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Consistent strong southerly breezes for the first ever Club Marine Pittwater to Southport Yacht Race hosted by the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club brought in the last boat, Ian Edward’s Firefly, from 18 starters to the finish line at 22:10 EDT on Wednesday January 4, 2017.
Doug Coulter’s Shakti, a Rogers 46 from Lake Macquarie Yacht Club, not only claimed line honours in the Club Marine Pittwater to Southport Yacht Race but also collected the silverware for first place in both IRC and ORCi divisions.
Shakti is the Hindu Goddess of power or force – and there was plenty of power in the boat’s run up the coast riding the south to south-east breeze, leading the fleet from the outset and setting a race record of 36 hours, 46 minutes, 07 seconds. Shakti’s average speed ranged between 16 – 18 knots with a top speed of 23 knots.
The pre-race forecast foretold a fast course time from the 1pm start from Broken Bay with competitors eager for a thrilling downhill run into Southport on Queensland’s south east coast. With gusts reaching 30 knots, the downhill run came at a cost for some owners and sail makers can look forward to a flurry of orders for replacement spinnakers.
Marcus Grimes, winner of the race’s social media competition for best live update, commented in one of his videos: “It’s been a pretty eventful race for us, we’ve been having a lot of fun but I reckon we’ve gone through every spinnaker in the bag.” Even with the added challenge of spinnaker issues, Grimes’ Elliott 10.5 High Anxiety claimed additional race prizes to go with their social media awards - third PHS overall and third PHS Division 2.
First on PHS was Jan Scholten and Stephen Parker’s Panchax, aptly named the “giant killer” by RPAYC Club Coach Tom Spithill due to their performance against the larger fleet. The Stewart 34, one of the smallest boats in the fleet, began the 370 nautical mile race strongly mid-fleet and maintained boat speed all the way up the coast to cross the line in 13th place and take victory in the PHS overall results and also PHS Division 2.
Mark Tinworth and Mark Waterhouse’s Beneteau First 44.7 Le Billet had a great mix of youth and experience on board with five RPAYC Youth Development sailors led by the owners and renowned yachtsman and tactician Steve McConaghy. After crossing the finish line in fourth place the team scored first in PHS Division 2 and second in IRC results.
Upon receiving the IRC award Tinworth made special mention to his crew pointing the great work the Youth Development team achieved on the race to Southport.
,” Tinworth said.“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
Youth Development crew Rachel Bower couldn’t praise Tinworth and the rest of the crew enough for the experience she gained racing to Southport.
“You learn so much from these experienced sailors like Steve (McConaghy), he’s like an Ocean Whisperer, plus you’re sailing with all your mates which just boosts the enthusiasm all-round. Both Marks are such great guys, it just makes it all worth it,” Rachel said.
As an added bonus to competitors in the Club Marine Pittwater to Southport Yacht Race, Roger ‘Clouds’ Badham provided his weather reports for the race start and has written a report for the Sydney, Lake Macquarie and Newcastle boats, for their voyage home.
This can be found on the event’s website.
Along with a weather report competitors can also download photos from the race via the RPAYC fotomerchant website which can be found HERE
Competitors are entitled to free berthing at Southport Yacht Club if they stay on for the start of the Bartercard Sail Paradise series on Sunday 8 January. For more information visit www.sailparadise.com.au
Moving forward the RPAYC will review their options to decide on a destination for their flagship blue water race.
Full handicap results in all divisions at http://www.pittwatertosouthport.com.au/live/race-results.html
Doug Coulter’s Shakti from the Lake Macquarie Yacht Club have steamed their way up the New South Wales coast to set the record for the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club’s first ever Club Marine Pittwater to Southport Yacht Race with an official finish time of 0201 EDT on January 4, 2017 gave them an elapsed time of 36hrs, 46mins 07 seconds.
With winds going a little beyond the predicted strength Coulter was very happy with the 46-footer’s performance in the south to southeast breeze reaching top speeds of 23 knots and averaging 18 to 16 knots.
“We reached a top speed of around 23 knots but averaged around 18 – 16 knots most of the way up the coast.” Coulter said.
“The breeze was a little stronger than we expected which got us here pretty quickly” said the skipper early this morning, adding, “in some spots the gusts reached 30 knots.”
Coulter wasn’t too fazed when asked about setting the record but glad that all the preparation paid off with a great team effort and result given it was the boat’s first race to Southport.
Now the wait begins for the team to see if the gap of the rest of the finishing fleet is wide enough for them to maintain their IRC and ORC overall handicap lead. The outcome is one they have no control over as it depends how fast it takes to complete the 370 nautical mile ocean race that began on Monday at 1pm from Broken Bay.
Following in close second for the IRC handicap is the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club’s Le Billet which is currently just south of Tweed Heads. In close second for the ORC handicap is Phil Arnall’s Anger Management from the Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club.
Avalon Sailing Club’s Panchax, Co-owned by Stephen Parker and Jan Scholten is one of the smallest boats in the fleet and is sitting on first place for the PHS division with Marcus Grimes’ High Anxiety in second place.
Along with sailing a good race thus far for High Anxiety they have also been very proactive with the social side of the race provided detailed live updates of their progress that can be found on the event’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/pitt2southport.
On arrival Southport Yacht Club did a fantastic job ushering in Shakti into the Gold Coast seaway and the crew were welcomed with a healthy dose of cold beer and hot chips on arrival to the dock along with being presented the line honours trophy from RPAYC Commodore Ian Audsley.
Today’s Gold Coast coastal waters forecast is for 15 to 20 knot southeasterly winds easing in the afternoon along with a 50% chance of showers. Today should see out the rest of the fleet finish the race.
Follow the fleet here http://yb.tl/PS2017
#pitt2southport #pittwatertosouthport #southport17
RPAYC Marketing & Media Coordinator
Doug Coulter’s Shakti has taken full advantage of the current weather pattern to launch their boat up the NSW coast overnight and maintain the lead in the first ever Club Marine Pittwater to Southport Yacht Race.
Shakti passed Coffs Harbour at around 8:30am this morning with gusts up to 27 knots from the south setting up a cruising speed of 14 knots.
Given the current weather pattern and their boat speed, Coulter is confident the 46-footer from Lake Macquarie will reach the finish line off Southport’s Main Beach by tonight, Tuesday January 3, 2017.
“If the breeze holds and we don’t run into any problems I’d say we’ll be finishing around 8pm or 9pm tonight,” Coulter said.
“We’ve had around 20 plus knots pretty much all night,” said the skipper this morning, adding, “we had some little issues which slowed us down but we got them fixed.”
Shakti also leads the fleet on IRC and ORCi handicap.
Phil Arnall’s Anger Management is positioned 40 nautical miles behind Shakti in second place with Richard Hudson’s Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club based Pretty Woman, veteran of the Pittwater to Coffs Race, third from a fleet of 18 starters
With the competitors racing north relatively close to shore there have been some great live updates sent to the Club Marine Pittwater to Southport social media pages.
Rachel Bower, crewmember on Le Billet, decided to do a spot of fishing this morning to treat the crew. Unfortunately she only caught a fingernail sized tiddler.
“I was just sitting on the rail and looked down on my hand and there he was (the fish) looking at me. I don’t think it’s going to feed the crew,” Rachel said.
TUE 03 6.45am
A forecast will be available for any boat returning this week or next week.
No significant change from the previous forecast
The S change has cleared NSW coast and the race area; S wind turning SSE-SE today and generally SE direction tomorrow. The SE wind flow onto the NSW coast is between high pressure near Tasmania and low pressure trough on the central QLD coast. That pattern will be slow to change – the wind slowly easing from the south and slowly shifting left in direction from SSE to SE then ESE.
Frequent showers along the far north coast of NSW and SE QLD coast – scattered showers on the remainder of the NSW coast with little change in the pattern for the next 48 hrs.
strong adverse current near the coast around Smoky Cape and Cape Byron; strong adverse current out near the shelf elsewhere.
FORECAST (wind speed in knots is average, gusts will be higher, particularly around passing showers)
WIND SW-S/15-25 inshore and S/20-25 offshore in the morning. SSE-SE/15-20 inshore and offshore in the afternoon.
Easing to SE-S-SW/10-15 at night near the coast; remaining SE/14-18 offshore
WAVES 1.5-2m waves ; 1.5m SSE swell
WIND S-SE/24-28 easing to SE/20-25 at night
WAVES 1.5-2m waves; 1.5m SSE swell
Like the Rolex Sydney Hobart fleet’s quick push south in record time, the Club Marine Pittwater to Southport line-up is set to also enjoy tailwinds after taking a left hand turn out of Broken Bay tomorrow.
The Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club will set a start line to the north of Palm Beach headland at 1pm on Monday January 2, 2017 and send the fleet to cover a course length of 370 nautical miles to the Queensland Gold Coast and Southport Yacht Club, which will welcome and host close to 200 sailors.
Bureau of Meteorology weather services manager Jane Golding says a front is expected to run up the NSW coast passing Sydney later afternoon or evening on Sunday January 1, 2017, followed by a spell of SE winds that will hit the NSW coastline.
A high pressure system is likely to follow the front and at the same time a tropical monsoon trough and low pressure will be on the central QLD coast. Between these two weather systems the SE wind will be stronger on the northern NSW coast.
Respected yachting meteorologist Roger Badham is supporting the Bureau in terms of supplying specialised race forecasts and he’s predicting a fast race with S-SE winds of 20-25kts easing to 10-15kts on the Hunter and Mid North Coast and likely to remain SE 20-25kts at the NSW-QLD border areas.
This is great news for the lightweight, wide and the planing boats that love running-reaching conditions, and not so great for the narrower and heavier hulls that sail closer to their handicap rating when pushing into headwinds.
Skipper of the Elliott 10.5 High Anxiety, Marcus Grimes, said, “We would be ecstatic if ‘Clouds’ Badham's forecast holds and the more east in the southerly the better, to help us against the symmetrical boats. Our sweet spot is broad reaching.
“Our early routing is telling us it will be a fast run under three days, but we will wait and see what the SE current has in store for us!” Grimes added.
He and his RPAYC team are also excited about new trimmer Danielle’s pre-race preparations - baking her own sourdough bread and smoking cheese to share with the crew.
Golding expects by the time the fleet reaches the Coffs Harbour - Byron coast vicinity they can expect heavy showers and possible storms. She says the fleet would have to go too far wide to gain any advantage by avoiding the southerly current running along the race route.
A diverse fleet of NSW and Queensland boats ranging from the smallest, High Anxiety at 33 feet, to the largest, a Radford 50 called Peklejus, are less than 24 hours out from the first ocean race of the New Year. Like always in coastal passage races, the pressure will be on the navigator and tactician to pick the fastest course – running along the beaches and headlands or further out to sea where winds can be fresher, or a combination of both.
Skippers will attend the mandatory race and weather briefing at 0900hrs at the RPAYC on start day and after the start the fleet can be tracked continuously via the race website.
Crews can hone their on board reporting skills during the Club Marine Pittwater to Southport Yacht Race and help feed the social media beast by posting live update photos and videos to Facebook or Instagram. At the January 6 official race prizegiving the winner will be announced and presented with the prize pack of a Go Pro HERO Five, official race merchandise and a waterproof storage bag. T’s & c’s on the race website.
@pitt2southport #pitt2southport #southport17
By Lisa Ratcliff /RPAYC media
Photo by Howard Wright/IMAGE Professional Photography www.imagephoto.com.au
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SUN 01 8am
Forecast for the the Pittwater to Southport race; it will be updated tomorrow, MON 02 at around 7am
The forecast will be sent by email and a second email will include some routeing for yachts of around 38 feet, 40 feet and 42 feet.
If you want to receive some grib files for the race area, then please let me know.
SUN 01 Softer SE-NE in the morning and NE/10-15 afternoon. A few showers developing during the afternoon.
A S change of 25-30 kts expected to run up the NSW coast early morning passing Sydney at around 6am
Wind S/20-25 on the coast that afternoon with S-SSE/25-30 offshore.
The front will be most active with showers and local thunderstorms during the later afternoon and night when on the north coast of NSW.
The S change will reach the far north coast of NSW early morning with S-SSE/20-30.
The band of frequent showers and thunderstorms will move north of Southport during the morning
Behind the front, the wind will be SW-S/15-25 on MON night/early hours of TUE morning, then S-SE/15-25 during TUE afternoon and also TUE night.
A few showers will persist with the S-SE winds behind the front.
SE/15-20 on the NSW north coast; SE/20-25 on the far north coast of NSW and SE QLD.
An active tropical/monsoon trough and possible low pressure may move south to be located close to Fraser Island – that will assist in keeping the wind speed at 20-25 kts on the far north coast of NSW and SE QLD.
SE/15-25 onto the far north coast of NSW and SE QLD coast.
MON 02 PITTWATER to MID NORTH COAST
SITUATION: S/25-30 front to pass Sydney around 6am and be north of Coffs later that night.
WIND S/23-27 outside Pittwater at the start; S-SSE/20-25 near the coast later afternoon and night and SSE/25-30 offshore.
WEATHER a band of rain with possible heavier showers – the rain becoming more widespread late in the day and overnight when the front is on the NSW north coast. Shower or 2 behind the front.
WAVES 1.5m then 2m waves on a 1m S-SSE swell increasing to 2m
CURRENT strong adverse current offshore from Sydney and again north of Crowdy Head – with strong adverse current flooding to near the coast at Smoky Cape.
TUE 03 LOWER MID NORTH COAST to SE QLD:
SITUATION: S front on the far north coast of NSW early morning clearing the Brisbane area that morning.
WIND SW-S/15-25 in close to the coast in the morning and S/20-25 afternoon. Easing to SSE-SE/15-20 south of Smoky Cape in the afternoon/night. SSE-SE/20-30 north of Smoky Cape then SE/20-25 at night.
WEATHER frequent and heavier showers contracting north of Southport; fairly cloudy most of the NSW coast with a shower or 2
WAVES 1-2m waves close to coast; 2-2.5m waves offshore; 2m SSE swell
CURRENT strong adverse current near the coast around Smoky Cape and Cape Byron; strong adverse current out near the shelf elsewhere.
WED 04 FAR NORTH COAST and SE QLD
SITUATION SE then ESE flow onto northern half of NSW coast – strongest onto the far north coast NSW and SE QLD.
WIND SE/20-25 far north coast of NSW and SE QLD
WEATHER mostly cloudy with a few showers – showers more frequent far north coast of NSW-SE QLD.
WAVES 1-2m waves and 2m SE-ESE swell
CURRENT strong adverse current – closest to the coast near Smoky Cape and also Cape Byron.
THU 05 FAR NORTH COAST and SE QLD
SITUATION SE-ESE flow onto the SE QLD coast between high pressure over the south Tasman Sea and an active monsoon trough/low on the coast north of Fraser Island.
WEATHER mostly cloudy with a few showers
WAVES 1-2m waves and 1.5m ESE swell
CURRENT strong adverse current near Byron and all areas out near the shelf.
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