Yachties gear up for racing season
IT doesn't have the speed and noise of Bathurst or the flashing colours of Flemington but offshore ocean racing in Coffs Harbour creates the same rush of adrenalin among the yachties.
The 2008-09 Westlawn Spring Twilight Racing season begins at Coffs Jetty from 5.30pm tomorrow, the first step for many skippers and crews toward the Pittwater to Coffs Harbour warm water classic in the New Year.
Race convenor Troy White expects 10 boats to face the starter's gun near the Yacht Club.
“For the start of a new season, that's a top field,” he said.
“Over the next few weeks we expect more entries and would like to see all current club skippers and their crews and those who are considering purchasing their own yacht, to become involved.”
Part of an expanding calendar of events, the series is open to any category four-certified vessel, provided its skipper is an active member of Coffs Harbour Yacht Club.
The blue ribbon event on the program is the Pittwater to Coffs, a co-ordinated project with Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, all leading to the Easter Regatta hosted by Port of Yamba Yacht Club on the Clarence River.
Tomorrow's event will bring Holiday Coast Yachting's flagship 'B52' back to competitive sailing, with spokesperson Sylvia D'Olier announcing six new faces in the crew.
“They are all working to the goal of racing from Pittwater,” she said.
“In the first race of the Twilight Series, regular skippers Paul (D'Olier) and Steve Brown will direct the boat but in future weeks, the new recruits will take turns as skipper.
“It's a fantastic thing for them and a great way to get hands-on ocean racing experience.”