Newcastle Return - Race 4 in the BWPS

RPAYC registered boats XS Moment, Mercury, Quantock and Transcendence raced to Newcastle and back, as part of the 2023-24 Blue Water Pointscore Series setting off from Broken Bay on 16 November 2023. With the results delayed, due to a rating clarification that has since been resolved, Mercury has claimed 1st in ORC and IRC with XS Moment 1st on PHS.

The challenging overnight 100nm return race was no mean feat for the Skippers and their crew to complete, let alone taking the race on two-handed.

Martin Cross, with his son John onboard Transcendence Rudy Project, a Sunfast 3300, have done just that sharing a few key moments of their race with us.

“It was a good race until we were one hour from the Newcastle turning mark. We had a light wind NE at the start, but then after 2 hours we had a good 10-12kt ENE wind developed and were close reaching fast to the turning mark with Code Zero and gennaker staysail set (speed averaging over 8kts). We were 7 miles behind the big boats who were almost at the mark,” John recounts. 

“Unfortunately at that point the wind rapidly backed to the North and dropped down to 2-3kts. The theoretical 1 hour reach for us to the turning mark became a 3 hours drifter to windward and that was the end any chance of winning.”

The big boats sailed past Transcendence, heading back towards Pittwater with spinnakers or gennakers set,  before disappearing into the sunset. Onboard the Sunfast optimism reigned, “At least we had a beautiful sunset over Newcastle to enjoy, and take a few photos. We then had a very light downwind section, trying to fill the gennaker before the forecast 15kt southeasterly came in, and we beat overnight until the lay line, reaching to the finish at Barrenjoey.”

Martin and John arrived back  at sunrise at around 0530. “We finished last in every division… sailing, you win some you lose some!”

The next race in this Blue Water Pointscore Series is Race 5 – the much loved and big draw card sail of the Pittwater to Coffs Harbour Race which is scheduled for 22 March 2024. Entries are open now for anyone interested in participating. Read more about the Pittwater to Coffs Harbour Race at