The last weekend in November is reserved for the annual Rockingham Race Weekend. Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club partners with The Cruising Yacht Club in Rockingham for this popular offshore event in the beautiful waters of Cockburn Sound.
Part of the Ocean Racing WA Beneteau Weekend Series and the RFBYC 40th Farrawa Cup Series, the weekend includes a Youth Cup to encourage youth and young adults in to keelboat racing.
The Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club format provides an innovative opportunity for young adult sailors and owners to connect this age group with keelboat racing. It not only provides highly skilled young sailors to often short crewed boats but is a great way to keep them involved in sailing. “It’s a win win win, owners are always looking for crew, Clubs are looking for ways to provide pathways for young sailors to stay involved with the sport while it also provides an extra sailing option for our youth. Last season it was our first attempt to incorporate a youth cup which we adjusted using club handicap. This year with the support of RORC it’s been great to incorporate it into the IRC results” commented Craig Carter, Chairman of RFBYC Offshore Committee.
The yachts will contest the Dolphin Race, starting in Fremantle and taking the fleet out to Garden Island then south to Rockingham. Overnight the competitors will moor in the picturesque waters of Mangles Bay. Sunday morning will see the yachts race one windward-leeward race right in front of the town before racing the Gordon Craig Ocean Race back to the South Mole finish in Fremantle.
Sailors aged 25 and under who race in the Rockingham Race Weekend will qualify their yachts to be part of the Youth Cup Series. A bonus point scoring system is used and the series runs as an addition to the Rockingham Race Weekend results. Calculated using both IRC and a Club handicap, the series is endorsed by the RORC Rating Office and Australian Sailing who are keen to work with Clubs to encourage youth sailing offshore.
James Dadd, Director of RORC Rating Office confirmed that he had spoken to the “Commodore, Admiral and CEO of RORC who gave RFBYC their full support in adding merit with a tier over rating to reward youth participation. We are very interested to hear how this works for the Rockingham Race Weekend, so that we can investigate whether it is something RORC should do to get more young sailors out there on big boats” James said.
There are some fabulous prizes up for grabs over the weekend. For the 25 and under sailors, all names will go in to a lucky draw to win a set of offshore wet weather gear thanks to event sponsor Gill Australia.
Broadening the scope of this event has not only been good for offshore sailing but is also being supported by RFBYC power yacht owners who follow the fleet to Rockingham to enjoy the evening’s activities then participate in a raft on the way back for Sunday lunch. It’s a great weekend on and off the water with TCYC always providing wonderful hospitality.
RFBYC now invites Category 4 and Category 6+ teams to enter the event. For more information on the Rockingham Race Weekend please visit the Club,
more info …. rfbyc.asn.au
by Susan Ghent