After the excitement and intense media coverage of the Sydney to Hobart yacht race, the sailing fraternity’s attention turns to the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club’s Pittwater to Coffs Race and Regatta.
While by no means as well known as the Boxing Day spectacular, this race is very popular with those owners and crew who do not fancy the hard slog down south.
It is a great way to introduce novice sailors and crews to the rigors of long distance offshore ocean racing.
It was in this race, many moons ago now, that I took my first steps into the sport as bowman on the Farr 40 ‘Rumblefish’. We didn’t come anywhere near winning, but it was mighty good fun.
The 226 nautical mile (nm) race starts at 1.00pm AEDT this afternoon off Barrenjoey in Sydney’s north, and the leading contenders will finish less than 48 hours later off the Coffs Harbour coast.
Unlike the Sydney to Hobart Race, the general public will most likely be totally unaware of any of the yachts taking part, however there is certainly one man they would be familiar with, Syd Fischer.
Those of you who followed the live blog of the Hobart race, will be aware that this 85-year-old ocean racing veteran took Ragamuffin-Loyal, which he had leased for the event, to second place for line honours behind Wild Oats XI.
Fresh from that campaign, he will today jump onto his own yacht, the TP52 ‘Ragamuffin’ to challenge for line honours against the likes of ‘Wedgetail, a Reichel Pugh 55, and the Farr 45 ‘Pretty Woman’. I am tipping ‘Ragamuffin’ to take out the line honours title.
There is a fresh southerly forecast for the start, so we can expect a spectacular spinnaker start up the coast.
There will not be a live blog of this race, but for those interested check out the race website for race details and yachtracker. A full report will be provided after the race has finished.