The Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club has announced two separate blue water regattas in its 2009-10 calendar to meet growing demand to run a racing program which will allow its keelboat owners to “stretch their legs” and provide a progressive path to the Club's premier event, the Pittwater to Coffs Harbour Offshore series that takes place in January 2010.
The first of its fresh offshore events is an 8 race programme spaced across the 2009/10 season which involves courses between 20 and 30nm. Each race in the programme will start in the mouth of Broken Bay, finish just inside Barrenjoey and cover the area from Terrigal in the north to Sydney Harbour's North Head down south and 8nm eastward. Start time is 12:30pm and the time limit is 17:30pm.
The RPAYC has scheduled these new races as a stand alone regatta in its calendar in order to open entry to members of any Yachting Australia affiliated club with a Category 4 Equipment Audit form signed by an accredited auditor.
The second regatta covers RPAYC's more “traditional” Blue Water racing and will involve marks in destinations such as Bird Island, Botany Bay & Newcastle. It will also dovetail with the 29th Pittwater – Coffs Harbour series in January 2010. Other than Coffs Harbour series races, this series will start at 10:00am and as competitors may not finish by nightfall, a Category 3 Equipment Audit Form is necessary, with a step up to Category 2 for the Pittwater – Coffs Harbour passage race. Again, this series is open to any qualifying boat from YA affiliated clubs.
RPAYC's Rear Commodore of Yacht Racing, Ian Audsley said, “The re-introduction of ocean racing complements an already comprehensive racing calendar that provides quality racing across a hugely diverse member base. For instance, the RPAYC already runs a strong centreboard fleet, has an innovative schools program and steps up to a sought after youth development program.
For our keelboat fleets we provide “traditional” twilights, ladies twilights and have just announced a new double handed spinnaker twilight series. Our evergreen Wednesday afternoon racing remains very popular, as is our Saturday fleet racing in Etchells and 11 meters. For our larger yachts, we have a relaxed non-pointscore inshore series, a competitive inshore series and a series sailed within 2nm of Barrenjoey. There's really no excuse for racing “tragics” to miss out.”
RPAYC Commodore Russell Murphy, himself a seasoned offshore sailor added, “Our Club has a long and proud history of offshore racing and our members always compete well above their weight in inter-club competitions. These new regattas will provide even more variety and fabulous opportunities for skill development. I'm particularly pleased that we can also offer them to members of sister clubs around Pittwater. My hope is that we can also entice yachts from Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Brisbane Waters and even some from the Harbour that might like to sample and enjoy our part of the world & some RPAYC hospitality.”
The 8 race Short Ocean regatta is being sailed on 19 September, 17 October, 7 & 21 November, 12 December and in 2010, 6 & 20 February and 13 March.
By Damian Devine, RPAYC Marketing & Publicity Manager