Sydney Harbour Regatta entries top 100 as prizes revealed

Entries to the 2024 Nautilus Marine Insurance Sydney Harbour Regatta have topped 100 and continue growing daily as Middle Harbour Yacht Club (MHYC) reveals some of the prizes on offer to entice more entrants before the Tuesday 27 February entry deadline. 

Zhik, official clothing supplier for the Australian Sailing Team, which is based at MHYC, has come on board as a support sponsor for the event to be held over the weekend of 2 and 3 March. The company will provide vouchers for divisional prizes and major prizes. And one lucky crew member will win a Zhik jacket if they go in the draw at the Club after racing on the Saturday.

The Grand Prizes, drawn from the boats placing first, second and third in their class or division will include a V8 Supercars Track Day and Pit Lane Walk courtesy of Steadfast Group Ltd, proud owner of naming rights sponsor Nautilus Marine Insurance, along with a Manly Spirits Distillery Experience for a group of 10 and other prizes.

Back on the water, one of the big ticket classes in 2024 is the Sydney 38 One-Design NSW Championship and a showdown between the largest fleet in years. Windward/leeward inshore races should be tighter than ever. 

“We’re looking forward to our Championship,” concedes defending champion and class president, David Hudson.

“We’re excited as we have nine entries and another that might join us; the biggest fleet we’ve had for years.”

Despite standing on the winner’s podium more times than any other, Hudson, one half of the successful partnership on Conspiracy, admits the Championship is no lay down misère for he and Peter Byford.

“It’s always difficult to successfully defend the title as the boats are so evenly matched. At least half the fleet got a win or a second in the last Championship and there were only seconds between the boats.

“There’s been a battle at our last few events between Conspiracy and Advanced Philosophy (Peter Sorensen), but in recent times the pair has been challenged by Shine On – Team Callendina (Phil Herscovics), Challenge (Greg Croak and family) and Mondo (Stephen Teudt/Lisa Callaghan).”

Hudson is overjoyed to see new players emerge in the class: “There’s a few new skippers and crews. We welcome them to the fleet. We’re quite confident they’ll do well,” he says of Geoff Ford (Avalon), John Hodgkinson/Daniel Belcher (Thirlmere), David Lamond (Adela II) and Cyril Latimer (Love Byte).

“As part of the core organising committee, Lisa (Callaghan) has been great in encouraging people into the class.”

Nautilus Marine Insurance CEO, Lyndon Turner, is among those looking forward to the weekend: “Our team is once again very pleased to be able to support all sailors taking part in the Nautilus Marine Insurance Sydney Harbour Regatta as we enter our second year as naming rights partner of this prominent regatta.

“It’s great to see our sport embraced by so many sailors from across NSW and beyond, racing on a wide range of boats. We look forward to meeting competitors at the Club during the event.”

Other news from the water is that the Super 50s (TP52’s) will sail hybrid courses. Starting and finishing in the Harbour, the courses will also include an offshore windward/leeward component.

The regatta also marks the first round of the TP52’s 2024 Pallas Capital Gold Cup Series. First Light (Peter White) and two-time Sydney Hobart winner, Quest (Craig Neil), were in first with their entries. Gordon Ketelebey (Zen) is expected and Marcus Blackmore is keen if he is able to get the new Hooligan back from the Port Lincoln Regatta in time. Others are yet to confirm.

Entries are growing in the Open Divisions that are scored under both IRC and ORC. Divisions 1 and 2 will sail three inshore windward/leeward races each day, sharing the Foxtrot course with the Sydney 38 NSW Championship.

Recent entries in the division include Bushranger (Gerry Hatton) and Khaleesi (Sandy Farquharson). There are Insufficient Farr 40’s entered to justify a NSW Championship, so Bluetack (Brent Lawson) and Exile (Rob Reynolds) will boost numbers in Division 1.

Entries are open until 2359hrs, Tuesday 27 February, meaning one week remains for owners to take advantage of the Early Entry Fee.

For entry and Notice of Race, please visit: https://www.shr.mhyc.com.au

Di Pearson/MHYC media

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