Yachts in the 2018 Club Marine Pittwater to Paradise Regatta took off in superb Sydney summer conditions with a good nor-easterly breeze, at 13.00 AEDT, and a relatively clean start off the line, according to race officials.
The official weather briefing at 9am at RPAYC forecast strong southerly winds late Tuesday night into Wednesday which should make for a quicker race to the Gold Coast. Meantime, denizens of the Gold Coast are battening down for severe thunderstorms between 16.00 until the middle of the night.
“It looks like being around 25 knots later tonight dropping off to 15 knots tomorrow,” commented Ray McMahon, SYC Vice-Commodore and co-organiser of Bartercard Sail Paradise from the official start boat.
“That should push the boats up the coast and make it a fast race. The light stuff will generally favour the lighter boats, but the TP52, Frantic is leading the fleet and is likely to pull away once the southerly kicks in.”
Michael Martin’s Frantic, which only arrived at RPAYC late on Monday 1 January off the back of the Sydney-Hobart, has already reached the NSW Central Coast, closely tailed by Bob Cox’s DK46, Nine Dragons, then the Nelson Merck Auric’s Quest, Peterson IOR 50 Checkmate and Farr 45 Pretty Woman, then RP42 Rikki from New Zealand.
Race Officer, Ted Anderson said there was a solitary OCS (On course side) which had to be recalled, Sticky, a Salona 38, which had to restart.
“A lot of yachts were close and it was quite an exciting start,” he added. “It’s a beautiful day with a better breeze than forecast. The fleet is ahead of record time so we’ll be following the race tracker with interest overnight.”
The fleet can be tracked here yb.tl/PS2018
Following the 370nm category 2 ocean race is the Southport Yacht Club’s spectacular summer offshore sailing regatta, the Bartercard Sail Paradise series. Four days of racing will be staged on the beautiful ocean waters off the Gold Coast’s golden beaches from Saturday 6 to Tuesday 9 January 2018. Both events have been combined to create a new offshore series for competitors and the ultimate winner of the ‘Pittwater to Paradise Regatta’.
New this year is the element of “State vs State, Mate vs Mate”, with the introduction of a State of Origin Trophy for the winning state. The State of Origin Trophy will be awarded based on the lowest aggregate score of the best three boats from NSW and the best three boats from Queensland in the IRC Overall results.
For more information visit event website.
by Jeni Bone