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Preview: Pittwater to Coffs Harbour Ocean Race 2014

Roar Guru
1st January, 2014
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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, and is a great way to introduce novice sailors and crews to the rigours 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 1pm on second January off Barren Joey in Sydney’s north, and for the leading monohull contenders, will finish less than 48 hours later off the Coffs coast.

This year however, for those who are fans of pure speed, there are four multihull entrants including Sean Langman’s Team Australia.

This yacht has the unofficial Sydney to Hobart record, covering the in 29 hours, about 12 hours faster than Wild Oats XI’s official race record.

If she maintains the same speed, she will complete the race in about 10 hours!

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 name they would be familiar with, Fischer.

Those of you who followed the live blog of the Hobart race, will be aware that the 86 year old Syd Fischer, ocean racing veteran took Ragamuffin 100 to third place for line honours behind Wild Oats XI and Perpetual Loyal.

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Well this year his son, Brenton Fischer will take the old Tp 52 Ragamuffin against the likes of the Farr 45“ Pretty Woman in the monohull event.

I am tipping Ragamuffin to take out the line for monohulls, but there is no doubt Team Australia will take overall Line Honours. Multihulls are far faster, though less stable in big seas than monohulls.

There is a fresh nor’norwester is forecast for the start, so we can expect a spectacular reach start up the coast.

There will not be a live blog of this race, but for those interested check out the race website, for all details and yachtracker.

A full report will be provided after the race has finished.

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