The march of the multihulls into mainstream racing is gathering pace with more summer events than ever before set to cater for the NSW fleet.
Last month’s Audi Hamilton Island Race Week enjoyed bumper numbers thanks to a rise in multihull entries and Commodore of the Multihull Yacht Club Queensland, Bruce Weiland, says these days most clubs in Brisbane’s Moreton Bay offer a racing multihull division.
Today Middle Harbour Yacht Club at The Spit in Sydney announced the MHYC Multihull Short Offshore Series for the 2014-15 sailing season and invited owners with Category 4 safety certificates to be part of the inaugural eight-race pointscore.
“MHYC is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year and rifling through our archives has revealed the club has been welcoming seaworthy multihulls since the first division was created for them way back in 1988,” said Commodore John McCuaig.
MHYC is the organising authority of the first-time MHYC Multihull Short Offshore Series and in charge of running five of the eight races plus scoring the fleet under OMR (Offshore Multihull Rule) across the season. The Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron at Kirribilli has agreed to start and finish the remaining three races. The multihulls will dovetail into the existing short ocean series races run by these two Sydney clubs, and will start and finish on the same line as the traditional keelboats.
The multihull series will commence on Saturday September 27, 2014 and conclude on Saturday March 14, 2015.
“We are delighted with MHYC’s decision to support a new Saturday multihull series,” said Sean Langman, owner/skipper of the Orma 60 trimaran Team Australia and the man largely behind the push for the monohull and multihull fleets, particularly in NSW, to integrate. “Step-by-step Australia is joining the rest of the planet and enjoying the purity of sailing these boats. All power to MHYC for having the foresight, and to RSYS for getting on board.”
Soon after Christmas and mid-way through the short offshore series Team Australia will head up a likely bolstered multihull fleet turning left at Broken Bay on January 2, 2015 for the Club Marine Pittwater to Coffs Harbour ocean race. The 226 nautical mile ocean passage conducted by the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club opened its doors to multihulls this year. Langman is also considering taking Team Australia to Geelong’s Festival of Sails later in January.
At the completion of the MHYC Multihull Short Offshore Series Team Australia’s crew will prepare to venture north again, this time all the way to the Sunshine Coast as part of the Sydney to Mooloolaba Yacht Race. The starting date for the MHYC hosted bluewater event is set for Wednesday March 25, 2015, leading into the annual Brisbane to Gladstone race which has welcomed multihulls for the past half a century.
“Team Australia’s crew is looking forward to the company and competition of other compliant multihull entries for the new MHYC instigated Saturday offshore series, and to being welcomed by the broader fleet at the other major events on our calendar,” Langman added.
He and his staff are working behind the scenes and in tandem with other multihull owners to affiliate the new Australian Ocean Racing Multihull Association (AORMA) with Yachting Australia.
Entries open at www.mhyc.com.au/online-entries
– Lisa Ratcliff