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Yacht club loses its great race

CHOPPY WATERS: Enjoying the sight of yachts of all sizes entering Coffs Harbour jetty to end the Pittwater to Coffs Harbour yacht race appears to be a thing of the past.
CHOPPY WATERS: Enjoying the sight of yachts of all sizes entering Coffs Harbour jetty to end the Pittwater to Coffs Harbour yacht race appears to be a thing of the past. Contributed

THE Coffs Harbour Yacht Club has been left reeling by the decision of the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club to no longer conduct a Pittwater to Coffs Harbour yacht race.

The RPAYC has announced the new year race will bypass Coffs Harbour and will run from Pittwater to the Gold Coast, with the finish line being at the Southport Yacht Club.

The annual race didn't go ahead at the start of this year as the RPAYC wasn't satisfied that damage caused to Coffs Harbour's International Marina during a large storm last year would be repaired in time for the race.

As a stop-gap measure, this year's race ran from Pittwater to Southport.

It was only September last year when yacht club Commodore Gary Innes said it was given assurances by the RPAYC that the traditional warm water classic would not only be running again in 2018 but also into the future.

Coffs Harbour Yacht Club secretary/manager Bob StJohn said the RPAYC's issue with Coffs Harbour was all about continuity and it was concerned that the yacht club only had a lease on the property from Coffs Harbour City Council until 2020.

Mr StJohn said the yacht club is investigating the possibility of another Sydney-based club holding a race this summer that would finish in Coffs Harbour.

Having such a race would secure the yacht club's future.

"The race and the regatta is our biggest week financially. It arms us for the winter," Mr StJohn said.

Topics:  coffs harbour yacht club pittwater to coffs harbour yacht race royal prince alfred yacht club sailing