Early entry extended for Club Marine Pittwater to Coffs race

The Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club announced today they have extended the closing date for the first round of Club Marine Pittwater to Coffs Yacht Race entries by a week to Friday December 12, 2014. After the cut-off a late fee will apply to owners who wish to be part of the New Year coastal classic.

Organising committee member Robert McClelland says the annual race to Coffs Harbour is a true port-to-port ocean race that is within reach of club racers. “It's a difficult race to win and a beautiful course to sail, in and out of all the headlands north of Pittwater. There is plenty to challenge crews and in particular navigators in terms of coastal navigation and localised weather patterns, plus the East Coast Current.”

Doug Coulter is bringing a new boat to the start line on January 2, 2015 on behalf of Lake Macquarie Yacht Club. Imported from England in July and a sistership to Celestial, Coulter’s Rogers 46 called Shakti was owned by a German consortium and completed many transatlantic races including the Rolex Fastnet race.

“I took charge of the boat at the end of July and since then we’ve spent time getting it seaworthy to the required standards,” said Coulter. “We’ve done one race from Newcastle and the rest of our sailing has been on Lake Macquarie.

“I’m getting a bit long in the tooth for the Sydney Hobart race and I have nothing to prove. The majority of the aft crew for the Coffs race are very experienced, probably with 60 to 70 Hobarts between us. With a bit of luck we might get a running race north to Coffs in which case the boat will be very slippery. Of our 12-13 crew we are lucky to have 5 or 6 good steerers.”

Coulter has at least eight Pittwater to Coffs races under his sailing belt including a PHS podium win in 1998 with his former Sayer 45 called Frantic.

A simplified entry process is making life easier for owners and boat managers. Entry is open to eligible monohulls, both fully crewed and shorthanded, and multihulls. View the current starting line-up here.

Finish partner Coffs Harbour Yacht club is working on a terrific program of activities once the fleet arrives including a crew tug o’war and dinghy races on Sunday January 4 prior to the Mayoral reception for skippers and officials that evening.

The RPAYC’s program now focuses on the 226nm Category 2 Club Marine Pittwater to Coffs Harbour Yacht Race starting at 1pm on Friday January 2 from a line north of Barrenjoey Headland. A single non-pointscore fun pursuit race around the Solitary Islands off the Coffs Coast on January 5 replaces the previous four race regatta.

“Weary crews will be treated to a great welcome at the Coffs finish with a cool beer and hot BBQ followed by a fun program of entertainment and ongoing hospitality at Coffs Harbour Yacht Club so get online to enter and we'll see you at the start!” enthuses McClelland. 

Enter here by Friday December 12.

The course benchmark sits at 18hr 29min 14sec set in 2003 by Bob Oatley/Mark Richards with Wild Oats IX. In January Team Australia set a multihull record of 17hrs 3min 5sec and Sean Langman and his crew are keen to beat that time this year.

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