted event, now in its 17th year.

IRC Open

Three windward/leeward races sorted out who was best in light airs offshore. Nine Dragons, with MHYC’s Bob Cox at the helm, came out fighting and ended the day with a pair of second places and a win to be one point ahead of Keiran Mulcahy’s Soozal, which scored 1-3-2 results. Mark Hellyer’s Cicero is a further four points adrift in third place.

Super 50

The Super 50 class, comprised solely of TP52s, using the SHR for the opener of a brand-new TP52 series. They sailed on the same offshore windward/leeward course area as the IRC Open fleet with longer beat. Just who will win this inaugural series remains to be seen, but today, the relatively unknown Matador (David Doherty) was teaching the masters a lesson.

Doherty tipped the scales in his favour with a third and a pair of wins to lead Gordon Ketelbey’s Zen by two points. Matt Donald/Chris Townsend’s Gweilo is a further point away in third. 

Close racing in the TP52s - Andrea Francolini Photo

James Corrie, mainsail trimmer on Matador, explained this afternoon: “We’ve been working on things for a little while now and a couple of combinations are coming together and working out well for us. Everything is starting to gel.

“The racing was close between all of us. The new TP52 series is our focus. David bought the boat from Geoff Boettcher (former Secret Mens Business) 12 months ago. This is his second season in the boat,” he said of Doherty who is new to the grand prix racing scene.

Super 40

Revolver (Michael Ritchie), arriving here on the back of second place at the Pittwater Regatta, won both races from Little Nico (Adrian Walters). “We had a pretty good day. We’re really happy with that. The boat was launched five years ago and it’s taken us that long to get it working the way we want it.

“I think the light conditions suited us. We put ourselves in the right place on the course and our downwind speed helped us, we were able to sail deeper downwind. We were able to hang on upwind, which surprised me, as all the others have square top mains, we have the conventional rig.”

Super 30

The Super 30 class boasts a large and fast fleet of 20 ‘all-sorts’ and shared a race area on the northern section of the Harbour with the Super 40s. Super 30s contested two windward-leeward races followed by a short passage race. Brian Tavener’s Ophir came off best in Race 1, with Guy Irwin’s Clewless? charging home for second, just 21 seconds separating the pair. Tavener reversed the results in Race 2, just 17 seconds between them when the handicaps were applied

It came down to the passage race, which not unexpectedly, changed the shape of the results. The race was won by Peter Woodhead’s XC3SS, which has taken the series lead from Ophir. Clewless? has dropped out of the picture for now after finishing 18th in Race 3.

InfoTrack and Revolver go head to head in Super 40s - Andrea Francolini Photo

J/70

New NSW J/70 champion, Reg Lord (Juno), came out firing in the light airs on Sydney Harbour, with a trio of wins, proving he is the one to beat. Andrew Tompson’s Jabberwocky scored 3-2-2 results to claim second place, with three races remaining. Tim Ryan and his Vamos finished second at the NSW Championship, but could not get up enough steam today and is sitting in fourth place.

Adams 10

The Adams 10s raced on the same windward/leeward courses as the J/70s in North Harbour. This class is always a battle to the last. Tracy Richardson’s Artemis finished at the top of the pile after three races. She leads Brian Lees (Contentious), but the two are on equal points.

The lone female in the class here, Richardson only took up sailing seven years ago: “We are excited and pleasantly surprised to be where we are. It’s very close racing, very competitive, but we’ve trained hard and worked to get the boat up to scratch,” she said.

Yngling NSW Championship

Gary Pearce and his Black Adder crew put the rest on notice on the first day of the Yngling NSW Championship. They ended the day with 1-2-1 results. Gary Wogas is in second place with Karma, after scoring 3-1-2 results. Jan Newland’s Yertl is in third place after finishing 2-3-3. This Championship is likely to come down to the wire.

“I’ve been sailing Black Adder for about 10 years,” Pearce said. “The last couple of seasons we’ve been working towards this. Unfortunately, Hamish Jarrett (Miss Pibb, the gun boat of the fleet) couldn’t make it this weekend, so we can’t prove how our performance has improved. We were very pleased with the day though.

Elusive in the thick of it - Andrea Francolini Photo

“The first race started out around 7 knots and by Race 2, we were getting gusts to 12 knots. It was really nice sailing conditions. Tomorrow we’ll have to sail smart: Get a good start, start on the right side of the course, get the angles right and stay in the breeze downwind,” he said.

Performance Spinnaker Divisions 1 and 2

These two divisions contested two races from start area D. Brendan McAssey’s S1 made the best start to the day, claiming Race 1 in Division 1 from Peter Sorenson’s Advanced Philosophy. It’s no easy feat beating Sorro, the master of many classes. And that being said, it was the return of Sorro when his pair of second places trumped S1’s win and fifth place. Sorro leads.

Twelve seconds decided Division 2s first race and Steve Nash/Paul Stubbs’ Irukandji was the victor from Graeme Neuhaus’ Crowded Haus.Race 2 and Irukandji kept her series lead from Crowded Haus when the two scored second and fourth places respectively.

“A bit unexpected to do so well, but your always hope for the best and give it your best shot. We’ve got a good regular crew and it was very much a team effort. It’s working out well for us,” Nash commented.

“It was light on for breeze in Race 1, so it was a bit easier to sail the second race. It was a short race though, so you had to get a good start, which we did. There was a bit of congestion on the line, with 32 boats, but we all got through it.” 

Performance Spinnaker Division 3 and Non-Spinnaker Division

The two divisions raced on course area C, in the vicinity of Taronga Zoo where the giraffes would have been able to enjoy the view.

Victoire in the Super 40 fleet - Andrea Francolini Photo

John Crawford’s Innaminicka leads the Beth Abbott skippered Rapid Transit in Performance Spinnaker Division 3 by six points, following Crawford’s two wins. John Vickery’s Windsong is in third place going into tomorrow’s final races.

Meanwhile, in Non-Spinnaker, Angus Ekberg’s Sea Change has the upper hand over Larki Missiris’ Molon Labe -  meaning ‘come and take them’, which is what Missiris usually does on the race course. Sea Change is just three points ahead, so who knows what the final outcome will be tomorrow.

This afternoon and into the evening, crews were kicking back on the beach in front of the Club for a sausage sizzle and drinks and relaxing post-race music, not to mention the Fever Tree Gin Bar. 

Middle Harbour Yacht Club acknowledges the support of Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, Sydney Amateur Sailing Club, Royal Australian Navy Sailing Association, Royal Prince Edward Yacht Club, Manly Yacht Club, Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club and the Sydney Flying Squadron.   Our thanks go to key sponsors: Club Marine, Robert Oatley Wines, Short Marine, Quality Marine Clothing and Telstra Business Technology Centre.

All information on the Sydney Harbour Regatta, including results at: www.shr.mhyc.com.au  

By Di Pearson, MHYC media

Here are some important updates for this weekend's Sydney Harbour Regatta:

  • The Sailing Instructions are now published and available for download from the regatta website - click here
  • Crew registration is now open for Saturday 5 March.  Crew registration for Day Two will open at 6am on Sunday - click here
  • Competitor packs can be collected from 9am tomorrow.  Packs are available from MHYC but competitors from CYCA and RSYS can collect their packs from their own clubs’ Sailing Office.  Packs include backstay flags which must be displayed.
  • Grand Prizes – Some great Grand Prizes have been announced.  Download the Notice to Competitors - click here
  • Crew prize – Each crew member with a valid Australian Sailing number who is registered for racing in the Sydney Harbour Regatta will be eligible for a great crew prize.  Download the Notice to Competitors – click here

We look forward to seeing you on the water this weekend.

Sydney Harbour Regatta Team

InfoTrack and InfoTrack Go will be up against each other - Andrea Francolini pic

Over two days  next weekend, a mass of boats of varying designs and size will provide a blaze of colour on the race courses from the Opera House to Manly on Sydney Harbour and on offshore courses, for NSW’s largest keelboat event, the Sydney Harbour Regatta (SHR).

Middle Harbour Yacht Club (MHYC) organisers are ready. They are looking forward to welcoming competitors to the 17th edition of their regatta, which marks the start of autumn racing in NSW.

The Super 50 class includes notable TP52s. Two-time Sydney Hobart winner, Quest (Craig Neil) is joined by 2019 second placegetter, Gweilo (Matt Donald/Chris Townsend), along with Matador (David Doherty), Koa (Andy Kearnan/Peter Wrigley) and local chance Zen, owned by Gordon Ketelbey, an ardent one-design sailor with runs on the board across various classes.

Neil has used the SHR to announce: “We are in the process of forming a TP52 Association. The plan is to run five regattas per year and the Sydney Harbour Regatta is the first. It’ll be good to kick off the series at Middle Harbour. TP owners are looking forward to it. Some will be missing this time for  a variety of reasons, but we expect 10 or so in the future.”

Quest’s owner says the Corinthian rule has been altered. “Before, each boat was allowed one professional sailor, then a point taken away for each subsequent pro. Now, a point will be returned for those boats that include youth sailors in their crew. We want to encourage the class to invest time in young sailors. Zen already does that,” he said. “We’ll have Will Sargent and Jake Meddell aboard Quest.”

An eclectic mix of go-fast boats in the Super 40s includes Adrian Walters’ Shaw 11, Little Nico and  Michael Ritchie’s 38ft lightweight daysailer, Revolver. Designed by his father, Bruce Ritchie, Revolver recently placed second at the Pittwater Regatta. At the SHR it will face a trio of MC38s; InfoTrack (Christian Beck), InfoTrack Go (John Ahern) and LawConnect (Rachel Williams) among others.

Beck is best known for his super maxi, LawConnect; second over the line in the 2021 Sydney Hobart. The other two other MC38s are to be skippered by two executives from Beck’s companies and will be crewed by recognizable sailing names.

The Jackal with Karyn Gojnich at the helm last year - Andrea Francolini pic

Triple Olympian Karyn Gojnich is well-known to the regatta, usually competing in the Yngling, the class she represented Australia in at the 2008 Beijing Games. She switched to the J/70, which is a blossoming class boasting quality sailors in an extremely competitive fleet these days.

“Unfortunately, I can’t be there this time, but The Jackal is entered and Sara Ladd will be skipper. Most of the Sydney boats have committed to the regatta, including the top two from our NSW Championship in January,” Gojnich said of Juno (Reg Lord) and Vamos (Tim Ryan).

“The regatta will be a good warm-up for the Victorian Championship the following weekend and the Nationals being held in Sydney over Easter,” she ended.

A host of other boats across multiple classes and divisions are also taking part.

Grand prizes on offer:

The winners and placegetters in each eligible class or division, upon attendance and check in at the regatta prizegiving ceremony, go in the draw for some major prizes. 

First placed boats have a chance of winning a Mercedes weekend drive experience and two nights’ accommodation at the Mercure Resort Hunter Valley Gardens for two along with a Ross & Whitcroft Quality Marine Clothing Merchandise voucher valued at $1,500. Second and third placed boats are in the running for distillery experiences and Ross & Whitcroft Quality Marine Clothing Merchandise vouchers. 

Zen is entered in the Super 50 division- Andrea Francolini pic

Individual crew members are also eligible for a Ross & Whitcroft Quality Marine Clothing prize.

Middle Harbour Yacht Club acknowledges the support of Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, Sydney Amateur Sailing Club, Royal Australian Navy Sailing Association, Royal Prince Edward Yacht Club, Manly Yacht Club, Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club and the Sydney Flying Squadron, without we could not run this regatta. 

Our thanks go to key sponsors: Club Marine, Robert Oatley Wines, Short Marine, Quality Marine Clothing and Telstra Business Technology Centre.

The early entry fee has been extended and entries close on 3 March, so be quick and enter now at: www.shr.mhyc.com.au  

By Di Pearson, MHYC media - 26 Feb 2022

The Early Entry deadline of 23 February has now been extended to Thursday 3 March.  Join the growing fleets for this year's regatta via the online entry portal - click here  

Past champions and budding challengers for 17th Sydney Harbour Regatta  

Early indications are that Middle Harbour Yacht Club’s (MHYC) 17th Sydney Harbour Regatta (SHR), to be held over the first weekend of March, will be hotly contested with the return of past champions and up-and-coming challengers.  

Bob Cox’s DK46, Nine Dragons, is a strong contender for the Open Class (IRC/ORC) Division being sailed on offshore courses. The MHYC boat won its division last year. She also won the Club’s challenging Sydney Short Ocean Racing Championship in November after a close battle with Gerry Hatton’s M.A.T. 1245, Bushranger, which came off second best by a mere point.

Bushranger returned the favour, winning  the inaugural NSW ORC Championship on the weekend, beating Nine Dragons which did not make the top three.

Cox says, “I’m looking forward to doing battle with a strong contingent of IRC boats from our club, and Bushranger and Soozal (Keiran Mulchay’s King 40) in particular from Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club.”

Another DK46, LCE Old School Racing (David Elliott/Mark Griffith) from RPAYC, is expected to be challenging all comers following her third on countback at the SSORC (equal points with Bushranger) and a strong Rolex Sydney Hobart performance.

A third DK46, Khaleesi, is currently having work done, but Rob Aldis, is working quickly to have her ready in time. Cox hopes his clubmate’s boat is ready too, as their results normally come down to the wire. 

Divisions to suit all interests - Marg Fraser-Martin photo

Jan Newland presented with the first Yngling NSW Championship entry. Newland, who just missed the podium with Yertl in 2021, is as competitive as her famous late father, Graham, who won two Sydney Hobarts representing MHYC.

Racing in the Super 30 division, consisting of Melges 32, Farr 30s and others of a similar ilk, will be outstanding judging by the 15 already listed to start. Andrew York and REO Speedwagon have topped a few podiums, as has last year’s SHR winner, Bruce Tavener’s Ophir and Peter Woodhead’s XC3SS.  

A renaissance in the Sydney 38s, with 19 racing throughout NSW, has translated to hotter competition. Reigning champ, Conspiracy, remains the one to beat, but local favourite, Advanced Philosophy (Peter Sorensen), could upset that party. Lisa Callaghan, co-owner of Mondo, was first to sign on. The Manly Yacht Club president is a regular racer on an upward trajectory.

Performance Spinnaker Divisions 1, 2 and 3 are expected to yield the largest numbers and normally provide the most colour on their Sydney Harbour course. The primary handicapping system for these divisions will be ORC (incorporating ORCi and ORC Club) and they will also be scored under PHS.

“We are looking forward to welcoming around 1400 sailors and a diversity of boats from all over the east coast of Australia,” MHYC Commodore, Peter Lewis, said of the regatta to be held on the weekend of 5-6 March.

“We continue to enjoy success as NSW’s largest keelboat regatta and are looking forward to hosting multiple classes and divisions on the water and ashore for our 17th Sydney Harbour Regatta.” 

In addition to those classes and divisions mentioned above are: Super 50, Adams 10, Farr 40, J24, J70, Cavalier 28, Sydney 36, Super 20 and 40, MC38 and Performance Non-Spinnaker classes and the Historical 18 foot skiffs.   

Adams 10 racing in 2021 - Marg Fraser-Martin photo

Principal Race Officer Denis Thompson and Regatta Director Peter Hemery will again have a large job on their hands. Their combined efforts, with help from their teams of volunteers, will ensure a smooth event for all.

Following racing each day, all are welcome back to the Club’s unique after-racing festivities on the private beach for a sausage sizzle and drinks. Post racing on Saturday, competitors and friends can enjoy live entertainment and the Fever Tree Gin Bar, while a DJ will get the crowd rocking on Sunday. 

Middle Harbour Yacht Club acknowledges the support of Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, Sydney Amateur Sailing Club, Royal Australian Navy Sailing Association, Royal Prince Edward Yacht Club, Manly Yacht Club, Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club and the Sydney Flying Squadron, without we could not run this regatta. 

Our thanks go to key sponsors: Club Marine, Robert Oatley Wines, Short Marine, Quality Marine Clothing and Telstra Business Technology Centre.

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

By Di Pearson, MHYC media

The 2022 Sydney Harbour Regatta Notice of Race is now published and Online Entry is open. See the Race Documents page.

 

The races have been run and the prizes awarded. 

To look back on a great Sydney Harbour Regatta 2021, view all the photo galleries with images from Andrea Francolini and Marg Fraser-Martin and the video by Tilly Lock Media.

Adrian Walters’ nippy Shaw 11 Little Nico, sailing for the Sydney Harbour Regatta host club, added another victory to their impressive regatta tally on day two of the weekend regatta. Divisional winners in 2016 and second in 2019 and 2017, Little Nico’s domination of the short-course format is well and truly etched in the flagship series annals.

“Most of us have sailed together for a few years,” Walters said after racing. “This year we tried out some new sails and overall we are very happy with the result. Every year we seem to get better and better. The MC38s make us work hard though.” Walters has a busy program planned for Little Nico, including Sail Port Stephens in April and the northern regattas in the Queensland Whitsundays later in the year.

On the huge reunion that the 16th annual Sydney Harbour Regatta afforded sailors from around the state, Walters adds, “It’s nice to see real people again after Covid. All the regattas going forward are going to have good participation; everyone’s keen to get out after a long break.”

Sydney Harbour Regatta is the state’s first major multi-club and multi-class regatta post-Covid restrictions, drawing 187 entries and 1,293 crew who completed 84 races across seven course areas thanks to MHYC and the eight supporting clubs and 87 wonderful volunteers. Amazingly, there were only two protests.

Day two video highlights thanks to Tilly Lock Media.

Results for all divisions are available here.

Open IRC division winner Khaleesi (MHYC) quashed the two Pittwater crews who usually duel for the top spot. Rob Aldis’ DK46 managed four corrected time firsts from six starts, out-sailing Gerry Hatton’s Mat 1245 Bushranger and Keiran Mulcahy’s King 40 Soozal, both from the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club. On ORC results, Bushranger beat Khaleesi by half a point.

“I’ve been associated with Middle Harbour Yacht Club for a long time, and I’m so pleased for the club to see all this camaraderie and confidence. This regatta has a sense of normalcy about it,” said Aldis dockside. “Owning the DK is a good learning experience for me, I came to the sport fairly late,” he added.

The Sydney 38 state trophy went to David Hudson and Peter Byford’s Pittwater-based Conspiracy from a hot fleet. Points from six windward/leeward races offshore, the first three in cool south-easterlies then warm north-easterlies off Manly beach to close out the pointscore, saw Conspiracy relegate the local favourite, Peter Sorensen’s Advanced Philosophy, to second overall.

International J/70 NSW championship winner Reg Lord and his Juno crew kept their challengers at bay with five wins from six starts. International Yngling NSW champion Hamish Jarrett went one better, achieving the picket fence of six bullets.

Performance spinnaker and non-spinnaker fleets wrapped up their four-race series with two passage races around harbour islands and other marks. A third for Russell Waddy’s Sydney 38 cruiser Allsail Another Challenge in the final division 1 race was enough to leapfrog Steve Hatch’s M, a Sydney 36 cruiser/racer out of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia.

Ray Parrott and his Drummoyne Sailing Club (DSC) X332 X-Ray successfully defended their 2020 Performance Spinnaker division 2 win while in Performance Non-Spinnaker, MHYC boat Pearl 2, owned by Michael Twomey, added another host club division victory.

DSC based Flying Tiger Ophir, skippered by Bruce Taverner, won the Super 30 division from Foreign Affair.

Waddy, Parrott and all the other divisional placegetters are invited to gather at MHYC on Monday evening, March 8, to be recognised at the official trophy presentation and go in the running for the Grand Prize Draw of:

  •          First place draw - Sail Racing merchandise voucher (value $2,000)
  •          Second place draw - Manly Spirits Co. Distillery experience for yacht crew (up to 12 persons)
  •          Third place draw – Mercedes-Benz North Shore and Mercure Resort Hunter Valley Gardens have made available a Mercedes weekend drive experience plus two nights’ accommodation at the Mercure Resort Hunter Valley Gardens for two people.

MHYC acknowledges the support of key Sydney Harbour Regatta sponsors Club Marine, Sail Racing, Robert Oatley Wines, Short Marine, Mercedes-Benz North Shore and Mercure Resort Hunter Valley Gardens and supporting sponsors Ensign Yachts, Fever-Tree, Manly Spirits Co. Distillery and DeckHardware.

MHYC also thanks all race management volunteers plus partner clubs Manly Yacht Club, the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, Royal Prince Edward Yacht Club, Royal Australian Navy Sailing Association, Sydney Flying Squadron, Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron and Sydney Amateur Sailing Club.

By Lisa Ratcliff

Photos by Andrea Francolini......

How to follow the Sydney Harbour Regatta:

Website: https://shr.mhyc.com.au/

Facebook: @SydneyHarbourRegatta

Instagram: sydneyharbourregatta

 

 

Conditions offshore on day one of Middle Harbour Yacht Club’s annual Sydney Harbour Regatta had tummies churning and skittled one Sydney 38 bowman who was saved from a Man Overboard incident by the lifelines, which was ideal for both he and his crew given they were the lead boat at the time.

As Peter Byford and David Hudson’s Sydney 38 Conspiracy approached the first top mark rounding of the class’ NSW Championship series in heavy seas, bowman Antony Hawke suddenly hit the deck during the kite hoist. The slightly embarrassed crewman said after racing that he definitely thought he was going for a swim and was happy to shift the blame to the people pulling the ropes at the back.

Conspiracy went on to win that opening race and finished second in the next two windward/leewards, giving them the boat of the day title. Byford steers their Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club Sydney 38 for the starts and upwind and Hudson takes the helm downwind. “It was challenging to steer and too choppy to get a roll on, in order to surf the waves,” Byford said. “The crew is consistent for these big regattas, and two of them are my sons Tim and Ben.”

Results for all divisions are available here.

Hazardous surf and swell along the New South Wales coast made the sea state uncomfortably lumpy for the offshore divisions – TP52/Super 50, Open Class and Sydney 38s – but also provided opportunities for the planing hulls, particularly when the sou’east breeze gusted to 19 knots. Leading the Open division after two races is Keiran Mulcahy’s consistent King 40 Soozal out of Pittwater.

Inside North Head, the Super 20s, 30s and 40s enjoyed wave action at the heads with less swell. Top of the Super 40s on IRC handicap is Darryl Hodgkinson’s Carkeek 40 Victoire and on EHC handicap they are second to Adrian Walters’ Little Nico, sailing for the host club. Steven Proud’s Swish is the first MC38 as that class uses the series to prepare for their upcoming national title, March 19-21.

The inshore courses stretched from Manly almost to the Sydney Harbour Bridge and those divisions had a much easier time in 12-14 knots and flat water. The largest Performance Spinnaker and Non-Spinnaker divisions completed two passage races.

Four state titles fall under this year’s Sydney Harbour Regatta umbrella. As predicted, Reg Lord’s Juno is at the head of the J/70 pointscore thanks to three bullets and matching Juno’s unbeaten run in the Yngling state title is Hamish Jarrett’s Miss Pibb. Craig Mitchell’s Centaurus claimed the Cavalier 28 NSW Championship based on today’s one design results.

The two-day series, hosted by Middle Harbour Yacht Club and made possible thanks to on-water support from eight other Sydney clubs, has drawn 187 entries for the 16th edition. Principal Race Officer Denis Thompson was delighted the sun came out and winds moderated from the forecast fresh southerlies. “It was great sailing; everyone had a lot of fun. There wasn’t as much congestion in the harbour this time; we had fleets going to different marks and we made sure they didn’t overlap too much.”

This evening is a chance for crews to unwind and swap tall tales at the MHYC beach party. Racing resumes on Sunday March 7 with decent autumn breeze expected from lunchtime onwards.

MHYC acknowledges the support of key Sydney Harbour Regatta sponsors Club Marine, Sail Racing, Robert Oatley Wines, Short Marine, Mercedes-Benz North Shore and Mercure Resort Hunter Valley Gardens and supporting sponsors Ensign Yachts, Fever-Tree, Manly Spirits, DeckHardware.

 

Day One Photos by Andrea Francolini

 

How to follow the Sydney Harbour Regatta:

Website: https://shr.mhyc.com.au/

Facebook: @SydneyHarbourRegatta

Instagram: sydneyharbourregatta

The 2021 Sydney Harbour Regatta Sailing Instructions have now been published and can be downloaded from the event website - click here 

A limited number of printed copies will be available from CYCA, RSYS, SASC and RPAYC by Friday 5 March.

Competitors should be aware of a number of changes for the 2021 Sydney Harbour Regatta:

  • Performance Spinnaker and Performance Non-Spinnaker Divisions will race in the main harbour, south of the Sow & Pigs Reef, and will have separate start and finish boats.  Please check the Sailing Instructions for the location of start and finish areas and the description of the start and finish vessels .
  • Performance Spinnaker Divisions 1 & 2 will sail on the Delta Course Area.  Performance Spinnaker Division 3 & Performance Non-Spinnaker Division 1  will sail on the Charlie Course Area.  All boats entered in Performance Non-Spinnaker will compete in Division 1.  There will not be a separate Jeanneau Production Class Division.  
  • Super 20, Super 30 and Super 40 Classes will sail in the vicinity of The Sound and may sail either windward-leeward or short passage courses.  Up to four races can be sailed each day, however it is anticipated that two windward-leeward races will be followed by one passage race on day one.

The Grand Prizes have also now been announced.  Please see NTC link for details.  https://www.shr.mhyc.com.au/racing/notices-to-competitors.html

There will be live music after racing on Saturday at MHYC with food stalls on the deck both days and full bar open in the Sandbar Café.

Crew declarations are required both days. To complete your crew declaration - click here  

Please note there will be no skippers packs provided this year.

Rumba has contested every SHR since 2006 - Marg Fraser-Martin photo

Entries for Middle Harbour Yacht Club’s flagship Sydney Harbour Regatta on this weekend, March 6-7, have climbed past the 180 mark, among them a local yacht jointly owned for close to 20 years that has competed in every Sydney Harbour Regatta since the inaugural series in 2006.

For owners Rob Carr, Stephanie Cook and Kerry Burke and their Northshore 370 Rumba that sails from the host club, netting a few trophies is only one reason to front up year after year. “In our Performance Spinnaker division we sail against a whole heap of 28 to 34 footers of similar speed; that’s the fun bit. The party on the MHYC beach on the Saturday night is fun too, though we’ve been known to give away our day one advantage by partying too late.”

Rumba has recorded mixed results over 15 years. “As a general rule we’ve been in the top three in the last five to six years. Before that we were a bit ad-hoc,” Carr laughs. He’s hoping for 12-15 knots of wind and flat water on Sydney Harbour.

Sydney’s long-range forecast points towards steady 15 knot southerlies on Saturday and a fickle Sunday morning before a single-digit east nor’easter develops across the afternoon.

Standard entries have closed though MHYC may accept late entries up until midnight on Thursday March 4. View the starting list and enter here.

The sailing instructions will be published today here.

Performance Spinnaker is the most popular entry category and for the first time these divisions will also be scored on ORC, including both ORCi and ORC Club ratings. ORC Club is growing rapidly around the world and several Sydney clubs (MHYC, RSYS and RPAYC at this stage) have adopted this as a low cost, simple rating system to run alongside the usual Performance Handicapping System. 

The International J/70 state title plus the Super 20, 30 and 40 divisions promise hot competition at The Sound, the area of deep water inside North and South Heads, just one of seven course areas that will operate across the harbour and offshore thanks to race officials, volunteers and support vessels from multiple partner clubs.

MHYC thanks Manly Yacht Club, the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, Royal Prince Edward Yacht Club, Royal Australian Navy Sailing Association, Sydney Flying Squadron, Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron and Sydney Amateur Sailing Club.

Grand Prize Draw

In addition to regatta trophies and prizes, to be eligible for the Grand Prize draw the skipper or skipper’s representative from the top three placegetters in each division must register and be present at the official trophy presentation function at MHYC on Monday March 8.

  •          First place draw – Sail Racing merchandise voucher (value $2,000)
  •          Second place draw – Manly Spirits ‘Distillery Experience’ for yacht crew (up to 12 persons)
  •          Third place draw – Mercedes-Benz North Shore and Mercure Resort Hunter Valley Gardens have made available a Mercedes weekend drive experience plus two nights’ accommodation at the Mercure Resort Hunter Valley Gardens for two people.

MHYC acknowledges the support of key Sydney Harbour Regatta sponsors Club Marine, Robert Oatley Wines, Short Marine, Sail Racing, Mercedes-Benz North Shore and Mercure Resort Hunter Valley Gardens and supporting sponsors Ensign Yachts, Fever-Tree, Manly Spirits, DeckHardware.

SHR 2020 Sydney Harbour racing - Andrea Francolini photo
Adams 10s at South Head - Andrea Francolini photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to follow the Sydney Harbour Regatta:

Website: https://shr.mhyc.com.au/

Facebook: @SydneyHarbourRegatta

Instagram: sydneyharbourregatta

A Notice to Competitors has been posted extending the deadline for discounted Early Entries to midnight on Monday 1st March.  

Late fees will continue to apply from Tuesday 2 March 2021.

To view the Notice to Competitors - click here

Four state championships and the addition of Super Group racing to Middle Harbour Yacht Club’s Sydney Harbour Regatta will intensify the kaleidoscope of colour and course area changes will spread the action around the natural amphitheatre of Sydney Harbour over the two-day series, March 6-7, 2021.

The Notice of Race for the 16th edition of the flagship regatta is available here and online entry here. With the usual planning cooperation and on-water support from multiple Sydney clubs, MHYC will deliver superb racing on seven course areas on the traditional first weekend of autumn.

2020 Sydney Harbour Regatta day 2 highlights by Tilly Lock.

State titles for the Sydney 38s, Ynglings, Cavalier 28s and J/70s add weight to those class pointscores. J/70 class president Andrew Tompson says, “I have eight confirmed starters, hopefully it will get to 10 including a bunch of group 3 sailors and ex-Olympians. The standard of racing is improving all the time and that’s exciting.

“The boat to beat will be Reg Lord’s Juno, the state and national J/70 champion for the past three years. He’s planning to sail Corinthian for this regatta – it will be interesting to see if he can hold his place. We see this as our warm-up for the J/70 nationals at Blairgowrie on Port Phillip at Easter where we expect 15-20 boats on the start line.”

Sydney Harbour Regatta Principal Race Officer Denis Thompson believes the ‘super’ concept has plenty of potential. “It has developed from the Super 30s and is designed for like boats, rather than one design. I think it’s a good idea – it will be interesting to see if the owners respond.”

To promote competition in Sydney for a range of sports yachts with asymmetric gennakers, MHYC is trialling a Super Group pointscore within the regular handicap categories for the Super 20s all the way up to Super 50s.

Super 20s, including J/70s, Melges 24s, SB20s, Shaw 650s and VX Ones, Super 30s such as Melges 32s, Farr 30s and Flying Tigers and Super 40s such as the MC38s and Little Nico will sail a mix of windward/leeward and northern harbour passage races. 

The Sydney 38 NSW Championship will be staged offshore as will Super 50 racing, incorporating the spectacular TP52s along with yachts of similar size and performance.

To reduce the likelihood of congestion and interference between fleets, Performance Spinnaker and Non-Spinnaker divisions will now race in the main harbour while most fleets sailing windward/leeward courses will compete at The Sound, the area of deep water between North, South and Middle Heads. The Premier IRC divisions will race offshore both days.

Given the scarcity of racing opportunities recently, Thompson anticipates a big turnout, potentially larger than last year’s fleet of 182 boats representing 19 different Australian sailing clubs plus Hong Kong.

The early entry fee is on offer until February 24.

MHYC acknowledges the event’s success is due to the continued assistance of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, Manly Yacht Club, RANSA, Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, Royal Prince Edward Yacht Club, Sydney Amateur Sailing Club and the Sydney Flying Squadron.

The club also acknowledges the support of key regatta sponsors Air New Zealand and Robert Oatley Wines and supporting sponsors Club Marine, Fever-Tree and Short Marine.

 

How to follow the Sydney Harbour Regatta:

Website: https://shr.mhyc.com.au/

Facebook: @SydneyHarbourRegatta

Instagram: sydneyharbourregatta

 

Sydney Harbour Regatta 2020 photos by Andrea Francolini

The Notice of Race is available and Online Entry is open for the 2021 Sydney Harbour Regatta being held over the weekend of Saturday & Sunday March 6 & 7. 

Visit the Race Documents menu on www.shr.mhyc.com.au

The Sydney Harbour Regatta Prize-giving Ceremony was held tonight at Middle Harbour Yacht Club with over 120 guests attending.

Prizes were awarded to winners and placegetters in all 19 divisions along with a number of sub-divisions. 

The skipper winning the lucky draw open to all entrants – a weekend away at the wheel of a luxurious Mercedes vehicle courtesy of Mercedes-Benz North Shore, heading for picturesque accommodation on the shores of Lake Macquarie - was Peter Franki (Saltshaker CYCA).

Celebrating International Women’s Day on Sunday, Helly Hansen provided a sensational W Salt Flag Jacket for the best performed female skipper.  The winner was Jian Lin (Min River DSC) for placing second in the largest division within the regatta – Performance Spinnaker Division 1.

Jian Lin (Min River BSC) was the best performed female skipper
at the 2020 Sydney Harbour Regatta

Each placegetter, in each of the eligible classes or divisions, was in the draw with a chance to win one of the Grand Prizes provided they were present or represented at the prize-giving.

Winner of the Third Place Grand Prize - Two nights’ accommodation including breakfast at the Mercure Resort Hunter Valley Gardens for two (2) people and a Helly Hansen Gift Voucher – was Ian Smith (Brittania SFS) from the Historic 18 footers fleet.

Winner of the Second Place Grand Prize - Two weeks berthing and two nights’ accommodation at Coral Sea Marina Resort  and a Helly Hansen Gift Voucher – was Steve Hatch (“M” CYCA) who competed in the Sydney 36 division.

The First Place Grand Prize – Two return air fares Sydney-Auckland courtesy of Air New Zealand, two nights’ accommodation including breakfast at the Stamford Plaza Auckland and a Helly Hansen Gift Voucher – was won by Peter Charmer (Windcharmer GFS) who claimed the trophy for Performance Spinnaker division 3.

Commodore Peter Lewis closed the evening by highlighting the cooperation provided by the supporting clubs to make the Sydney Harbour Regatta such a success – providing the competitive fleets and also the race management support.  On behalf of MHYC as the regatta organiser, he thanked the 80 race management volunteers and officials from 11 Sydney clubs who enabled 81 races on 7 course areas to be conducted over 2 days for 1100 competitors sailing 182 yachts in 19 divisions.  

“It has been another great regatta that could not happen without your support”, said the Commodore.

For all the Sydney Harbour Regatta resulst - click here

Tilly Lock Media was again on the water and ashore for the second day of the Sydney Harbour Regatta on Sunday March 8.  

 

Splashes of colour at Sydney Harbour Regatta -Andrea Francolini photo

More than 20 clubs from two Australian states and Hong Kong made up 19 divisions for the 15th Sydney Harbour Regatta conducted by Middle Harbour Yacht Club (MHYC) with the cooperation of key Sydney clubs and a host of volunteers.

Day 2 video by Tilly Lock.

Results are final and prize winners primed for Monday night’s trophy presentation at MHYC where all placegetters must be present, or their winnings default to the next in line. Results for all divisions available here.

All courses (other than offshore) were commentated live on Sunday via the event Facebook page.

Performance Class spinnaker divisions

Geoff and Pip Lavis’ Inglis/Dovel 50 UBS Wild Thing (Cruising Yacht Club of Australia) took it to the rest of division 1, completing four Sydney Harbour courses over the weekend of March 7-8 to edge out Jiang Lin’s Balmain Sailing Club based X43 Min River by a single point.

Ray Parrott’s X-Ray, an X332 from Drummoyne, took top honours in division 2 and in division 3, Peter Francis’ Wind Charmer (Greenwich Flying Squadron) proved the strongest in the autumn southerly flow.

Parrott said of his win: “We were previously sailing in the X Yacht division but this time we decided to enter PHS division 2 because the speed of the other boats is similar to ours. Conditions-wise we enjoyed Saturday; Sunday was very challenging very unstable and very difficult for all boats. I think the tacticians had a very tough day.”

The Interclub Teams Event for Performance Spinnaker divisions went to the host, MHYC, on 122 points followed by the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club (RPAYC) on 137 points and the CYCA third on 145 points.

Super 30s and Super 12s

LittleNico - Super 12 winner - Andrea Francolini photo

Adrian Walters’ Shaw 11 Little Nico prevailed by a point in the Super 12 division, leading clubmate Lazy Dog, Shaun Lane and Quentin Stewart’s MC38, in the final pointscore. “We are happy to win though we didn’t reach our best level today,” Walters said. Third was Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club MC38 Easy Tiger, skippered by well-known yachtsman and commentator Rob Brown.

Andy Wharton’s Melges 24 +GST (RPAYC) posted a very handy set of scores to nail the Super 30 division by 10.7 points. Second and third were two Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron entries – Adela and Very Tasty. The eclectic group of sports boats, Fareast 28s, Melges 24s and 32s and Farr 30s plus others, completed a five-race series.

One designs - Sydney 38s, Adams 10, Yngling

The top two results in the Sydney 38 division mirrored the recent class Australian Championship final scores, Peter Byford and David Hudson’s Conspiracy (RPAYC) beating Peter Sorensen’s Advanced Philosophy (MHYC), though this time the margin was much closer – one point compared to 11.

Mitchell Miller’s Adams 10 Rock Solid moved past Powderhulk on points thanks to a bullet in the deciding race. “We knew it all rested on the final race, then we had an OCS when Powderhulk pushed us over! We watched them sail into the distance thinking ‘that’s it’. There was no point following so we went the opposite way, in one-design tactically it’s the only way to get ahead, and it paid,” Miller said. Rock Solid has been a divisional winner at Sydney Harbour Regatta six or seven times prior.

In the Yngling division racing out of Taylors Bay, Hamish Jarrett’s Miss Pibb beat Karma and Black Adder.

Open Class

Open Class overall winner Nine Dragons - Andrea Francolini photo

MHYC boat Nine Dragons, skippered by Bob Cox, out-sailed the rest of the Open class, the DK46 putting an eight point gap on IRC results between them and second place, Gerry Hatton’s Mat 1245 Bushranger (RPAYC).

Cox, who recently turned 75, has new vigour in his step following a heart operation, this afternoon announcing: “I’m a new man!”. His long-time campaign with Nine Dragons has yielded plenty of Sydney Harbour Regatta victories, and this year his crew put together an impressive scoresheet of five wins from six starts.

“On the first day with disturbed seas and good wind we were strong and that led us to three bullets in a row,” the skipper regaled. “We were surprisingly close to the TPs at the top mark, and Primitive Cool. Credit to Bushranger and Soozl who were hanging on to us this weekend. We encouraged these two RPAYC boats to come down for the weekend after we went to their Pittwater Regatta last month, where Bushranger beat us.”

Final word from the PRO

Sunday March 8 was a much better day, according to the Principal Race Officer Denis Thompson. “While the wind was shifty to start off, the race committee were proactive with changing and shortening courses to suit. It was a smoother day racing-wise with cloud cover that pulled the breeze around, down to five knots then around to the south-east and up to 12-14 knots for the final race of the day. It was good racing.”

Top performing female skipper

Helly Hansen’s sensational W Salt Flag jacket winner for the best performing female skipper will be announced at Monday evening’s trophy presentation.

 

Adams10 start day two - Andrea Francolini photo

Key sponsors for Sydney Harbour Regatta’s 15th edition include Helly Hansen, Air New Zealand and Robert Oatley Wines.  Supporting sponsors are Club Marine, Coral Sea Marina Resort, Stamford Plaza Auckland, Mercure Resort Hunter Valley Gardens, Vittoria Coffee, Fisherman’s Friend, KeySun Zinke, ANTAL and the host club welcomes new supporter, Mercedes-Benz North Shore.

 

How to follow the Sydney Harbour Regatta:

Sydney Harbour Regatta website https://shr.mhyc.com.au/

Facebook: @SydneyHarbourRegatta

Instagram: sydneyharbourregatta

Tilly Lock Media was on the water and ashore for day One of the Sydney Harbour Regatta on Saturday March 7.  

 

A good afternoon breeze on Sydney Harbour - photo Andrea Francolini

Sydney Harbour Regatta’s opening day brought together a multi-club effort spanning the harbour and offshore for the 185-strong fleet from around the state of New South Wales and Victoria.

Conditions offshore and short runways for the bigger boats made it harder for the Open Class and Sydney 38 fleet to sail cleanly - the crew of John Newbold’s RP51 Primitive Cool caught out on a kite drop in gusty SSWers and swell off Sydney Heads. Video by Tilly Lock.

Boat manager David Sudarno said: “We had a puff at the wrong time and had to smoke the halyard. We weren’t the only ones with the odd issue. The big boats were doing 18-20 knots downwind on those short legs in a seaway that wasn’t helping. We have to work the angles under asymmetric, unlike the symmetric boats that can sail deep.”

Across the inshore courses, spread from Manly to Garden Island near the city, boats of all sizes, from Historic 18s to Sydney 36s to sports boats, weaved their way through the traffic on their own course and contended with other racing fleets, plus the usual weekend traffic in SSW 10 knots building to 20.

Middle Harbour Yacht Club members fared well across the divisions, Peter Sorensen’s Advanced Philosophy leading the Sydney 38 division three races into their series, and Bob Cox’s DK46 Nine Dragons leading the Open Class fleet on IRC handicap from Gerry Hatton’s Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club based Mat 1245 Bushranger.

The Adams 10 fleet is heavily weighted by MHYC boats and fronting the division by two points is Patrick Delaney’s Powerhulk.

RPAYC based Melges 24 +GST, skippered by Andy Wharton, had a couple of newcomers on the boat but this didn’t stop them posting a win, then a 2nd and a 5th to lead the Super 30 pointscore. “Conditions were great and we went the right way. It’s a borrowed boat – I haven’t sailed a Melges for a year – I put together a scratch crew and we had fun!” Wharton said.

Sydney 38 division offshore Day 1 - photo Andrea Francolini

Saturday’s player’s player award went to the hardy Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s race management team on start boat Offshore, which had some serious roll on out on the Macquarie course.

Results for all divisions available here.

Link to the daily highlights video by Tilly Lock Media.

Sunday March 8 is International Women’s Day and Middle Harbour Yacht Club will mark the occasion with a sensational W Salt Flag Helly Hansen jacket going to the top performing female skipper, and with a photo gallery tribute by photographer Andrea Francolini. Up to 10 female skippers are in the hunt for the jacket, which will be presented once the series results are complete.

The forecast for day two is southerly 15-20 knots of southerly breeze and racing is due to commence from midday.

Key sponsors for Sydney Harbour Regatta’s 15th edition include Helly Hansen, Air New Zealand and Robert Oatley Wines.  Supporting sponsors are Club Marine, Coral Sea Marina Resort, Stamford Plaza Auckland, Mercure Resort Hunter Valley Gardens, Vittoria Coffee, Fisherman’s Friend, KeySun Zinke, ANTAL and the host club welcomes new supporter, Mercedes-Benz North Shore.

 

How to follow the Sydney Harbour Regatta:

Sydney Harbour Regatta website https://shr.mhyc.com.au/

Facebook: @SydneyHarbourRegatta

Instagram: sydneyharbourregatta


 

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