The islands have it as Sail Port Stephens fleet heads offshore

Sail Port Stephens 2021 Race 2 Commodores Cup. Pic_Roni Bintang.

The 2021 Sail Port Stephens regatta switched to island time today for Race 2 of the Commodores Cup, with the fleet heading seawards for a race course where Mother Nature lays the marks – or at least the landmarks.

Starting off Nelson Bay breakwall, the yachts donned spinnakers for a sparkling run in nor’westerly winds gusting to 18 knots. Many hugged Yacaaba Headland under the stern gaze of seabirds and dolphins, modern sails juxtaposed against the majestic, millennium-old cliffs.

They then wove around Cabbage Tree and Boondelbah Islands, which stand like sentries at the entrance to this pristine marine park.

Leading the 108-strong fleet almost from the outset was Little Nico, with owner Adrian Walters back at the helm of his Shaw 11 and Mitch White calling the shots.


Sail Port Stephens 2021 – Little Nico. Pic Roni Bintang.

“We had a fairly average start due to a radio malfunction, but luckily a downwind start suited a downwind boat,” White explained. “We got through the pack, then it was a case of the rich getting richer.”

The winding course and fluctuating wind strength kept the crew busy with sail changes, but it was no sweat for professional sailors Cam Ward and Josh Alexander who are enjoying a sailing holiday at Port Stephens aboard the Shaw.

Little Nico finally crossed the line four minutes ahead of Rob Dawes’s Marten 49 Indigo II, albeit their advantage had been around 10 minutes mid-race. “Indigo sucked six minutes out of us on the final beat because they’re a much bigger boat,” White added. “Unlike yesterday, though, the weather gods went our way as the wind eased after we finished.”

The result lifted Little Nico into third overall for the series, equal on 10 points with Indigo II. Andrew Pearson’s Beneteau First 45 Highly Sprung leads on six points from Middle Harbour clubmates Rob Aldis and Sandy Farquharson on Khaleesi.

Division 2 saw another strong result for the Italia 11.98 Cicero, skipper and importer Mark Hellyer adding a second placing to his first from yesterday. Drummoyne Sailing Club’s Arch Rival won today’s race and now sits second on eight points overall, one ahead of Peter Horne’s Bling from Lake Macquarie.

It was déjà vu in Divisions 3 and 4, Dale Sharp’s Farr 31 Sofarr and David Rundle’s Smoke and Mirrors both winning for the second consecutive day. The PHS handicappers may be watching them like seabirds before tomorrow’s finale.

Dale Sharp: “It was a great day out there. We got around the Heads in good shape and managed to keep the boat going through the puffs. Through the islands I think we went from third in division into first … and it set us up for a really good race to the finish with Salt Shaker.”

Sail Port Stephens 2021 – Salt Shaker. Pic Roni Bintang.

Just last month, Sofarr was tee-boned in a racing incident on Lake Macquarie but is now patched up and sporting a shiny new paint job. Being an ex-J24 sailor, Sharp has rigged the yacht with all the control lines leading back to the pit, where the brains trust can pull the strings while two sizable twin brothers perch on the gunwales, swinging the boat down.

“There’s some breeze predicted for tomorrow, but we’ll be fine if we get some upwind sailing.”

Continuing the déjà vu theme, Salt Shaker and Liquid Force both grabbed the same podium places as yesterday. The Jeanneau Hells Bells is five points adrift in fourth but flying under the radar.

The Fareast 28R’s came to the fore today in Division 4, many of them managing to carry their asymmetrics longer than others. Rob Reynolds, representing Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron, and Chicken Lips, skippered by Mark Hillis from the NSW rural town of Wagga, were second and third respectively.

Lurking within striking distance of Smoke and Mirrors are Stephen Ellis’s Agent 88, Chaos Theory and Chicken Lips.

Sail Port Stephens 2021 is supported by the NSW Government through its tourism agency Destination NSW, along with Port Stephens Council and key sponsors Pantaenius Sail and Motor Yacht Insurance, Alloggio, Bannisters Port Stephens and Flagstaff Marine.

Share on email
Share on facebook
Share on pinterest
Share on linkedin
Share on twitter
Share on whatsapp

Rolex Middle Sea Race Fleet Building Steadily

With six months to go to the start of the 42nd Rolex Middle Sea Race on Saturday 23 October, the Mediterranean’s premier 600-mile offshore classic looks well set. Some 47 yachts from 17 countries have entered, currently ranging in size...

Star World Championship will be held during Kiel Week

The Star World Championship returns to Kiel. And this September, two events are on the schedule at once. For the Junior Star World Championship (August 31 to September 3) 40 boats are expected and for the Star World Championship (September...

World’s fastest sailboats sign up for Rolex Fastnet Race

While the Vendée Globe grabbed headlines over the winter with a record fleet of 31 boats, France boasts a yet more extraordinary fleet of boats – the Ultimes. Developed over the last 30 years by teams attempting to break the...

Day 5 of the 470 Europeans – Champagne Sailing

Champagne sailing in Vilamoura, with an excellent breeze with 10/12 knots all along the day, D Flag going up at 13:00 for the 3 fleets.  The French teams, Camille Lecointre and Aloise Retornaz in the women’s fleet and Kevin Peponnet...

Day 4 of the 470 Europeans – Perfect Conditions

A sunny and warm day in Vilamoura (air temp. 27 C), with excellent breeze, allowed, again, to complete the 2 scheduled races. Sailors were back ashore just past 16:30, leaving plenty of time to enjoy the Portuguese spring. Paul Snow-Hansen...

Aerial view of a gravity wave. Credit: NASA/GSFC/MODIS Land Rapid Response Team and Jeff Schmaltz

Four rarely-heard ocean terms

1. Gravity Wave Gravity waves, not to be confused with gravitational waves, form when air is pushed up and gravity pulls the air back down. On its way down, air displaces ocean water, forming waves that look like vertical channels. There...

High Speed action Video from SailGP

Experience life onboard the F50 with GoPro, SailGP’s adrenaline action content partner for Season 2. SailGP is sailing redefined. Established in 2018 and headquartered in London and New York, SailGP is an annual, global sports championship featuring bold, cutting-edge technology...

CHALLENGING CONDITIONS ON DAY 3 OF 2021 470 EUROPEANS

Day 3 of the 470 Europeans – Challenging Conditions

Day 3 of the 470 European Championship in Vilamoura.  Two races sailed for the 3 fleets with the D Flag going up at 12:35 for the 3 fleets. “It’s really enjoyable to be back sailing with the 470 fleet, after...

Cascais 49er & 49erFx Championship

Day 1 – Cascais 49er & 49erFx Championship

On the first day of the 2021 Cascais 49er & 49er Fx Championship races, the Olympic fleet consisting of 28 boats, of the 49erFx class plus 10 boats, of the 49er class, fulfilled the day’s schedule when holding the three...

Heavy hitters heading to Airlie Beach Race Week

A trio of past Sydney Hobart winners in Geoff Boettcher, Darryl Hodgkinson and Phil Turner, along with yachting champion Marcus Blackmore, are among the heavy hitters heading north to race in the IRC Passage Division at the 33rd running of...

Finn - Robert Deaves

World’s Best Sailors Ready for Epic Finn Gold Cup in Porto The Finn Gold Cup has been part of the fabric of the sport of sailing for 65 years, an iconic trophy that is reputed to be more difficult to...

Latest Posts

Latest

Read all of the latest Sailing News

Racing Posts

Racing

Dinghy and Yacht Racing News

Offshore Posts

Offshore

News from the Offshore World

Cruising & Destinations Posts

Cruising & Destinations

Cruising Stories from around the World

Boat & Gear Posts

Boats & Gear

The Latest Boats and Yachting Gear

Video Posts

Video

Watch everything Sailing and Boating

Processing...
Thank you! Your subscription has been confirmed. You'll hear from us soon.
Join Our Newsletter
Latest Sailing News, Racing, Cruising, Boats, Gear and more
ErrorHere