Coffs makes room for yacht race fleet
ROB Galbraith is looking forward to welcoming the Pittwater to Coffs Harbour yacht fleet to the Coffs Harbour International Marina.
Next week the new manager of the Coffs Harbour International Marina will be surrounded by the sleek ocean racers of the visiting fleet as well as the local yachts, cruise boats and ocean wanderers which normally fill the marina.
He said although he could not create extra berths, many of the boats in the visiting fleet would be squeezed into the marina by re-arranging and using berths normally in use by locals.
"We will probably get in about an extra 45 altogether by rafting boats together and mooring them across the public wharf with the sterns tied to the wharf and the bows anchored," Mr Galbraith said.
He said quite a few 'permanents' were moving out to Port Macquarie or Yamba or simply moving to an anchorage in the outer harbour to provide berths for the race yachts.
Mr Galbraith, who has lived in Coffs Harbour for 19 years, but previously worked in motel and resort management, said marina management was not very different from other areas of hospitality.
He said the company which took over the lease of the marina on August 18, was a syndicate made up of a group of Queensland companies also involved in Queensland's Tin Can Bay marina.
Mr Galbraith said they were slowly upgrading most of the marina, a project that included new security gates, painting and repairs and the company was also interested in the council's future plans for the Jetty area.
The new owners have also bought the name Coffs Harbour International Marina.
Val Crawley, who leased the marina with business partner Kevin Partridge, and managed it from 1993 to 2006, said although it had been stressful, he would miss the excitement of being involved with the Pittwater to Coffs race this year.
But he said he was looking forward to 'having a few Crownies' at the finish after 13 years of staying teetotal while on the job.
Mr Crawley, formerly a keen gamefishing angler, said he had been reading about the race every day, but had not been tempted to join the crew of one of the racing yachts.
"I've always been a power boat man," he said.