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ORC New South Wales Championships & Pittwater Regatta

J/Teams Silver in ORC New South Wales Championships & Pittwater Regatta

Over the February 9th to 11th, 2024 weekend, the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club hosted a combination of the ORC New South Wales Championship and their annual Pittwater Regatta.

In both cases, J/Teams enjoyed the challenging conditions and earned their fair share of silverware!

ORC NSW Championship

A mix of weather, sea conditions, and racing format made for exciting and challenging sailing over a three-day regatta.

Day 1

The first day was a medium-distance offshore race down the coast (22.0nm race) with lumpy seas, grey skies, and moderate winds. Conditions were challenging due to the swell built up from previous days bouncing off the east coast and clashing with the prevailing waves.

ORC New South Wales Championships - photo © Andrea Francolini
ORC New South Wales Championships – photo © Andrea Francolini

Commented Gary Essex of the J/99 VELOCE, “It was our first offshore race in a big swell and it took some time to find the right settings and get up to speed.”

Day 2

The second day made for interesting racing with 2 inshore races (races 2 and 3) around the cans in Pittwater. The winds varied from 12-28 knots! Crazy! It was generally southeast, but incredibly shifty, especially in the strong gusts.

Race 2 was predominantly windward leeward down to Saltpan Cove and back up Pittwater for 2 laps. It was windy enough that we had the J4 on the upwind and the A2 as we squared off downwind.

Race 3 saw a course change. That change allowed for a lot more tight reaching and provided some variety for the competitors. Sail changes prevailed. That meant changing from the J4 to the A3 for the short downwind leg. Then, to the J2 back up to the finish as the winds eased throughout the day.

Day 3

They had everyone back offshore again for tight windward/leeward racing for races 4-5-6.

The seas were still very lumpy. But, the winds had eased to 6-12 kts, so it took a lot of concentration to keep the boats moving in the swell.

The racing was extremely close. In race 5, there were only 6 seconds between VELOCE in the 1st and the 2nd place boat. In race 6 there were only 11 seconds between VELOCE in 1st and a 30-footer in 3rd.

The J/99 VELOCE raced extremely well, the crew had sailed very little on the boat before the regatta but pulled it together to finish 2nd overall in ORC and 1st in PHS. A fantastic result for VELOCE’s first-ever regatta.

The owner Gary Essex commented, “All in all, it was a great regatta for VELOCE. I have a great crew and the J/99 is a rewarding boat to sail. We are really enjoying ourselves as we learn how to sail the J/99 to her potential.”

Pittwater Regatta

The crew from J/88 JOJI were thrilled with their result, finishing 2nd place in ORC Div 2 for the Pittwater Regatta Inshore Series.

 ORC New South Wales Championships & Pittwater Regatta © Andrea Francolini

The Inshore series was held over the weekend of 10-11 February. Saturday was a long passage race, the Broken Bay 5 Heads race with gusty SE winds from 12-28 knots. Some white knuckle rides down some steep swells through the Sydney Heads made it very exciting. A pretty exhausting race and a good result that counted as double points.

Sunday saw 2 inshore races in light winds around the cans inside Pittwater, with JOJI finishing 2nd in all races, and 2nd overall in the regatta.

Owner Mark Wharton commented, “Despite a couple of setbacks with crowded start lines, we managed to fight back to catch and pass some 40+ footers making the overall results feel even better!”

Congratulations also to the team at Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club who ran a very professional regatta, plus put on fantastic entertainment post-racing.

by J-Boats

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