Twenty years ago almost to the day, a bunch of Seawind owners got together to test their sailing prowess and race their cruising catamarans around Pittwater, just north of Sydney Harbour. Gathering at the Basin camping ground afterwards, tales were told over beers and a bbq and friendships were born. The concept caught on and the Seawind Pittwater Regatta became an institution growing to become one of the largest multihull regattas in Australia and one of the largest brand gatherings of its kind in the world, with around 35 Seawind racing in its peak.
After a hiatus from Pittwater for several years, it was considered fitting that we would return to this spectacular cruising location once again and retrace the old racing program established two decades ago to see why this was so special.
So following many months of planning and organising by the regatta committee, formed by fellow Seawind owners, we had gathered 22 boat entries and around 80 people to join us for a weekend of sailing.
Some boats were already on Pittwater, however many had to travel from locations including Port Stephens, Port Hacking and Jervis Bay. However no one had travelled as far as Rich Carey onboard his Seawind 1160 ‘X86’ who had recently arrived on Pittwater following his solo transpacific and previous transatlantic crossings from the Med where he had been cruising for some time.
Following a short invitation race, the flotilla assembled Friday afternoon on the 26th of October at the Refuge Cove on Pittwater and gathered onshore at the Basin where a large marquee had been erected in the yard of a heritage listed cottage from former settlers.
The fleet gathered for a Paella freshly cooked onsite in front of us and it was refreshing to see so many familiar faces. After a welcome and short presentation, the ‘Seabbatical Short Film Festival’ is played in the marquee on a large screen providing some inspiration for future adventures.
Race one was in light winds which resulted in a congested start line, prompting some friendly sledging between crews. However it was impressive how well the Seawinds can sail in the lighter conditions and in no time the fleet were making their way around the course.
Race two was action packed with 20 knots filling in from the NE which mean a couple of tacks which separated the and a long march down to Lion Island and back.
Finishing at the Basin the fleet resumed some sundowners before donning the formal attire (Hawaiian Shirts) for the presentation later that night… more food rolled out from our caterers and the cool drinks on ice flowed.
Great prizes were given out thanks to our sponsors including Club Marine Insurance.
The overall 2018 Seawind Pittwater Regatta winners were Alan Leach onboard Seawind 1000 Tranquility.
Edward Swaab onboard new Seawind 1260 ‘Moonglider’ won Multihull Central’s best new performance.
Ultimately though, this regatta is not about the trophy or about the prizes. Its about sailing to a beautiful destination, enjoying time with family and friends, learning something from sailing your boat up against identical boats, and belonging to a group of people who share the common dream of adventure at sea.