Club Marine Pittwater to Coffs fleet making good time

The Club Marine Pittwater to Coffs Yacht Race fleet of 42 is making good time on the first afternoon following the slow-moving 1pm start under grey skies and in very light easterly winds to the north of Barrenjoey Headland.
Within an hour of the start the forecast sou’easters reached the fleet and kites were hoisted, producing a welcome change of pace. At that time pack leader Beau Geste was rightly ahead of the two TP52s, Frantic and M3. Very early handicap leaders Swish and Nine Dragons headed wide off The Entrance on the NSW Central Coast, shooting for the stronger winds out to sea.
By 1800hrs this evening Karl Kwok’s Beau Geste was close to shore just south of Port Stephens and humming along above record pace at 17 knots of boat speed with 162 nautical miles to go to the finish. Based on that speed they are due to finish in 9.5hrs or around 0330hrs on Sunday January 3, 2016, which is inside record time. Beau Geste at the start of this year's Club Marine Pittwater to Coffs credit: Crosbie LorimerBeau Geste at the start of this year's Club Marine Pittwater to Coffs credit: Crosbie Lorimer

After last year’s night line honours win Kwok says he’ll be happy with a daylight arrival at Coffs Harbour. There were no indicators in the pre-race forecast that the SE breeze will drop below 10 knots, in fact the marine winds are due to build above 15 knots tomorrow, making Kwok’s wish almost a safe bet. Video interview with Karl Kwok

Conditions are perfect for Shaun Carroll’s lightweight trimaran Morticia, first multihull off the line at the start and still leading that division on handicap and fleet position, and recording the same speeds as the race frontrunner. Darren Drew’s big cat Top Gun posted a video at 1830hrs showing speeds just shy of 20 knots on a stunning summer’s evening as they and Mojo start to close the gap on the cheeky black tri.

Box Cox’s Nine Dragons crew had the early pleasure of a visit from a mum and baby dolphin scooting along in the DK46’s wash. Video  

Ignition’s crew were served an early dinner at 1730hrs hours by crewman Anthony Paterson who cooked up the first of three courses of “spaghetti followed by spaghetti and finishing with spaghetti”. 

The start was busy at the boat end of the line and PRO Ted Anderson called one entrant back for jumping the line, then Graham Buckeridge’s Margaret Rintoul was seen completing two penalty turns. 

The start was a bit too exciting for us,” posted navigator Julie Hodder later. “All the yachts wanted to start at the boat end so there was one big traffic jam on the line and there was a lot of screaming and yelling – boats going everywhere. Unfortunately we infringed another boat; we did not hit but thought it prudent to do a 720 penalty turn.” 

Morticia credit: Crosbie Lorimer Morticia credit: Crosbie Lorimer
All boats competing in the race to Coffs Harbour race are carrying a tracking device, follow the fleet here 

View the entry list here.

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Pittwater to Coffs

The Pittwater to Coffs Harbour Yacht Race has developed over its 36 year history, into one of the most popular of all ocean-racing events in Australia.

The race offers competitors a strategic challenge as they race between the surfline and the current, past unsurpassed scenic coastlines, prior to arriving in one of Australia's most popular coastal cities.

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Club Marine Pittwater to Coffs Harbour
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The Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club
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T: 02 9998 3700
A: 16 Mitala St, Newport 2106 Australia
Coffs Harbour Yacht Club
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T: 02 6652 4390
A: 30 Marina Drive Coffs Harbour  Australia