December 10, 2023 - January 20, 2024: Issue 609


Entry open for action-packed three days at Pittwater Regatta 2024

Pittwater Regatta competitors in ideal conditions in 2023. Photo: RPAYC 

With entry just opened, competitors are already gearing up for the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club’s (RPAYC) Pittwater Regatta, to be held from 9-11 February, 2024 and incorporating the NSW ORC Championship, with the new addition of a Super 40 Series.

The third running of the NSW ORC Championship is first up in what will undoubtedly be an action packed three days of racing. It begins with an offshore Passage Race starting from 11.25am on Friday 11 February. The Championship continues on Saturday with windward/leeward racing on the Palm Beach Circle and concludes on Sunday. 

Peter Farrugia, RPAYC Rear Commodore of Yacht Racing says, “This is a fantastic opportunity for Sydney and surrounding clubs’ boats to taste the weekend regatta format without having to travel too far – and we invite all. The regatta provides fun cruiser/racer category 7 inshore racing and more serious racing offshore and inshore in the NSW ORC Championship. 

“New this year is the Super 40s yachts division, which will bring exciting energy to the RPAYC for the weekend. Last year there were close to 50 boats taking part, so we’re hoping for a bigger fleet this year and can’t wait to see the buzz around the Club.”

Among the early entries received, Gerry Hatton returns to the fold with Bushranger to defend the Division 1 title he has owned for the past two years with his former Bushranger, a Matt 1245. 

The yachtsman has a new Bushranger, this one a Mat 1220. Waiting in the wings and ready to take Hatton on are Sydney 38 champion Peter Byford and Middle Harbour Yacht Club Commodore, Rob Aldis, with Daguet 2. 

Division 2 gets off the start line at the 2023 regatta. Photo: RPAYC 

Well campaigned in the Mediterranean before Byford and Aldis bought her, the Mylius 50 raced at the likes of the St Tropez Regatta in October and placed first overall in IRC division B. Bushranger won’t be easy to beat, but it is not an impossibility.

On his early entry, the keen elder stateman quipped, “First in best dressed.” 

This will be Hatton’s second only regatta with the yacht. “It arrived in the off season and the only major regatta we’ve been to is Hamilton Island, where we were learning to sail it. It’s very different to the 1245. No spinnaker pole which means asymmetrical kites. We are still learning to sail the angles. 

“The first two races, we weren’t too good, but we ended up winning ORC. We’ve spent a few weeks tuning the boat and continuing to learn to sail it, so apart from Hamilton Island, we’ve only done some twilights.”  

However, Hatton says, “I am enjoying the boat more so now. It gets up and planes and it’s faster than the other boat downwind. We’re interested to see how we go against the competition at the Pittwater Regatta this time.” 

Peter Farrugia’s Bull 9000, Bullwinkle and Transcendence Rudy Project, owned by Martin Cross, finished runner-up and third placegetter respectively in Division 2 last year. They return and can expect to take on the 2022 winner, Young at Heart, owned by Simon Grosser, again.

Saturday also denotes the start of the Pittwater Championship, coupled with the new Super 40 Series. Both will sail the Broken Bay 5 Heads Race, starting from 11.25am. 

Three owners were quick off the mark with their entries for the Pittwater Championship: Mark Wharton with Joji; David Cunningham has entered Kama III and Adrian Williams Kelsea Blue.

Sunday is make or break time, as it will decide the new champions across the board on inshore courses, starting from 11.25am. The boats that best handle the mix of offshore and inshore racing will take home the trophies. The Club intends to hold two races for those in the Pittwater Championship, while the Super 40s will be kept busy with three windward/leeward races. 

The Championship is open to boats from cruiser/racers to grand prix racing yachts.

Socially, the RPAYC is offering up post-race live music from 5.30pm, accompanied by a BBQ special and bistro on Saturday, with live music again on Sunday, along with the race presentations. 

For all information, including entry form and Notice of Race, please visit:

By Di Pearson