2 - 3 March, 2024 - Middle Harbour Yacht Club

    RESULTS 2023

Peter Byford and David Hudson have come out the cream of the crop on Day 1 of the Yoti Sydney 38 Championship at the Sydney Harbour Regatta, hosted by Middle Harbour Yacht Club (MHYC), sailing Conspiracy to two wins from three races for an early lead this afternoon.

The reigning NSW champions and third placegetters at the 2018 Australian Championship, Byford and Hudson are making no bones about their desire to ramp it up a notch this year, despite a larger field than last time around.

However, the Pittwater pair by no means had it all their own way, they lead by one point from Alan and Tom Quick, recently crowned Farr 40 NSW champions. The CYCA father and son may have switched one-design classes, but they arrived fully cocked and loaded with The Goat, scoring a pair of third places and a win for second place overall.

Conspiracy though, also won Boat of the Day, and proudly flew that flag, co-owner, David Hudson said.

The day of racing, Hudson said, “Wasn’t too bad. We had from 8-12 knots. It was good constant racing on a reasonably flat sea. It was close and competitive. We’ll have to stay on our toes, as we’ve got The Goat on our tails. We haven’t raced against them before; they did a good job today.”

Hudson said they were pleased with their starts and crew performance: “It all went well. No stuff ups, no accidents, good competitive racing. And I have to say that the new people in the class acquitted themselves well.”

Tom Quick agreed: “It’s a great fleet of amateur and professional sailors, like the Farr 40 class.”

With guru David Chapman calling the shots “and he’s doing main as well,” Quick said, The Goat crew went in with heads down and tails up, as some got their heads out of the Farr 40 and into the Sydney 38 – very different boats.

”It’s been five years since we sailed a Sydney 38 - so it was a bit different coming back – but it was good. We’re enjoying the boat. It was a nice range of wind – perfect really. We had only one problem; getting a jib up in Race 3 when we were leading. But we got around mark and got it up and still won - no other dramas.

“We chartered The Goat. We have a mix of crew; one from The Goat and some youth sailors from France, the CYCA and one from Lightspeed (the MC38), Zak Quinlan. He’ll go back to them for the rest of the regatta, so today was good practice for him.”

Quick added, “Seems Conspiracy is the boat to beat, but consistency is the key and will be the decider, as it always is in one-design racing. We still have six races to go.”  

Sailing windward/leeward courses on the Manly Circle, Conspiracy pipped Challenge (second at the NSW Championship), Greg Croak’s NSW Central Coast entry, by 27 seconds in the opening race. The Goat took third place, a further 15 seconds in arears.

You could feel class newcomer Peter Sorensen’s frustration, when his recent purchase ‘Advanced Philosophy’ (the former Phoenix, winner of the 2015, ’16 and ‘18 Australian Championships), with Ron Jacobs calling tactics, scored OCS in Race 1. First time jitters, I’m sure, from this local skiff and yacht champion.    

In Race 2, it was Conspiracy getting the gun again, this time from Phil Tomkins’ Adrenalin (CYCA) and The Goat in third.

But in Race 3, The Goat was too ‘Quick’ for the rest, and the CYCA entry took the bullet from Richard Williams’ Calibre, (also CYCA and third at the NSW Championship) by a six second split, with Conspiracy 25 seconds adrift of Calibre.

Day 1 of the Yoti 2019 Sydney 38 Australian Championship was in limbo before the midday start time, when a wafting 2-3 knots was all that could be mustered - a moderate north/easterly breeze filtered in just in time.  

A General Recall started the day, as is sometimes the case in a first race on Day 1 in a high-stakes championship where competitors take the ‘no prisoners’ approach.

Competitors in this popular class know how to celebrate and wind down in style after a day of racing, taking in Norths Happy Hour drinks at MHYC on docking, before a dinner for all crews.

A fleet of 11 Sydney 38 One-Designs are taking part in the three-day Australian Championship, starting off this weekend’s 14th running of the Sydney Harbour Regatta. It is one of the largest class events for many years, with some new owners and return players from around NSW joining the circuit regulars.

Windward/leeward racing continues on the Manly Circle tomorrow, when officials will aim to put three more races to bed.

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

By Di Pearson, MHYC media

Photos by Andrea Francolini


The Sailing Instructions for the 2019 Sydney Harbour Regatta have now been published.

Regatta Sailing Instructions and separate SIs for the Sydney 38 Australian Championships have been published online at https://www.shr.mhyc.com.au/racing/sailing-instructions.html.

The official noticeboard for the regatta is online at https://www.shr.mhyc.com.au/racing/notices-to-competitors.html, so keep an eye out for notices to competitors here.

First warning signals of the day for each of the classes and divisions are as follows:

  • Historic 18 Footers  1414hrs
  • Etchells  1330hrs
  • Yngling & J24  1230hrs
  • All Other Classes & Division  1155hrs

Breezes are looking good for the weekend, so we hope you enjoy the sailing and the competition.

Thankyou to the huge team of race management volunteers across the eight course areas who are giving their time and expertise to make this a great event.


Fabulous prizes await place-getters in Middle Harbour Yacht Club’s (MHYC) Sydney Harbour Regatta, to be held over the first weekend of March - but you have to enter first.  The early entry rate has been extended to February 25, before the late fee kicks in.  There is little time left to be in the running, so act now.

Each class and division winner is eligible for the Grand Prize Draw to win two return Sydney-Auckland Economy airfares courtesy of Air New Zealand, plus two nights’ accommodation, including breakfast, courtesy of Middle Harbour Yacht Club, as part of its 80th anniversary celebrations. The prize also includes one week complimentary berthing at Abell Point Marina.

Second placegetters are eligible to win two nights’ accommodation with breakfast daily, at the Mercure Resort Hunter Valley Gardens for two people, courtesy of Mercure Resort, plus one week complimentary berthing at Abell Point Marina.

Third placegetters will go into the draw for two weeks of complimentary berthing at Abell Point Marina  plus half a dozen bottles of Robert Oatley wine.

Crew members won’t miss out either, as they could win a $1500 voucher from Helly Hansen. Keep an eye on the regatta website for details on how all crew can register.

The Grand Prize Draws will be held during the Official Presentation, to be conducted at Middle Harbour Yacht Club, on Monday 4 March, 2019. Conditions apply, so please read the Notice to Competitors.

Offering 14 classes to prospective competitors, entries have already surged in some and a TP52 fleet is looking likely. The Super 12s are shaping up nicely. Easy Tiger VI (Chris Way) Lightspeed (Stephen Barlow) and Darkstar (John Bacon) are bringing their MC38s, while Adrian Walters’ speed machine, Little Nico, is entered along with Walter Lewin’s Farr 400, Vento.

“Easy Tiger VI is a recent addition to the Easy Tiger stable,” said Way of his MC38. “She is the previous Menace and this will be the first Super 12 event for her.”

In the Super 30’s, a mix of Flying Tigers, Farr 30’s, Melges 32’s and others, including Andrew York’s champion Reo 7.2, REO Speedwagon, will make this one of the most watched classes. Numbers in the remaining classes are also healthy, with well over 100 boats of varying shapes and sizes already entered for the regatta that takes over Sydney Harbour on the weekend of 2-3 March.

The largest deputation will be found in the Performance Class divisions. Featuring an assortment of designs from Northshores to Jeanneau, Elan and more, it will be tough to make the podium. Among them is a J109 with a story to tell. Carl Braden says, “Blue Sky was destroyed in Hurricane Sandy in 2012 while on the hardstand in New Jersey over winter. I bought the boat and brought it back to life before shipping it Down Under.”

A well-travelled boat, The Culprit Syndicate is bringing She’s the Culprit down from ‘The Lake’, to take on the locals: “She’s earned a reputation of being a very social boat and her mix of experienced and inexperienced offshore sailors are looking forward to the regatta,” says co-owner Glen Picasso of the Inglis-Jones/Hart 39 that has ‘been there and done that’ – many times.

Integrated into the regatta is the Yoti Australian Sydney 38 Championship. Up to a dozen boats are expected to take part and some new players will up the ante, leaving no room for error.  

Representing MHYC is Peter Sorensen, a champion across multiple classes who has purchased Phoenix and re-named the 2018 Australian champion boat Advanced Philosophy. ‘Sorro’ is not known for settling for second best; he’s been in the winner’s circle too many times for that.  

A second MHYC member, Mike Logan, is the proud new owner of Thirlmere, a boat that has won its share of silverware, while Stephen Teudt/Lisa Callaghan from Manly Yacht Club and Cruising Yacht Club of Australia member, Phil Tomkins, have also joined the Sydney 38 class.

“Returning are some familiar faces in Tony Levett (MHYC), who has campaigned TSA Management in 14 Sydney Hobarts with some excellent results - and The Goat - whose crew will include those from Outlaw, the recently named NSW Farr 40 Champion,” says Association President, Peter Byford.

The top four placegetters from November’s NSW Sydney 38 Championship have also signed on: Peter Byford/David Hudson’s Conspiracy (also placed third at the 2018 Australian Championship); Greg and Wade Croak’s Challenge, Richard Williams’ Calibre and Peter Mayo’s Austral.

“It should be very competitive racing,” Byford says of one of the strongest fields for some time.

This year MHYC are working hand-in-hand with Clean Up Sydney Harbour (celebrating its 30th year) to be held on Sunday 3 March.  Entered yachts in the Sydney Harbour Regatta will be flying Clean Up Australia backstay flags in tandem with Clean Up activities and celebrations .  

The Sydney Harbour Regatta would not be possible without 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.

Thanks also go to key sponsors Helly Hansen, Air New Zealand, Robert Oatley Wines and Abell Point Marina, along with supporting sponsors Mercure Resort Hunter Valley Gardens, Smooth FM, Club Marine, Vittoria Coffee and KeySun.

Enter online now - click here

By Di Pearson, MHYC media

All photos by Andrea Francolini


This years Sydney Harbour Regatta is giving one lucky crew member the chance to win a Helly Hansen Prize Pack valued at $1,500! -ENTER HERE

The lucky winner will be presented with Helly Hansen products and vouchers at the Gala Prizegiving on Monday 4th March commencing at 7pm.  
Registrations close at 4pm on Sunday 3rd March 2019.
The winner will be contacted via phone or email in advance.

You must be a registered crew member in the SHR in order to enter this giveaway.

Middle Harbour Yacht Club (MHYC) will hold its annual Sydney Harbour Regatta on the first weekend of March, this year incorporating the Australian Sydney 38 Championship and the NSW J70 Championship, a fitting way to celebrate the Club’s 80th anniversary.

“We expect to welcome a wide assortment of up to 200 boats in 25 divisions across eight courses for our 14th edition of the Sydney Harbour Regatta,” said MHYC Commodore, Peter Lewis, of the autumnal event to be held over the weekend of 2-3 March.

“The Notice of Race is published and entry is open online and will close on 25 February,” the Commodore declared of NSW’s largest keelboat regatta. 

“This year we are working hand-in-hand with Clean Up Sydney Harbour (celebrating its 30th year) to be held on Sunday the 3rd of March.”

“We are thrilled to have the support of Middle Harbour Yacht Club for the 30th Anniversary of Clean Up Sydney Harbour,” Terrie-Ann Johnson, Managing Director, Clean Up Australia said.

“It is very fitting that the Sydney Harbour Regatta yachts will be flying Clean Up Australia flags on the same weekend while Clean Up activities and celebrations are happening,” she said.

“It’s a wonderful tribute to the legacy Ian Kiernan AO has left to the community and we thank the Club and competitors for their involvement. We can’t wait to showcase the Harbour together and celebrate the efforts of volunteers who have looked after this beautiful asset for thirty years.”

Although entry is in its early stages, having just officially opened, owners are already signing on, a healthy indication of continued interest in this first major regatta for the year.  

The 2019 Yoti Australian Sydney 38 Championship will be held in conjunction with the Sydney Harbour Regatta on windward/leeward courses over three days from Friday 1 March.

On the weekend, they will be joined by the remainder of the fleets, including the Open Class for IRC and ORCi competitors on offshore courses, including the ‘boats of the moment’ TP52 class.  

In other one-design classes, the mainstays include the Adams 10s, Super 30’s and Cavalier 28s on windward leeward courses.  

A cross section of nippy Sports Boats will also race on windward/leeward courses. The Melges 24 will join them on this course area, as will the one-design J70 class, which will conduct its NSW Championship in conjunction with the Sydney Harbour Regatta.

One-Design Ynglings, Etchells and Dragons will also take part again, as will the Super 12 class, a mixed fleet will including the growing MC38 class and one can’t forget the Historic 18’ Skiffs – these classic yachts are a wonderful reminder of yesteryear and continue to be raced by some big names in the sport.

The Performance Class, with divisions for both Spinnaker and Non-Spinnaker create the most colour on the Harbour and their sheer numbers require four divisions. 

It goes without saying that Principal Race Officer Denis Thompson and his race management team will again have a large job on their hands, as will Regatta Director Peter Hemery and the onshore team. Their combined efforts ensure a high-calibre event.

Following racing each day, all are welcome back to the Club’s unique after-racing festivities on the private beach for a sausage sizzle, drinks and music.

This event would not be possible without 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.

Thanks also go to key sponsors Helly Hansen, Air New Zealand, Robert Oatley Wines and Abell Point Marina, along with supporting sponsors Smooth FM, Club Marine, Vittoria Coffee and KeySun.

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

By Di Pearson, MHYC media

All photos byAndrea Francolini

After two days of competitive racing, Middle Harbour Yacht Club’s (MHYC) annual Sydney Short Ocean Racing Championship (SSORC) wound up this afternoon in pleasant conditions on a beautiful spring day and winners were announced at the Club early this evening.

There was no beating Bob Cox’s Nine Dragons in Division 1 of the Championship. The DK46 is always well-sailed and Cox drove it to three wins from four races. Yesterday he scored third in the Passage Race, but there was no stopping Nine Dragons and the crew on the offshore windward leeward courses today.

“It was really good to get a group of boats together of a similar size – it made it great competition for all of us,” Cox enthused, eluding to sistership Khaleesi (Andrew and Pauline Dally), St Jude and others.  

Racing was so tight that Darryl Hodgkinson’s Carkeek 40 finished second overall on countback on equal points with two others - Khaleesi third overall and Noel Cornish’s Sydney 47, St Jude (which won the Cabbage Tree Island Race earlier this month), fourth.

“Saturday’s Passage Race was fluky. Victoire annihilated us. The course had a lot of reaching and it demonstrated what a good boat it is. We were third, St Jude was faster. We had to get back to the Club and evaluate,” admitted Cox, a member of MHYC.

Today’s offshore windward/leeward courses, though, were tailor made for Nine Dragons. The sea had a bit of punch to it, with a little rolling swell, but nothing too severe.

“We did much better,” Cox said. “It was great racing with Khaleesi, Victoire and St Jude. Victoire was banging the corners - they were a bit faster than us,” Cox said.

“Ian Box (Toy Box 2) got a third in the first race today - he’s had a good regatta against tough competition,” acknowledged Cox of his fellow MHYC club member and a past commodore.

“The first race of the day was a bit of a disaster,” said Cox after Principal Race Officer Denis Thompson was forced to abandon when the breeze shifted 40 degrees. The two divisions and the new TP52 class settled in and Thompson got them away pretty smartly. They were dealt shifty and tricky winds of up to 14 knots; a day for the tacticians.

“I had Julian Plante calling tactics; Yarrandi (Dave Griffith’s Marten 49) had Cocko (Michael Coxon). He was whipping them along. “

Prior to the event, Andrew Dally said he would love to beat their sistership. It was not to be.

Cox responds: “There’s not a great deal of difference between us – not a big gap. One slight hiccup and they’ve got you. You can’t take your foot of the accelerator.”

In Division 2, there was a collision at the start of Race 4, involving Grace O’Malley, JustADash and Supernova. As a result, Grace O’Malley was unable to start the race. Phil Dash’ JustADash was declared the division winner, with Jack Stening/Colin Gunn’s Sydney 36, Stormaway, second - the two are regulars at the top of the many scoreboards. Matthew Hanning’s Supernova was third.

Marcus Blackmore’s Hooligan was the gun boat in the TP52s, taking the series from Quest (which Bob Steel repurchased recently) and Sam Haynes’ Celestial. Blackmore said the idea had been to put in place a system to make it an even playing field between the newer boats with professional sailors, and the older boats that are mostly crewed by Corinthians.

However, the RORC in the UK said it was not possible, so the owners in the class will have to come up with another way. And like Nine Dragons, Hooligan was third in the Passage Race, but came out all guns blazing on the windward/leeward courses, winning all three on IRC. 

“Middle Harbour is very keen to support us in what we’re doing and it’ll be great when we get more TPs involved,” Blackmore said.

“It was great racing today – and our first event of the new series.  It sharpens your skills when you do a bit of fleet racing over two days. And as we know, it’s all about time in the boat. In a one-design class like this we all share the knowledge – it’s a learning experience.”

The Super 12 Series was also made up of four races and it was an MC38 stranglehold.  Lazy Dog, owned by Shaun Lane and Quentin Stewart, was the outstanding boat this weekend. She cleaned up, winning all four races. Steven Proud, fairly new to the class, finished second overall with Swish, with Stephen Barlow’s Lightspeed third.

A thrilled Lane said, “It was quite interesting – we bought the boat a year ago, and exactly to this day we sailed our first regatta – it was a complete disaster. We didn’t know what we were doing, dropping a kite over the side, running over it, and all sorts. But we built a good team of guys and have been training hard together and it’s all working for us.

“We didn’t do anything exceptional this weekend, we just worked hard and didn’t do anything wrong. One mistake and you were gone. Steve Thomas was calling tactics for us. We have a young keen team of dinghy sailors and they called the breeze well.”

Following the double points passage race yesterday, the Super 12s first race today was a two lapper; the remaining two were three laps each. The amusingly named ‘Lazy Dog’ was able to separate herself from the rest in the final race and extended around the course.

Sixty two boats took part in the first major keelboat regatta for spring, and included the inaugural TP52 class regatta, adding to the spectacle. After racing both days, competitors trouped back to MHYC to enjoy the Club’s characteristic barbecue party with music on the beach – a wonderful way to spend the weekend.

Thanks go to PRO, Denis Thompson, and MHYC and Cruising Yacht Club of Australia officials and volunteers.

Middle Harbour Yacht Club also expresses it thanks to sponsors: Helly Hansen, Club Marine, Oatley Wines, Keysun and Vittoria.

Full results and all information: www.ssorc.mhyc.com.au

MHYC's next major event is the Sydney Harbour Regatta on the weekend of March 2 & 3.  Visit www.shr.mhyc.com.au for more details.

The dates for the 2018 Sydney Short Offshore Racing Championships and 2019 Sydney Harbour Regatta have been confirmed, so get them in your diary now.

Sydney Short Offshore Racing Championships - November 24 & 25, 2018

2019 Sydney Harbour Regatta - March 2 & 3, 2019


A huge thankyou to the race management volunteers from Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, Manly Yacht Club, Royal Australian Naval Sailing Association, Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, Royal Prince Edward Yacht Club, Sydney Amateur Sailing Club, Sydney Flying Squadron and Middle Harbour Yacht Club.  

The combined team worked across 8 course areas delivering 58 races for 19 divisions comprising 159 starters.  

What a magnificent cooperative effort to put on some quality racing for a large and diverse fleet over the weekend.  Thankyou!!

To view the Sydney Harbour Regatta Results - click here

To view the Sydney Harbour Regatta Photo Galleries- click here

Marcus Blackmore accepts the IRC Division 1 trophy for Hooligan

The 2018 Sydney Harbour Regatta has concluded with Gala Prizegiving Ceremony at Middle Harbour Yacht Club.

A packed Harbour View Room looked on as the podium place-getters in 21 classes and divisions were presented with their trophies and prizes by regatta sponsors.

Winners of the Grand Prize Draw were:

  • Air New Zealand Trip for Two to Auckland with Accommodation Voucher - Adams 10 Rock Solid (Mitch Miller MHYC)
  • One Month Berthing at Abell Point Marina - Performance Spinnaker Div 1 Kayimai (Rob Aldis MHYC)
  • Weekend for Two at Mercure Resort Hunter Valley - Yngling Black Adder (Gary Pearce RSYS)

Expect to see a lot of Cavaliers at Sydney City Marine this winter with all three consolation prizes claimed by the Cavlier class:

  • Blind Justice (Stephen O'Halloran CYCA)
  • Scuttlebutt (Greg Purcell RSYS)
  • Flying Circus (Peter Donnelly SASC)

Nine Dragons comes a cropper - Andrea Francolini photo

The final day of the Sydney Harbour Regatta was more than it was cracked up to be as the forecast strong southerly, contrasting with yesterday’s ideal nor’ easter, meant abandoning racing on some courses, while the remainder were tested to the max.

David Staley, Sailing Manager for Middle Harbour Yacht Club which hosts the event, explained: “The wind was all over the shop and varied on different parts of the Harbour. We recorded 28 knots gusting into the mid-30s at the Wedding Cake, 18 to 20 knots on the Sound and 15 plus at Rushcutters Bay.

“It was choppy on a big swell off the Heads, so we brought the Open (IRC/ORCi) divisions and the Sydney 38s inside to do one race on the Harbour – and got them away on time. We managed to get in as much racing as we could with what we had,” Staley said.

“We rely on our experienced Race Officers to give us feedback from which we can make good decisions. In the case of the Cavalier 28s contesting the NSW Championship, their Association decided to abandon for the day.”

Based on their One-Design result,  Craig Mitchell’s Centaurus is the well-deserved NSW Cavalier 28 champion, following a trio of bullets yesterday, with Flying Circus second and Scuttlebutt third. Under PHS, for which the SHR component is decided, Stephen O’Halloran came out on top with Blind Justice, Scuttlebutt in second and Flying Circus third.

“Three of us were very close; Flying Circus (Peter Donnelly), Scuttlebutt (Greg Purcell) and us. Yesterday was a great day, beautiful weather, the wind came in late and it was novel for us having swell – a bit of a challenge,” Mitchell clarified.

Hooligan blasting along - Andrea Francolini photo

“Based on where the course was, we weren’t keen to go out, so we’re happy the decision was made to abandon and happy for our win,” he said.

Among the abandonments was the Yngling class, also contesting its NSW Championship. What it means is that yesterday’s leader after three races, Miss Pibb (Hamish Jarrett) is the 2018 NSW champion. Triple Olympian, Karyn Gojnich (Evie) crew finished runners-up.

“We were looking forward to today – one of my crew, Max Hayman, was going to steer. We were disappointed, but I guess the weather has rules of its own,” Jarrett said.

“That’s the first time I remember racing being cancelled for the day in 12 years of the Sydney Harbour Regatta. It had to happen sooner or later. Credit to the race committee for making the decision when they did, rather than have us sitting around all day.

“It’s good to win the Championship, thanks to my crew Max and Chris Pearson. We’re now looking forward to the festivities tomorrow night (prizegiving) at Middle Harbour,” he ended.

The Sports Boat, J70, Super 12, Super 30 and PHS Division 3 divisions were also abandoned, so results from yesterday stand.

Only one race was held to decide the new NSW champion in the Sydney 38 class and the Open class (IRC/ORCI Divisions 1 and 2.  

Following an incident in the Sydney 38s Race 1 yesterday, second placed Conspiracy’s one point buffer became three points after an arbitration hearing. It did not remove her from second place, as Zen dropped down the board after being disqualified from Race 2.

Adams 10 Racing was close - Andrea Francolini photo

But the Conspiracy crew was able to turn their fortune around, winning the regatta by one point from yesterday’s leader, Challenge (Greg Croak) after taking today’s race which Croak finished fifth in, to win, ironically, by one point from Challenge.

Conspiracy is owned by Peter Byford and David Hudson (the latter steered), who must have had nerves of steel to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

And being hauled inside the Harbour to race did nothing to dampen Marcus Blackmore’s enthusiasm either, as he and the crew sailed his recent purchase, Hooligan, to their fourth win from four races in the Open Class Division 1.

It was Blackmore’s first outing with this two year-old champion TP52 which formerly raced in Europe as Azzurra. And he was as pleased as punch with his star-studded crew and their result.

“We just did a bit of training the day before. I’ve got a very talented crew – and Victor Kovalenko as our coach He said as a team we went really well – and I think that’s half the battle. We got our spinnakers up and down more quickly than on our previous TP52. We had a wonderful run – 24 knots downwind today. This boat is easier to steer, doesn’t dig the bow in like the last one did. We’ve got a good boat, no doubt about that.”

On board, Blackmore said, is “Tom Slingsby, one of the world’s best tacticians. Don Cowie – part of Team NZ, he’s been sailing Dragons with me and sails Sled in the Super Series. Will Ryan (Olympic 470 silver medallist) is a gifted young man and it’s a pleasure to have him sail with us. Will Oxley, Richie Allanson, Tim Wiseman, Billy Merrington – a good crew.  

"It was a masterful display of sailing considering it was our first regatta, but we can always improve,” he said, going on to throw down a challenge: “There are nine new TP52s being built in Europe, so if anyone wants to give us a run for our money – there’ll be a few boats on the market.”

No Friends - no wonder - Andrea Francolini photo

Ed Psaltis too, is having a ball with his Sydney 36 Midnight Rambler. Purchased last year to replace his ocean racer of the same name, Midnight Rambler won four from four, sharing the Race 3 win with his closest rival, Jack Stening and Colin Gunn’s Stormaway.

“We had a great weekend. I can’t compliment my crew enough – they were fantastic. We set kites and did what we usually do, but we sailed a good conservative race. The boat is going really well; I’m very happy with it. Credit to the other guys – Stormaway and Philosophers (Peter Sorensen) – they kept us honest. We are pleasantly surprised with how well we did, but we worked hard to do it.

“I have to finish by thanking the starter’s boat for Course H, They were fantastic, the communication was very good, we knew what was happening all the time,” Psaltis said.

The Adams 10 class slugged it out both days over six races. It seems winner, Mitchell Miller, named his ‘Rock Solid’ with some foresight. He and the crew, representing the host club, won four out of six races to defeat Kicknchase Rob Clarke by five points.

And although he was disappointed with the cancellation of racing today, ‘Dr Darryl’ Hodgkinson was thrilled to win the Super 12 series with the Carkeek 40, Victoire, purchased six months ago to supersede his 2013 Sydney Hobart winner of the same name.

Up against the likes of MC8’s, a Farr 400 and a Rob Shaw 11 Metre, Victoire won two from three races to beat second placed Lightspeed, the MC8  owned by Stephen Barlow.

“It was a good strikeout at this regatta against some tough competition,” Hodgkinson said.  “We enjoyed it – the Super 12 is a great concept – all these different designs made for racing inshore. You go upwind and downwind very quickly in this class and we’re looking forward to more of the same,” he said.

Non-Spinnaker division n the blustery
wind - Andrea Francolini photo

Winners will be recognised at the official prizegiving cocktail party to be held at Middle Harbour Yacht Club tomorrow (Monday) evening.

We thank the following clubs, for which this event would not be possible without their continued assistance: 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.

Thank you to sponsors: Air New Zealand, Abell Point Marina, Helly Hansen, Sydney City Marine, Robert Oatley Wines and Mercure Resort Hunter Valley Gardens for their continued support.

By Di Pearson, MHYC media



Lively conditions on Day Two - Andrea Francolini photo

Racing for the following divisions has been ABANDONED:

  • Bravo Course – Yngling
  • Charlie Course – Sports Boats & J70
  • Delta Course – Super 30 & Super 12
  • Echo Course - Cavalier
  • Foxtrot Course - Division 3


Only one (1) race will be sailed today for the following classes:

  • Open Class (IRC/ORCi) and Sydney 38 Divisions (Inshore Passage Race)


David Staley

MHYC Sailing Manager

Sydney Harbour Regatta Organising Committee

4 March 2018 at 1220hrs

Cavalier 28s off the start - Matthew King photo

You would be hard put to find a more beautiful day on Sydney Harbour, although most competitors in Middle Harbour Yacht Club’s Sydney Harbour Regatta would no doubt say the breeze was a bit light on early, but the nor’ easter built and the multitude of sailors across the many classes on various courses enjoyed every minute.

By mid-afternoon the sea breeze was on the incline, 11 knots reported at midday and by 3pm 17-20 knots hit the wind dials on board the 190 plus boats taking part in NSW’s largest keelboat regatta.

Hamish Jarrett and his Miss Pibb crew are leading the charge for the Yngling NSW Championship at this event and could not have been more pleased with their day. “What a beautiful day on the Harbour,” he said, “it was a bit choppy with all the boats in the regatta, but the building nor’ easter turned into the perfect breeze - 18-19 knots.

“The racing was close. In the second race, the whole fleet was within a couple of minutes on the windward/leeward track. We won two and Evie (the defending champion) won one, so they are in second place right now – Ruth sailed the boat very well last year.

”Last year everything that could go wrong did for us, but this year, we have it all out of the way,” Jarrett finished.

Evie is triple Olympian Karen Gojnich’s boat which Ruth McCance skippered to win the Championship last year. This time, Gojnich is back on the helm with McCance crewing.   

The Sydney 38s are also holding their NSW Championship and Greg Croak from Lake Macquarie had sailed Challenge into the lead after winning Races 1 and 3. There is only a one point buffer between them and David Hudson’s Conspiracy which took out Race 2 and nabbed a pair of second places.

Fairly new to the class, Croak was thrilled with their opening day on the offshore course. “No swell, very flat. The first race was around 9 knots and the breeze slowly built to 15-16 knots – near perfect,” he said.

“I’ve never been in a closer race than Race 3 with Conspiracy today - we wouldn’t have beat them by more than a metre – the lead changed between us all race.  And the race we came second in, they won.

“We were comfortable that we’d sail well in flat water, but we’ve had little experience offshore, so if there had been swell we might have been in trouble, but yes, I’m surprised we’re at the top of the leaderboard. The pressure will be on tomorrow, because we’re expecting more breeze and swell,” he ended.   

Ian Box's Toy Box 2 crew hikes hard - Matthew King photo

The PHS spinnaker divisions always create the most colour on the Harbour and today was no exception, with a trio of large divisions. Lee Dorrington sailed the Davidson 52, Prime Example, to a Division 1 win in Race 1 from Ray Parrott’s popular Miss Minx.

“Fantastic racing - beautiful conditions,” Dorrington commented. “It was very close racing in the first one, shame we missed the start of the second race by four minutes while we adjusted our settings. Oh well, helps the handicap for tomorrow,” said Dorrington, excusing himself to go back to the fun on the beach at Middle Harbour Yacht Club.

Not unexpectedly, even though this is his first outing with the recently purchased TP52 named Hooligan (all his boats are so named), Marcus Blackmore is leading Open Class Division 1 with three clear and neat wins in IRC this afternoon.

The rest did their best, but there was no stopping the irrepressible Blackmore, local yachtsman Bob Cox coming closest with a pair of second places with his DK46, Nine Dragons, but a drop to fourth in Race 3 means he is five points off the lead.

In Division 2, the end result was almost as clear-cut in a battle between three Sydney 36s. Ever-competitive Ed Psaltis sailed Midnight Rambler to three wins, although the third one he shared with Jack Stening/Colin Gunn’s Stormaway when the two finished with the same corrected time. A fifth in the opening race leaves Stormaway five points off the pace, with Matthew Hanning’s Supernova just half a point behind. Tomorrow will be a doozy.    

Latest Hooligan on fire - Matthew King photo

Andrew York has come out on top of the pile in the Sports Boat division with three straight wins aboard his Reo 7, REO Speedwagon. York’s nearest rivals were the Tyler Ratcliff steered Viper 40, Heat, and Kevin Nixon’s Melges 24, Accru. 

‘Yorky’, who was enjoying the festivities with his crew back at Middle Harbour Yacht Club, was succinct: “Very pleasant, a bit of a nor’ easter. A few holes in the breeze, especially under the lee of North Head, made it tricky and we had to dodge a few yachts. But it was a lot of fun. We had a bit of close racing with Kev Nixon, but we’re quicker off the wind, but they made up uphill.”

York, an acknowledged speed freak, added: “A southerly of 20 plus knots is expected tomorrow, and we look forward to that…”

This event would not be possible without 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.

Thanks go to sponsors: Air New Zealand, Abell Point Marina, Helly Hansen, Sydney City Marine, Robert Oatley Wines and Mercure Resort Hunter Valley Gardens for their continued support.

By Di Pearson, MHYC media

Sailing Instructions Published

Sailing Instructions for the 2018 Sydney Harbour Regatta have now been posted.  To download, visit the Race Documents menu of the website or click here


Regatta Entries

200 boats have entered and will compete across 8 course areas in 20 divisions.  Most classes will get underway at 12 noon on both days.  To view the latest entry lists – click here


Regatta Food, Beverage and Entertainment

MHYC’s Sandbar Cafe will be open from 8am each morning for light snacks, coffee and beverages with a full breakfast menu available upstairs in the Harbour View Room.  The BBQ will commence from 8am for Bacon and Egg rolls at the special Regatta price of $5.

To avoid disappointment and delays, competitors are encouraged to pre-order lunches - please complete this order form and email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by Thursday 3pm.

After racing, food stalls will be available on the beach from 4.00pm both days.  Live music on the Sandbar deck will begin at 4pm with the band Endless Summer playing Saturday and duo Rick Herbert & Ben Marshall on Sunday.

For more information – click here 


Grand Prizes

The Official Prize-giving will be held on Monday evening at MHYC (6.30 for a 7pm start) including the Grand Prize Draw.  Our Regatta Sponsors have provided some magnificent prizes which must be collected by the winning Skipper or their nominated crew person present on the night.   Each boat placing 1st, 2nd or 3rd in any Class or Division where six (6) or more entries have been received are eligible.

Grand Prizes include:

  • First Place Draw –Two Return Economy Class air fares Sydney-Auckland courtesy of Air New Zealand with a $500 Travel Voucher courtesy of Middle Harbour Yacht Club and a $750 Gift Voucher courtesy of Sydney City Marine.
  • Second Place Draw – One Month complimentary berthing at Abell Point Marina, complimentary membership of Ocean Club and Marine Lifestyle Card all courtesy of Abell Point Marina along with a $500 Gift Voucher courtesy of Sydney City Marine.
  • Third Place Draw – Two nights accommodation including breakfast at the Mercure Resort Hunter Valley Gardens for two courtesy of Mercure Resort and a $200 Gift Voucher courtesy of Sydney City Marine.

To view the Notice to Competitors setting out eligibility and registration requirements – click here




Middle Harbour Yacht Club’s Sydney Harbour Regatta has already attracted a wide variety of boats across its many classes and divisions, but the Club has extended its entry deadline to midnight on Monday 26 February, allowing those who are still returning from holidays and major interstate events more time to enter.

Entry and Notice of Race for the 13th running of the popular regatta, to be held over the weekend of 3-4 March, are available online.

Marcus Blackmore will debut his latest ‘Hooligan’ at the Regatta, ready to take on other competitors in the Open Class (IRC and ORCi).

A staunch and vocal supporter of sailing across many classes and over many decades, the health supplements leader recently purchased Azzurra out of Argentina. Launched in 2015, the Botin Partners designed boat arrived in Australia with glowing references, including winning the 2017 TP52 Super Series.

“We’ve made modifications to the keel in New Zealand, the boat’s been repainted and the mast goes in this week. We have a good boat – but it’s about crew and sails as well,” Blackmore said.

“The Sydney Harbour Regatta will be our first run, so we’re looking forward to it and particularly to seeing how we go against other TP52’s,” ended Blackmore, who won New Zealand’s Millennium Cup in January with his SW82,  Ammonite – on Australia Day no less.  

His main TP52 opposition will come from Paul Clitheroe’s ‘chameleon’ TP52, Balance, which these days also races as Quest under the captaincy of Bob Steel.  

As Quest, when originally owned by Steel, it won the 2008 Rolex Sydney Hobart, before Clitheroe bought and renamed it Balance and won the 2015 race. In December, it finished the Hobart second as Quest. It is the boat to beat. Rumour has it that Brenton Fischer will also enter his grandfather Syd’s TP52, Ragamuffin, which has a rich history too.   

Joining the Yngling keel boat class in holding its NSW Championship at the Sydney Harbour Regatta is the Sydney 38 One Design class. Australian class president, Peter Byford and co-owner David Hudson were in early with Conspiracy. The two have sailed and won together for 30 odd years and are expecting a strong field of contenders for the title.

“There’s a strong fleet in Lake Macquarie, which will be represented by Austral and Challenge,” says David Hudson, who will skipper Conspiracy at the Regatta. “The core of the class is active at Pittwater where entries have come from Risk, Zen and ourselves. There is also the possibility of two from the CYCA. 

“We just sailed the Pittwater Regatta - Conspiracy won the Sydney One-Design component, but each boat had a win – it’s a very competitive fleet. These one design regattas are very important to maintain the integrity of the class; it reinforces the value of the class and the boats, so we look forward to a strong fleet for the NSW Championship,” Hudson ended.

The Super 12 class was created to attract an eclectic mix of trendy one-design boats to race against each other outside of their class events. It is working a treat.  Among entries to-date are MC38s Easy Tiger VI, Lazy Dog and Lightspeed, the distinct Shaw 11 Metre carbon canting Little Nico and Victoire, the latest in Carkeek 40’s.  

Farr 30s, Hick 30s, Far East 28s and for those who love sailing on the edge, the Flying Tigers, are among a strong fleet of Super 30s, while a comprehensive range of yachts have entered the Performance Spinnaker divisions, from Jonathan Low’s Jones 39, Arch Rival to Ian Quarrie’s Northshore 38 Ebony, to a regular in the event, Mike Gallagher’s Jeanneau 409, Galan.  

Chris Thorpe’s ‘boat with attitude’, Miss Minx, will also be on that start line. Thorpe claims: “Miss Minx is a stunning Hanse 505 with an incredibly sexy battle flag. She is a three year-old filly. When not drinking martinis at the beach, she lives in Middle Harbour close to the MHYC.”

Furthermore, Thorpe says, “Miss Minx has really good looking crew and a couple of bouncing cheerleaders - and is looking forward to racing at the Sydney Harbour Regatta.”

The official prize giving cocktail party will be held at MHYC on the Monday evening, 5 March, allowing all placegetters and competitors a chance to be there with their crews.

This event would not be possible without 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.

Thanks go to sponsors: Air New Zealand, Abell Point Marina, Helly Hansen, Sydney City Marine, Robert Oatley Wines and Mercure Resort Hunter Valley Gardens for their continued support.

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


By Di Pearson, MHYC media


All Images Credited to Andrea Francolini

Entry is open for Middle Harbour Yacht Club’s 13th Sydney Harbour Regatta and competitors will have an opportunity to win the grand prize – a return trip for two to Auckland inclusive of a $500 accommodation voucher courtesy of Air New Zealand.

To be held over the weekend of 3-4 March on Sydney Harbour and its surrounds, entry and Notice of Race for the Sydney Harbour Regatta are available online now.

Winners of each division will receive a divisional prize and go in the draw for the grand prize donated by Air New Zealand. Second placed yachts in each division will also receive a divisional prize and go into the draw for a voucher for one month free berthing at Abell Point Marina at Airlie Beach in the Whitsunday Islands.

For third placegetters in each division, there is a divisional prize and a draw for two nights’ accommodation for two people at the Mercure Resort Hunter Valley, including breakfast.

To be eligible for all prizes, there must be six or more entrants in each class/division. Divisional winners names will be added to the significant perpetual trophies commissioned for this event and prizes will include Helly Hansen apparel.

The Yngling keelboat class will hold its NSW Championship at the Sydney Harbour Regatta, ahead of Yngling Worlds to be held on Lake Garda in July. Some of Australia’s most decorated names have graced and won in the class, among them Olympians Nicky Bethwaite, Karyn Gojnich, Krystal Weir, Neville Witty and Melanie Dennison.  

“The Ynglings really enjoy racing at the Sydney Harbour Regatta and being involved,” triple Olympian Karyn Gojnich said of NSW’s largest keelboat regatta. “Our team (on Evie) are doing the event and we’re hoping to have a strong fleet to sail against,” added, Gojnich, a Vice President of the Oceania Sailing Federation (OSAF). 

As in the past, current and multiple Australian and NSW champion, Hamish Jarrett’s Miss Pibb, go head-to-head with Gojnich, a past National and state champion who finished runner-up at the 2017 NSW Championship.

Officials are expecting a good showing as summer racing winds down and makes way for the first autumn regatta when the weather is sublime and the Harbour awash with Sydney Harbour Regatta entrants ranging from sports boats to one design keelboats and yachts of varying sizes and speeds - from small non-spinnaker entrants to the fastest IRC racing machines.

Popular classes at the annual event are: Open Class in IRC and ORCi (will sail on windward/leeward courses); Performance Class Spinnaker, Non-Spinnaker and Classics; Sydney 36; Sydney 38; MC8; Farr 40; Adams 10; Dragon; Etchells; Melges 20, 24 and 32; J70; VX-One, J70 and 5.5m One Design classes; Super 12; Sports Boats; Cavalier 28,

Performance Class (Super 30); Production Boats and Historic 18ft Skiffs.

In other words, Principal Race Officer Denis Thompson and his race management team will have their work cut out again, as will Regatta Director Peter Hemery and the shoreside crew, as they work hand-in-hand to preserve the high-quality of this regatta.

“We’re looking forward to hosting the Yngling NSW Championship and  to seeing a growth in the increasingly popular Super 12 Division,” MHYC Commodore, Peter Lewis said.

“We welcome back all other classes that make the Sydney Harbour Regatta the exceptional event it is and  invite competitors and their family and friends back to the Club each day and evening,” he said.

Ashore, breakfast is offered each morning with a grill and sausage sizzle on the beach in front of the Club. Following racing each afternoon, who could resist the entertainment provided by the Club on the beach?  A great way to catch up with fellow crews over drinks or relax on the upper deck where the bar and Harbourview Bistro will be open.

The official prize giving cocktail party will be held at MHYC on the Monday evening, 5 March, allowing all placegetters and competitors a chance to be there with their crews.

For ‘Early Bird’ entries received prior to 2359hrs on 9 February 2018, a substantial saving will be made. All entries will close at 2359 hours on Monday 19 February 2018. After that time, additional entry shall be made in writing and may only be accepted at the discretion of the Organising Authority and will attract an additional cost - see the NoR for full  details.

This event would not be possible without 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.

Thanks also go to key sponsors Air New Zealand, Abell Point Marina, Helly Hansen, Sydney City Marine, Robert Oatley Wines and Mercure Resort Hunter Valley Gardens for their continued support. Other sponsors this year are KeySun and Club Marine.

Enter on line now - click here   

By Di Pearson, MHYC media


Sydney Harbour Regatta 2017 Images by Andrea Francolini

The Notice of Race has now been published and online entry is now open for the 2018 Sydney Harbour Regatta.

For the Notice of Race - click here

To view the Event Guide - click here

For Online Entry - click here




2024 Regatta Information Coming Soon

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 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

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

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

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