Members and guests were treated to an enthralling talk at last First Friday when Di Fitzgerald and Bruce Jameson spoke about sailing their 46ft catamaran ‘Toucan’ back from the east coast of the USA to Australia. One hundred and forty members and their guests heard about the destinations, the friends, the many ups and a few downs of the trip. A big ‘thank you’ to Di and Bruce for all their preparations for the talk and for sharing their experiences with members. First Friday is organised by the RPAYC Cruise Committee and is held on the first Friday of each month with a range of speakers and other social events. All members and their guests are very welcome to attend.
This unassuming trophy was first competed for at the end of the 1983-84 centreboard season in Laser dinghies loaned by the Laser fleet sailors, and is probably the most sort after centreboard trophy in the club. Look at the winner names and you can see where some of our gun sailors got their pedigree from.
The Driftwood Trophy is now held in conjuction with the Portuguese Beach Rally and Picnic during the winter months when the Rear Commodore of Centreboard hosts the day.
The main instigator was Kendal Barry-Cotter, who wanted to give the parents/volunteers a chance to race each other. After negotiating the terms and getting agreement from the Laser fleet sailors, he dropped in the last condition; “You will need to supply a trophy”!
Not only had we poor, young Laser sailors agreed to loan our prized possessions, we had to supply an appropriate trophy. We had all thought the idea of seeing the parents out hiking and capsizing a great joke, so we decided the trophy had to be cheap, something that related to the club and a bit of fun.
In October 2018 Sydney will host the 4th annual Invictus Games and Invictus Patron, Prince Harry will visit Sydney next month to launch the Games. In line with its commitment to the support of veterans through Soldier On, the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club (RPAYC) will play a key role in kicking off the celebrations hosting a demonstration Match Race, crewed by veterans on Wednesday 7 June in its fleet of eight Elliott 7s on Sydney Harbour.
RPAYC Club Coach, Tom Spithill will run the launch event assisted by fellow clubs the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron and the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia. “It’s wonderful to see our clubs all involved in what will be a great spectacle and we will be encouraging our members and general boating public to get out on water next month to show their support of our veterans as they participate in the launch race”, commented Spithill.
Prince Harry, the Invictus Patron, claimed that it was an “easy decision” to name Sydney as the 2018 host city noting that Australia’s proud military heritage and Sydney’s iconic and welcoming reputation combined with its sports mad population made it the perfect destination.
While he may be kept from attending the launch next month, preoccupied trying to back up his America’s Cup victory in Bermuda, Invictus Games Ambassador and RPAYC Club Member James Spithill is looking forward to being a part of the 2018 sporting festival.
“I am really proud to be an Ambassador for the Invictus Games and I can’t wait to get out there with the competitors in my home city and I’m thrilled that my home Club is so involved”, said James Spithill between training sessions with the USA Oracle Team.
RPAYC Coach, Tom Spithill, has worked tirelessly with his club’s volunteers over the last two years in developing a sailing program for veterans through Soldier On as part of the club’s award winning Integrated disAbled Sailing Program. Over 70 veterans have taken part in the program facilitating their rehabilitation out on the water by participating in a sport focused on teamwork, trust and mateship.
The 2018 Games will take place in and around Sydney 18-29 October 2018 and will bring over 500 competitors to Sydney from 17 Nations to compete in 11 sports.
“It’s been a rewarding and privileged part of my career to help the country’s veterans get back on track and enjoy sailing on Pittwater, the members have stepped up and really helped out which has seen it grow and it will be great to show off our achievements when the club helps to launch the 2018 Invictus Games!” said Tom Spithill.
The club’s last brush with royalty was when Harry’s grandfather, Prince Philip laid the foundation stone of its Clubhouse in 1968. Commodore Ian Audsley commented, “This is another wonderful and proud moment in our club’s history. We are currently celebrating our Sesquicentennial year and are still hopeful that a member of the royal family will accept our invitation to help us celebrate the big day later this year!”
Prince Harry, who has served in the British Armed Forces for over 10 years helped develop the Invictus Games which is an international adaptive sporting event for wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women.
The Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club is a proud racing club with one of the most comprehensive yacht racing calendars in the country. Located in Newport on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, the club has a proud history and on 15 October 2017 will celebrate its Sesquicentenary.
For media inquiries contact Stephen Collopy RPAYC 02 9998 3700.
In support of its commitment to yachting and to the growth of the sport, the RPAYC has appointed Nick Elliott into the newly created role of Race Director and Club 2IC.
In partnership with recruitment firm Sportspeople, the Club conducted a global search to identify a dynamic yachting professional with the skills and experience to ensure that the RPAYC remains a leader in providing exceptional yacht racing and regatta programs backed by exceptional race management. The Race Director will oversee all aspects of member racing both on and off water by ensuring that race management teams are supported and that all operational areas are co-ordinated to deliver quality programs that satisfy members, encourage new boats to join the fleets and increase participation in the sport.
Dozens of high caliber professionals from 14 countries applied for the role and Nick stood apart with his vast experience at very high levels of yacht racing. Nick joins the RPAYC from the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) in the UK where he has been running the racing program for the last nine years, including one of the largest and most challenging yacht races in the world, the Rolex Fastnet Race.
Nick has a great deal of race management experience, involvement in the development of offshore special regulations, and in developing new racing formats designed to appeal to a broad range of sailors.
RPAYC Vice Commodore Michael Lockley commented, “We are really excited Nick has agreed to join what is already a really strong professional team. We are going to make the point that the RPAYC is totally invested in this great sport and will ensure we are delivering excellence while creating racing programs that appeal to and encourage participation across all generations. This is a very exciting time for the RPAYC.”
Naturally the RORC is disappointed in Nick’s decision, but understand the opportunity for him and his family to again live and work abroad. As this is a Fastnet year, Nick will see this race through with the aim of joining the RPAYC prior to the start of the new sailing season in September.
Sailing isn’t just a job for Nick, it is a passion and a family sport. Nick has recently been racing offshore with the RORC Commodore in his JPK10.80 in the RORC Cherbourg Race and completed the 2016 Rolex Middle Sea Race with the RORC Vice Commodore. He has also been competing regularly on the Shearwater Traveller Series and National Championships with his wife Kerry, his teenage son Zac and daughter Poppy as well as regularly competing at his local sailing club in various centreboard classes.
The RPAYC has one of the most comprehensive year round sailing programs in the country, offering up to five keel boat club racing days each week, a solid centreboard racing fleet, an extensive cruising program, a training program training well in excess of 700 people annually, a busy regatta schedule and has a multi award winning program committed to supporting disabled sailing.
Australia’s east coast offshore sailing scene will take on an exciting new look with the staging of the Club Marine Pittwater to Paradise Regatta to start out of The Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club on January 2, 2018.
After negotiations with Southport Yacht Club it was decided that a new era of racing will take place for both well-established clubs with the combination of the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club’s ocean race to Southport and the Southport Yacht Club’s Bartercard Sail Paradise Series to create this exciting new event.
This decision comes off the back of a very successful Club Marine Pittwater to Southport Race in January 2017. The event drew keen competitors from both NSW and Queensland, and aided by an unseasonal southerly the race was completed in almost record time by Doug Coulter’s Shakti, a 46 footer from Lake Macquarie Yacht Club. “We reached a top speed of around 23 knots but averaged around 18 – 16 knots most of the way up the coast.” Coulter said.
Apart from the fast-paced downwind race, the 2017 event was complimented by the exceptional hospitality from the Southport Yacht Club. Volunteers and staffed worked tirelessly for 24 hours a day to ensure the safety and enjoyment of all the competitors as they entered the Gold Coast seaway into the Southport marina.
The 2017 Club Marine Pittwater to Southport race kicked off the year with an exciting, fast race complete with on-water social media competitions, live starts broadcast on Facebook, a media helicopter hovering over the fleet and a blistering pace to match.
Mark Tinworth and Mark Waterhouse’s Beneteau First 44.7 Le Billet used the event to mix youth and experience by bringing five RPAYC Youth Development on board. Upon receiving first in PHS Division 2 and second in IRC Tinworth made special mention to his crew pointing the great work the Youth Development team achieved on the race to Southport.
“We had a great race with the five Youth Development members from the club (RPAYC). They are all under 23 and they bring so much enthusiasm and energy and it was great having them on board,” Tinworth said.
The Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club prides itself as a world class yacht club and Southport in 2017 showed that they too emulate this attitude to their sport and club which makes Chair of the Race Committee, Richard Hudson very pleased with the decision and looking forward to the opportunities that the new Club Marine Pittwater to Paradise will bring.
“Its great news to have the Club’s signature offshore event secure a finish destination. I raced in the 2017 event and Southport were nothing short of amazing! Both clubs have such a high standard of service and planning that I think the Club Marine Pittwater to Paradise Regatta is the start of something big.” said Richard Hudson.
The 380-nautical mile Club Marine Pittwater to Paradise Regatta will start in Pittwater, north of Sydney, on January 2 2018, and Bartercard Sail Paradise on January 6. Both events are open to the full spectrum of sailboats: monohulls and multihulls through to the upper echelon of Grand Prix ocean racers.
Southport Yacht Club’s commodore, Kerry Noyes, welcomed the news of the Pittwater to Paradise race: “Southport Yacht Club is delighted to announce this wonderful joint venture with RPAYC where their great race and our regatta are combined. Apart from being an exciting concept, it will have the added attraction of being an excellent summer holiday opportunity for the families and friends of competitors. We look forward to welcoming everyone to our great Club.” Said Kerry Noyes.
Both Pittwater and the Gold Coast present excellent holiday destinations and those thinking about competing are encouraged to visit www.pittwatertoparadise.com.au or www.facebook.com/pittwatertoparadise to keep up with special discounts and offers.