Entries open for Sydney Harbour Regatta

The Nautilus Marine Insurance Sydney Harbour Regatta will take place on the weekend of 4-5 March, with online entry now open and the Notice of Race published for the largest annual keelboat regatta in NSW, organised by Middle Harbour Yacht Club (MHYC) since 2006.

Traditionally held on the first weekend of March annually, the regatta attracts up to 200 boats across 19 divisions racing over seven course areas. Competitors from Olympians to world champions, America’s Cup stars to ocean racing’s finest and club racers all enjoy this autumn regatta.

Sydney 38 Championship at SHR in 2019 - Andrea Francolini, SHR pic
Sydney 38 Championship at SHR in 2019 – Andrea Francolini, SHR pic

“We expect another robust showing in 2023 with strong competition for the J/99 and Sydney 38 Championships, the other one design divisions and remaining classes. With entries from all over NSW and some from interstate, we expect no less,” MHYC Commodore, Rob Aldis said.

Aldis and Sandy Farquharson recently returned from skippering Khaleesi, their DK46, to Rolex Sydney Hobart fourth in IRC Division 2 and third in ORCi Division 2. A Past Commodore, Ian Box, was in the same division with Toybox 2. Both are regulars in the Open class for IRC and ORCi entrants.

The Open divisions sail on offshore courses. The remainder cover Sydney Harbour in a blaze of colour from the Opera House down to the Sound between North and South Heads.

In 2023, the Sydney Harbour Regatta will host the Sydney 38 NSW Championship, to be defended by Peter Byford and David Hudson’s Conspiracy. It will also host the J/99 Australian and NSW Championships.

A fairly new breed in Australia, Jules Hall’s J/99 Disko Trooper, the 2021 Sydney Hobart Two-Handed division winner, is the benchmark. Ray Entwistle’s Jedi, Shane Connelly’s Rum Rebellion and Chris O’Neill’s Blue Planet, launched late last year, are expected to start.

Other classes include Performance Spinnaker and Non-Spinnaker divisions which typically deliver the most entries and the most colour. In Division 1, Peter Sorenson’s Advanced Philosophy won by two points from Brendan McAssey’s S1 in 2022. They will likely return.

The same came be said for Division 2’s top two: Jack Stening and Colin Gunn’s Stormaway, and second placed Graeme Neuhaus’ Crowded Haus. Just two points rested between them.

Molon Labe dealing with traffic and the conditions - Andrea Francolini pic
Molon Labe dealing with traffic and the conditions – Andrea Francolini pic

Other divisions include the former Olympic class Yngling and the exciting speed machine Super 30 and 40 classes.

In the Super 30’s, expect the return of 2022 winner, Peter Woodhead’s XC3SS and runner-up, Brian Tavener’s Ophir. In the ‘40’s’, you will find the likes of reigning champion Revolver (Michael Ritchie), second placed Victoire owned by 2013 Sydney Hobart winner, Darryl Hodgkinson and Little Nico (Adrian Walters).

The Super 50s, namely the grand prix TP52 class, is expected to be hotly contested with a few more joining the ranks in the last year.

David Doherty’s Matador won the class at the SHR last year and placed second at the Australian Yachting Championships in August. She was only beaten by the newest in the bunch, the 2021 launched international Caro, representing New Zealand.

J70s tight off the start - Marg Fraser-Martin pic - MHYC
J70s tight off the start – Marg Fraser-Martin pic – MHYC

One design boats include: J70s, the class gaining momentum since making their presence felt in numbers in 2017, along with the evergreen J24’s and Adams 10‘s, one of the most fiercely contested classes.

Telling its own story, the Adams 10 was led by Tracy Richardson’s Artemis on countback to Brian Lees’ Contentious on the final day last year, but Lees won by three points in the end.

Historical 18 foot skiffs, bringing back memories of yesteryear, are the most recognisable class, with their wooden hulls and gaff rigs, their crews resplendent in their team footy jumpers. The Jerry Tickner skippered Aberdare is defending champion.

There are divisions to suit all at the Sydney Harbour Regatta - Marg Fraser-Martin pic - MHYC
There are divisions to suit all at the Sydney Harbour Regatta – Marg Fraser-Martin pic – MHYC

MHYC thanks naming rights sponsor Nautilus Marine Insurance and supporting sponsor Quality Marine Clothing.

The Club also thanks Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, Sydney Amateur Sailing Club, Manly Yacht Club, Royal Australian Navy Sailing Association, Royal Prince Edward Yacht Club, Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club and the Sydney Flying Squadron, for their valuable support.

Come and join in the 18th running of this major event. For the Notice of Race, to enter and all information on the Nautilus Marine Insurance Sydney Harbour Regatta, please visit: https://www.shr.mhyc.com.au/

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