It's all systems go for Newport to Coffs
IT'S been dubbed "the best little yacht race on the east coast of Australia” and the race to Coffs Harbour is officially on again.
The Pantaenius Newport to Coffs yacht race will begin on December 27 and race director Rob Brown said this year's run from Barrenjoey Headland to Coffs Harbour's Jetty promised to be bigger than last year.
"We expect to see quite a significant increase in numbers this year,” Brown said.
"Last year we only had four and a half to five months before the race to promote and plan for it, but now we've got a full year to really promote it and give the race some exposure to attract a larger fleet of entries.”
Brown, from host Royal Motor Yacht Club Broken Bay, was in Port Stephens on the weekend with Coffs Harbour Yacht Club Commodore Gary Innes to promote the 230 nautical mile race among that area's sailors in a bid to attract some added interest.
The race's reputation as a great little race is the strength race organisers like Brown and Innes can fall back on.
"Overwhelmingly the comments I get is that everyone loves the race,” Brown said.
"It's a short to medium race depending on the weather and it's at the right time of year between Christmas and New Year.
"On top of that, Coffs Harbour is a great destination to take your family, friends and supporters, and you've still got time after the race to do what you want for New Year's.”
For the second year in a row, yacht insurance company Pantaenius has come on board as the event's major sponsor.
Brown said having that support locked away early was a bonus.
"A lot of this obviously depends on financial support and Pantaenius has come back as the naming rights sponsor,” he said.
"To get all the players involved, like the Coffs Harbour City Council and the business community up there, means there's a lot of exposure for the Coffs Coast region.”