The Social Side to the Coffs Race

Social media has taken over the world in a big way and for sailors it’s a great medium to promote news from both the club and the sailors themselves. It’s free, easy to use and is very effective for communication as it incorporates photos, words and even video content in instant posts.

Crewing for Coffs

The Crew Experience Program can open many doors with the Club being host to many short ocean races which occur throughout the summer sailing season. These short ocean races are a great way to really see the benefits of ocean racing. These races provide a real introduction to ocean racing, the races only take one day so there’s no night time sailing, just warm summer sailing with the chance of sailing past the odd pod of dolphins.
The main ocean race The RPAYC hosts is the Club Marine Pittwater to Coffs. This yacht race is sometimes referred to as the “warm water classic” and that’s what it is. Being held in January, the middle of summer the weather is always warm. With the East Australian Current being just off the coast, sailors usually sail in close to shore to avoid the current which makes for a picturesque race hugging the beautiful NSW coast.
Lining up against boats like Team Australia makes the crewing experience all that more exciting Lining up against boats like Team Australia makes the crewing experience all that more exciting

35th Club Marine Pittwater to Coffs Yacht Yacht Race - Entries Open

The Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club and Coffs Harbour Yacht Club welcome all eligible boats to enter the 35th Club Marine Pittwater to Coffs Yacht Yacht Race. The 226nm Category 2 Bluewater race from Pittwater to Coffs Harbour will start on Saturday January 2, 2016, 1300hrs.

Once in Coffs Harbour a single non-pointscore fun pursuit race from Coffs Harbour around the Solitary Islands off the Coffs Coast will be held on January 5.

The Notice of Race has been published and applications for entry are open at the Event Website . There will be five entry categories available; IRC, PHS, ORCi, Multihull (OMR), and a Shorthanded (PHS) division.

The 2016 Club Marine Pittwater to Coffs Harbour Yacht Race again welcomes entries from eligible multihulls. Back in January 2014 Sean Langman’s Orma 60 trimaran Team Australia took line honours in the multihull division and created a new race record of 17hrs 7mins 5secs.


Corey Yeung, NSW State Manager of naming rights sponsor Club Marine, added, “Club Marine is proud to be associated with the longstanding event and the competing yachtsmen and women. We once again look forward to meeting competitors, seeing them out on the water at the start off Palm Beach and welcoming them at the Coffs Harbour Yacht Club in early January.”

To assist owners and crew in their preparation for the race The Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club has developed the "Come to Coffs Pathway", a series of training opportunities (including Safety at Sea, First Aid, Person Overboard, Radio Operator courses) Seminars (Navigating to Coffs, Internet@Sea, Essential Equipment), and qualify races to meet the eligibility requirements of a Category 2 race.

The first of training is a First Aid Course on the 24 & 25 June, 2015 - Click here for enrolment

Two safety items the Coffs Race Committee have adopted for the race is the inclusion for all boats to carry an AIS Transponder and a satellite phone. In previous races Satellite phone were an option if a boat was using an HF radio. The Race Committee believes these technologies will benefit the safety of all competitors sailing north through some of the coasts busiest shipping lanes. Virtual skeds will continue to be used for the 2016 race as boats will have Yellow Brick trackers installed throughout the race and also for the Coffs Harbour Solitary Islands Race. 

Applications for entry close December 1, 2015.

Follow the action here:

For race enquiries please contact:

RPAYC sailing office ph. (02) 9998 3771 e. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Training for Coffs

A Cat 2 ocean race requires hours of work to get your crew and your boat set up to tick all the boxes to become certified.
This month, Alfred’s News chats with Neil Driscoll from Above and Beyond Boating personalised training and boat management about how to go about getting prepared for Coffs. 

Going to Coffs with High Anxiety

Dolphin sightings, picturesque sunsets, new comraderies and great memories are all part of Ocean Yacht racing. It takes a lot of preparation and training but at the end of the day it’s well worth it all.

In focus is Marcus Grimes and his High Anxiety Crew.

High Anxiety is a Stillwell Boat built in 1988 in   Terrey Hills for RPAYC Member Peter Hayes. She has seen many  different crew and skippers until it eventually ended up in the hand of Marcus.

“ Given it was a well know boat, we were a little worried when we started racing that we would have big shoes to fill.” Says Marcus.

For Marcus, support from the Sailing Office and the Yacht Race Committee along with a few other members made earlier races a lot more enjoyable.

“Allen Stormon got on board for a series of races to lend some experience and other skippers were happy to help out with    advice and encouragement” Says Marcus.

That’s what the RPAYC is about, excellence in sailing and the members very much adhere to the vision and help out others, as they say there’s no substitute for experience.

Experience is something which Marcus and his crew wanted to work on, their “never say die attitude” pushes them into racing in all conditions, learning from each race and each other and found that the Blue Water Point Score Series is the best way to go about it.

“The RPAYC Blue Water Races are the best way to build experience for both skippers and crew.” 

With a build-up of experience and confidence, the next step was to do a Cat 2 Ocean Race which does require detailed preparation and training. The Blue Water Series builds on experience but there’s a need for certain training programs to become Cat 2 certified.

“As High Anxiety is an older boat and had not been Cat 2 certified we had quite a lot of things to do.

“Getting your boat measured for ORCi stability and crew certifications such as the Safety and Survival at Sea takes some time but best to get started ASAP. However knowing both are valid for 5 years is a bonus, one less thing to do this year!”  

Marcus and the High Anxiety crew are prepping for the 2016 Pittwater to Coffs and based off their participation last year, it seems Marcus will potentially become a seasoned Ocean Racing  skipper.

“The excitement was really high last year knowing we were lining up against Beau Geste, Team Australia and taking off with an actual spectator fleet. We had met Andrew Butler and had a great battle with Astral up the north coast. A friendly rivalry I look forward to this year.”

High Anxiety took to social media and the Internet for keeping their internal communications up to date so everyone knew what was going on, now it has developed into a micro-marketing tool to tell their stories.

“It’s fantastic for new crew to get an idea of what we are all about, hopefully some non-sailors will see our dolphin videos, read some of our adventures and maybe they will give sailing or ocean racing a go.”

Marcus encourages skippers to “go on, do it” and the Club is here to help. Get in touch with the Sailing Office and they can direct you in the right direction. Alternatively, Marcus is more than happy to lend a hand, you can contact him through You can also visit the website for more information.



Corrobboree wins Coffs Harbour Solitary Islands Race

Robbo Robertson’s Corrobboree wins the Coffs’ Solitary Islands race to conclude the 2015 Club Marine 34th Pittwater to Coffs Harbour Yacht Race.

After a long race of shifty calm conditions in the Club Marine 34th Pittwater to Coffs Harbour Race that commenced on Friday 2nd January, competitors were once again pleasantly cursed with calm conditions for the Solitary Islands pursuit race today, but it was a “chilled” way to end this year’s event.

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.

Image Gallery

 View Event Photographs on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram #pittwatertocoffs




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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