Smooth sailing for yachties
A JOINT announcement yesterday by the two host club commodores launched the 30th anniversary Pittwater to Coffs Harbour Yacht Race.
Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club supremo Russell Murphy came north to visit his Coffs Harbour Yacht Club opposite number Darren Digney and promised a packed audience that next year’s event will exceed expectations.
Murphy confirmed prominent yachtsman Bob Oatley had entered Wild Oats X and while he hesitated to predict her big sister – glamour maxi Wild Oats XI – would attempt the big double after going to Hobart, something is certainly in the wind after her dropped a cryptic comment.
“The last time XI came up they were concerned at having to stand off on the low tide,” he said.
“However, I’ve been told the (harbour) depth is likely to be 4.5 metres which makes me very pleased . . . but I believe some of our rich owners may be pleased even more.”
Already, 57 yachts have had their entries approved with another four awaiting final inspections.
At least a dozen boats in the fleet will have crew members well into 20 (or more) voyages to Coffs Harbour.
“Tactically, it’s a challenging race and looking at the list of past participants, it resembles a ‘who’s who’ of international yachting,” he said. “More than 30 years and a lot has changed but it’s as difficult now to pick a likely winner as it was for that first series at the end of 1981.”