Cockburn Sound Regatta gearing up for record entries

Perth’s biggest mixed fleet regatta, the 57th Cockburn Sound Regatta is set to be not just the biggest, but the best yet.

Sponsored by the Kwinana Industries Council and the City of Rockingham, the regatta also enjoys solid support from members of the sailing industry and local business. As a result, Rockingham’s Cruising Yacht Club will present a regatta which is not only well run, but also provides remarkably good value to its participants.

Instead of a late entry penalty for example, sponsors Dhu West have donated an inflatable tender for a draw in which all the entries received and paid up by closing date, are eligible to participate. Since the incentive was introduced three years ago, late entries are almost non-existent and Dhu West has been rewarded with some great exposure for their locally produced product range.

Falling into the doldrums some years ago, the event was reinvigorated by Alan Campbell, whose infectious enthusiasm attracted a dedicated team of volunteers and sponsors. The regatta has grown in popularity each year and entries should top the one hundred mark in December.

Now mature enough to recognise its strengths, the Cockburn Sound Regatta caters firstly for cruiser/racers, from Division 1 ocean racers to tiny trailer sailers and sportsboats. It is still run in its traditional time slot between Christmas and New Year, when most dinghy classes are competing in their nationals around the country, but also works diligently to attract dinghies and multihulls.

This year the Skate class will be holding its National Championships in conjunction with Cockburn Sound Regatta. Their series will have its own course and on-water personnel, but will benefit from the wide range of on-shore activities and fits well with the Regatta’s motto of “Serious Sailors Having Serious Fun”.

Rockingham’s north facing Mangles Bay ranks among the best sailing territory in Australia, open to prevailing south westerly afternoon sea breezes that skip over the land mass and over flat water. To the west, the bay is protected by Garden Island. Big boats sail northwards into Cockburn Sound, so all fleets enjoy varied and interesting courses.

One of the growth fleets in the regatta is, ironically, the older boat “classic” division. Initially the domain of a few loved but ageing Herreschoff 28’s, extra spice is coming this year with the first meeting of the 107-year-old Eun-Na-Mara, which has been beautifully restored by owner Ralph Newton, and Gary Martin’s Acrospire. These two timber yachts really are classics and are every bit as beautiful today as they were when they were first launched. Both have wonderful competitive records and their meeting should generate great interest.

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– Bernie Kaaks

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