Fast boats and armed sailors ready to ignite big battles at Sydney Harbor Regatta

Fast boats and armed sailors ready to ignite big battles at Sydney Harbor Regatta

by Di Pearson, MHYC media Feb 25 10:24 PM PST
March 5-6, 2022

Zen is entered in the Super 50 division – Sydney Harbor Regatta © Andrea Francolini

For two days next weekend, a mass of boats of varying designs and sizes will provide a blaze of color on the race courses from the Opera House to Manly on Sydney Harbor and on the offshore courses, for the most NSW’s premier keelboat event, the Sydney Harbor Regatta (SHR).

Middle Harbor Yacht Club (MHYC) organizers are ready. They look forward to welcoming competitors to the 17th running of their regatta, which marks the start of autumn racing in New South Wales.

The Super 50 class includes notable TP52s. Two-time Sydney Hobart winner Quest (Craig Neil) is joined by 2019 second-placer Gweilo (Matt Donald/Chris Townsend), as well as Matador (David Doherty), Koa (Andy Kearnan/Peter Wrigley) and local luck Zen , owned by Gordon Ketelbey, an ardent one-design sailor with runs on the board in various classes.

Neil used the SHR to announce: “We are in the process of forming a TP52 association. The plan is to run five regattas a year and the Sydney Harbor Regatta is the first. It will be good to start the series in Middle Harbor TP owners are looking forward to it. Some will be absent this time around for various reasons, but we are expecting around ten in the future.”

Quest owner says Corinthian rule changed. “Before, each boat was entitled to a professional sailor, then a point deducted for each subsequent pro. Now, a point will be returned to boats that include young sailors in their crew. We want to encourage the class to invest time in young people sailors. Zen already does that,” he said. “We’ll have Will Sargent and Jake Meddell aboard Quest.”

An eclectic mix of fast boats in the Super 40s includes Adrian Walters’ Shaw 11 Little Nico and Michael Ritchie’s lightweight 38ft dayailer Revolver. Designed by his father, Bruce Ritchie, Revolver recently placed second at the Pittwater Regatta. At SHR, he will face a trio of MC38s; InfoTrack (Christian Beck), InfoTrack Go (John Ahern) and LawConnect (Rachel Williams) among others.

Beck is best known for his super EP, LawConnect; second in line for the Sydney Hobart 2021. The other two MC38s are to be skippered by two executives from Beck’s companies and will be fitted with recognizable sail names.

Three-time Olympian Karyn Gojnich is well known in the regatta, usually racing the Yngling, the class in which she represented Australia at the Beijing Games in 2008. She has moved up to the J/70, a thriving class with sailors of quality in an extremely competitive fleet these days.

“Unfortunately I can’t be there this time but The Jackal is entered and Sara Ladd will be skipper. Most of Sydney’s boats have entered the regatta, including the top two from our NSW Championship in January,” said said Gojnich about Juno (Reg Lord) and Vamos (Tim Ryan).

“The regatta will be a good warm-up for the Victorian Championship the following weekend and the National Championships which will take place in Sydney at Easter,” she concluded.

A host of other boats from several classes and divisions also participate.

Great prizes offered:

Winners and placegetters from each eligible class or division, upon attendance and registration at the Regatta Prize Giving Ceremony, are entered into the draw for certain major prizes.

Top-ranked boats have a chance to win a weekend Mercedes driving experience and two nights of accommodation at the Mercure Resort Hunter Valley Gardens for two, plus a Ross & Whitcroft Quality Marine Clothing Merchandise voucher. a value of $1,500. Second and third place boats are up for Distillery Experiences and Ross & Whitcroft Quality Marine Clothing Merchandise vouchers.

Individual crew members are also eligible for a Ross & Whitcroft Quality Marine Clothing award.

The Middle Harbor Yacht Club thanks the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, Sydney Amateur Sailing Club, Royal Australian Navy Sailing Association, Royal Prince Edward Yacht Club, Manly Yacht Club, Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club and the Sydney Flying Squadron, without whom we could not organize this regatta.

Our thanks go to the main sponsors: Club Marine, Robert Oatley Wines, short navyQuality Marine Clothing and Telstra Business Technology Centre.

The early bird registration fee has been extended and registration closes March 3, so be quick and register now at:

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