ORC NSW Championship and Pittwater Regatta in full swing with spectacular conditions and wild rides

MEDIA RELEASE 10 February, 2024

ORC NSW Championship and Pittwater Regatta in full swing with spectacular conditions and wild rides   

Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club’s (RPAYC) ORC NSW Championship, supported by Sydney Marine Brokerage, entered its second day today, while the Pittwater Regatta got underway in full swing at Pittwater on the Northern Beaches of NSW, with both fleets enjoying spectacular sailing conditions and some wild rides.

Divisions 1 and 2 of the ORC NSW Championship completed a Passage Race yesterday, which was complemented today by a different style of racing with two windward/leewards on Pittwater.

David Ross maintained the advantage in Division 1, winning both races on Kukukerchu. Bob Cox’s Nine Dragons and Ian Box’s Toy Box 2, each had a solid day to maintain the status quo in second and third respectively.

In Division 2, Garry Holt and Let’s Get It On were all business, winning both races. Neil Padden hung onto second place with Wailea, his Beneteau 40.7, but is 12 points adrift of Holt’s boat.

Peter Farrugia’s Bull 9000, Bullwinkle, moved up to third overall after scoring a pair of second places. If he can sustain today’s performance, Bullwinkle could move up to second place.

The ORC NSW Championship concludes tomorrow when two windward/leeward races on the Palm Beach Circle will decide the winners.

Meanwhile, the four divisions contesting the Pittwater Regatta were away cleanly and on time in the Broken Bay 5 Heads Race. Downwind starts were the order of the day as the clouds began to break and the sun poked through.

A blaze of spinnakers made a stunning sight as the boats blasted down Pittwater in a 15-25 knot south/south-easterly.

Divisions 3 and 4 turned west around West Head and headed around into Broken Bay, while Divisions 1 and 2 reached out to Box Head on an outgoing tide.

Todd McLennan’s Cole 30, Anitra May, led Division 2 early on, while Greg O’Neill’s Super 30, Summersalt, led Division 3. Adrian Walters’ Shaw 11 Metre, Little Nico (steered by Indy Beck) was first out of the Heads in Division 1, but by the time she had rounded Box Head and was passing Lion Island, Revolver had taken the lead.

Revolver, a Ritchie 38 owned by Michael Ritchie, hung on to win the race from John Bacon’s Love Shack and Craig Suggitt’s Georgia Lee. Just over three minutes separated the trio.

Ritchie shared: “We were reasonably quick up and downwind, good on both fronts, so we’re very happy!

“We were sailing in the Super 40 Division, so it was interesting to come home in front of Love Shack. It was great to get the win over a boat that is always well sailed by John Bacon and crew.

“We did 18 knots downwind and match raced Botany Access (Justin Brownbill) in the last 5 miles. They took distance out of us and we were lucky to hold them out.”

Grant Pocklington’s Sydney 39, Hussy, was the standout in Division 2, while Chris Hornsby’s Pick Pocket, a Pocket Rocket 22, took out Division 3. Steve Stuart and Bob Johnson’s Force 8 won Division 4 from the half dozen 11 Metre One-Designs taking park.

“We were first over the line and first on ORC,” Pocklington commented. “We had a wild race up the river. A 20 sou-easter with gusts on a huge run-out tide. It was challenging for every boat. We all had a lot of fun though.

“The Committee did a good job in changing the direction of the course, otherwise there would have been carnage. We would have had 2 metre waves at Box Head, although it was still rough at 1 to 1.5 metres. Everyone’s looking forward to tomorrow.”

It was no picnic sailing an 11 Metre One-Design in these conditions, as Steve Stuart explained “We got horribly wet because it was horribly wild. It was challenging, a 25 gusting to 28 knot southerly.

”Bob, my partner in the boat, is 86 and he steered downwind in that big breeze today. We were doing 15 knots under kite. It was fun downwind. Upwind in big waves and tide was wet!

“It was a very close finish with Time Bandit (Michael Lockley). There were only seven seconds between us. They had a strong beat to the finish.”

Stuart pointed to the carnage in the division: “Under the Influence broke a spinnaker pole, Blue Tack broke the main halyard and we limped home with a broken runner. There’s lots of repairs happening at the moment, but we’re all looking forward to more tomorrow.”

RPAYC’s Race Director, Nick Elliott said, “You could tell everyone was having fun by the massive smiles on everyone’s faces because of the spectacular conditions.”

The Pittwater Regatta ends tomorrow with two inshore races scheduled to start at 11.30am.

Following racing today, crews were treated to a barbecue and entertainment from DJ Vibes back at the RPAYC.

For full results and all information, please visit: www.pittwaterregatta.au

By Di Pearson/RPAYC media

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Credit images: Andrew Francolini Photography

Further information:
Di Pearson
Phone: 0410 792 131