February 13 - 19, 2022: Issue 526


Pittwater Regatta 2022 - Hosted By The RPAYC - Celebrates Over 130 Years Of Regattas On Our Estuary And Offshore Reaches

Bushranger on the boil on the Pittwater Estuary, Friday February 11th, 2022. Photo: RPAYC

The Pittwater Regatta 2022 includes the NSW ORC Championship supported by Sydney Marine Brokerage. This is a 3 day series consisting of inshore, offshore passage and offshore windward/leeward racing which is open to all ORC rated yachts. The Pittwater Regatta is being held over the weekend of 12-13 February with the ORC Club & PHS Series held racing inshore and on the estuary of Pittwater.  The weekend will also see the Sydney 38 NSW Championship racing offshore. 

A regatta band will be playing on Saturday afternoon to entertain crew and families with the crowning of winners held on Sunday post race. 

Schedule of Events


  • NSW ORC Championship, inshore 2 races


  • ORC Championship, offshore 25nm race
  • Sydney 38 NSW Championship, 3 w/l races offshore
  • ORC club & PHS, inshore 2 races
  • Live Music by Kate Lush


  • ORC NSW Championship, offshore
  • Sydney 38 NSW Championship, offshore
  • ORC Club & PHS, inshore 2 races
  • Live Music by Violet Street (3 piece band)

Hosted by the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club

Contention exists as to which regatta on our lovely estuary is actually the first. That which is listed first in newspaper records as a ‘Pittwater Regatta’ took place on January 2nd, 1888 and may have been a means to bring people and money into the area at this time. In September 1887 residents met at Bullier’s (Bulfins) Hotel (the Newport Hotel) to organise an annual Regatta:


The residents of Pittwater and Broken Bay met on Saturday last, the 13th, at Bullier's Newport Hotel, Newport, for the purpose of establishing an annual regatta-the first to be held on Boxing Day, the 26th December. There was a large attendance, and the object of the meeting was warmly approved of. A considerable sum was subscribed in the room. Messrs. W. C. William and W. T. A. Shorter, solicitor, took an active part in the proceedings, the latter acting as hon. treasurer, and it is understood that the Hon. W. B. Dalley will, if his health permit, act as patron. There is every probability of some good sailing and pulling races, as the prizes should afford inducement for even Sydney competitors, and the harbour presents every natural advantage for the purpose, hardly lo be rivalled by that of Sydney. AQUATICS. (1887, September 15). The Sydney Morning Herald(NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 5. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13655348

This probably inspired the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron Basin Regattas of the 1890s and that led to the 1907 official inaugural Pittwater Regatta, when Pittwater was still trying to get decent roads to bring visitors to the area, ensure a tramway went ahead and the supporting services, from a Telegraph and Postal Office at Newport to places to accommodate visitors, attracted more and more to the watering place.

Being on the farm or a fisherman was a prevailing blessing but residents were keen to see Pittwater established as a premier resort. With an already established Maritime heritage, a small local race between the Crouch brothers (James 'Jim' and Edward 'Eddie' sons of Harry) of Queensland, (from one of the premier families there in all sports related events; cricket and tennis champions as well as champion sailors among their kin), and John Roche and W D M Taylor, who built boats together at Bay View (as it was named then), was the spark that started a watery fire. 

                                                               William Donald Mawney Taylor. Photo: courtesy Taylor Family Albums.             Portrait of a Mr John Roche courtesy ANMM, Object no. 00024319.                                                 

William 'Don' M Taylor was the eldest son of Patrick T Taylor, and brother to Patrick Gordon TaylorJohn Roche was born in 1884 at Bayview, a son of Katherine Roche and James Joseph Roche. Katherine was born at Careel Bay, a daughter of the Collins family of that same place. John Roche was called 'the Father of the Pittwater Regatta'. Prior to him, his grandfather, John Collins, had been named 'The Father of Pittwater'. 

A few newspaper notes on that Pittwater of 1888 and 1889:

Newport Telegraph Office.
Last Saturday the new telegraphic office at Newport was formally opened by Mr. Cracknell, the chief superintendent, in the presence of a large assemblage of residents and visitors. Mr. Cracknel! delivered a. short address, and formally declared the office opened and communication established with the rest of the world. He asked the visitors to join with him in thanking Messrs. Shorter and Boulton for the efforts they had made in bringing about this desirable result. A large number of ladies and gentlemen then adjourned to Bulfin's Newport Hotel, where dinner was provided for those who had taken a prominent part in the proceedings. This opportunity was taken to present the Christmas prizes at the Newport public school, which has been open for about nine months, and is under the supervision of Miss Giles. Various prominent residents had contributed to the prizes, amongst which was a watch, donated by Mr. Aitken to the most efficient pupil. After the prizes had been distributed, an address, signed by the Misses Bulfin and Miss M. Scott, on behalf of their fellow pupils, was presented to Miss Giles. The address was accompanied by a gold-bracelet and a smelling-bottle. The presentation was suitably acknowledged by Miss Giles, after which the proceedings terminated.
 Newport Telegraph Office. (1888, December 27). Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), p. 8. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article108111373

PITTWATER. How this pleasant picturesque watering-places is advancing is well indicated by the opening of a telegraph station there the Saturday before Christmas, ' Our bachelor' and myself intended to be present at the ceremony. We were prevented by the temporary suspension of the vehicular traffic between Manly and there, owing to the supply not being equal to the demand. The extra demand on that day from visitors to Newport and holiday parties taxed the resources of the Manly coach proprietors; but by the exercise of a little patience and with the loss of a little time all were accommodated. The road between the lagoon at Manly and Dee Why Lagoon has been stripped of many of its charms. Formerly it was like a woody winding line odoriferous as a flower garden at dewy eve or early morn ; now it isrsme and treeless, here and there shorn of most of its glory by bush vandals and land jobbers. There are four public-house between Manly and Newport, two of which, I believe, have been built since the unemployed were set to work at Frenchs Forest and Narrabeen. How the tenants and owners of the houses can make a living is a mystery. Perhaps their owners are far-seeing men, who have speculated in anticipation of the Pittwater tramway (the bill for which was lately passed) being constructed.

When we arrived at Pittwater harbour the day was declining, but the gala remained in all its glitter. Mr. Cracknell, who performed the opening ceremony had departed with some others for Sydney ; but the notabilities of the locality were in no hurry to leave, having their gondolas at hand to convey them home. A few years have made a great change in Pittwater. The western shore of the harbour is all under cultivation. Fruit trees of all kinds flourish there, and some vegetables can be produced a fortnight earlier than around Sydney. Fish is abundant in the harbour. We assisted at three hauls of the net of our host, Mr. Bulfin. 'Our bachelor' and another gentleman donned fishing garb for the occasion, put their shoulders to the wheel, or rather to the ropes and towed very well indeed for amateurs. Our labours were attended with but moderate success. There is much inquiry for land in Pittwater now, the prospect of the tramway thither doubtless stimulating it. Scotland Island, in the middle of the harbour, area about 150 acres, has been sold to a Melbourne company for £2,500.There is some speculation as to what they are going to do with it. The impression prevails that it is to be utilized for a marine public resort. It was also said down there that a  that a well-known gentleman on the North Shore  intends building a large marine hotel on the eastern shore of the harbour, between Stokes's Point and the new wharf. It is a very eligible site if trade could be commanded; but that, no doubt, would come to a well-conducted house. A place there would be easy of access from the harbour, the new wharf affording facilities for landing found nowhere else in the Pittwater peninsula. The largest excursion steamers can come alongside it in all weathers, there being a depth of over 18 feet at low water. The romantic marine retreat of the late lamented Mr. Dalley on Cabbagetree beach, underlying Bilgola head on the Pacific shore, has been purchased by Mr. Jackson. Mr. J. M. Taylor, our bachelor (so designated from having obtained his B.A. degree as an evening student at the University the morning of our visit), was delighted with Pittwater. As a holiday retreat he would prefer it to the mountains principally because 'There is a society where none intrudes By the deep sea, and music in its roar.'  C. B. PITTWATER. (1889, January 12). Freeman's Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1850 - 1932), p. 17. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article115380870

In 1904:


The annual meeting of the Newport Progress Association took place on Saturday night at Greig's Newport Hotel. Mr T Waterhouse, the president, occupied the chair. The annual report showed that improvements had been made in the district during the year-dangerous parts of the roads had been fenced and culverts built. In reply to a letter sent to the Works Department asking among other things that the culvert in Gladstone-street should be made wider, the department said the improvements were small, and might well be carried out by those interested. The sub-committee brought up its report upon the establishment of a polling booth at Newport, and it was decided that a petition be presented to Sir John See asking that this might be done. Mr Hanslow gave notice of his intention to propose a motion dealing with a water supply for Newport. The election of officers resulted as follows: -President, Mr Joseph Waterhouse ; vice-president, Mr William Bulfin; hon. secretary and treasurer, Mr. Stuart Greig; council, Messrs H. Bolton, J Baker, F Hanslow, W Bolton. A vote of thanks was passed to the retiring officers  and special mention was made of the services rendered by Mr Greig, who had been hon. secretary to the association for the last eight years. NEWPORT PROGRESS ASSOCIATION. (1904, February 10).The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 5. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article14598711

A few conflicting reports state this 'match' in sailing took place either in December 1905 or February 1906. This race was the launchpad for an annual Pittwater Regatta commenced in 1907:

The departure of the Crouch family and their speedy boats the Spider and Manly for Gladstone, will cause a gap in the sailing world. The Crouch's are champions at the game, and will be very much missed by their friends. One of the number is the successful skipper of the Violet, but Charley will come along when Harry Chapman's craft is engaged in racing. Cigarettes. (1906, February 15). Queensland Figaro (Brisbane, Qld. : 1901 - 1936), p. 25. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article84129788

W D M Taylor on Corella - from Sydney Morning Herald, December 24th, 1924

The Pittwater Regatta came into being as the result of a private match. In December 1905 between the Crouch brothers, of Queensland, and W. D. M. Taylor, who sailed the Corella, owned by Lord Forster, and Mr. John Roche, for 21 years honorary secretary for the regatta

An unusual course was chosen, being from Pittwater, where the flagship was moored on Saturday, around Lion Isle and back, a distance of 18 miles. The Crouch brothers won. Local residents became enthusiastic as the result of this match, and the first regatta was held in February, 1906. It catered for local sailing and rowing boats, but there were only six starters for the first motor launch race. PITTWATER. (1928, January 2). The Sydney Morning Herald(NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 4. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article16431002

Left to right: W. D. M. Taylor, Ada Taylor (nee Saunders) and P G 'Bill' Taylor on Lion Island - circa 1912. Photo: courtesy Taylor Family Albums

PITTWATER (N.S.W.) REGATTA IS CHIEF WATER EVENT. WHAT IT MEANS TO AQUATICS Some Interesting Details of History of Great Water Carnival

THE Pittwater Regatta means the bringing together of  a variety of maritime interests In the field of amateur sport which is hardly approached by any similar water' festival held throughout the world. Similarly as Cowes week 'typifies the acme of excellence , in yachting in Great Britain so also does the Pittwater Regatta consummate a valuable achievement in the realm of Australia's sporting activities, and its story is well worth the telling.

Obviously the descendant of the man who sowed the first acorn and found a great oak tree growing must have been as much mystified as those of our generation today who review the progress made in aquatic sport as Is typified by this meeting at Pittwater; in fact, this event was really the outcome of a sporting 'fluke,' a happening(which like the acorn) led to great and important things. It was In the year 1906 that the Crouch brothers, having taken all before them in Queensland decided to come south and contest events at Pittwater.

They won here easily, and so keen was the interest of John Roche(who as everybody knows is one of the finest exponents and enthusiasts of the yachting world) and W. D. Taylor (right),  that these two 'ticklers of the tiller' launched a challenge against the two Queenslanders. The course, was over 20 miles, and the racing order was In 15-foot skiffs. For the first ten miles the boats ran sprit to sprit, but on the last run home the Crouch brothers showed their supremacy by winning the duel; So great an interest, however, was shown in the contest that it was decided to perpetuate the meeting as an annual regatta, and thus it was that the Pittwater carnival came into existence.

Next Saturday's list of events is most comprehensive, including as It does not only sailing contests, but trials of strength between mechanically-driven craft, and those propelled manually by men, women and boys. Quite a representative list. In regard to Mischief Memorial event, a little story may be told; After the regatta of 1928, Mr. Stanley Spain got into difficulties off Narrabeen in his craft 'Mischief.' The affair created quite a sensation at the time as this yachtsman, was marooned for many hours on Lion Island. Though terrifying at - the time, everything ended happily, and the occurrence Is to-day commemorated by the 'Mischief Memorial' item on the programme. When discussing the Pittwater Regatta it necessarily involves the personality of Mr. John Roche, who, for the past 25 years, has been responsible for the arrangements of, and the successful issue of, this popular meeting. Owing to medical advice he has relinquished his hitherto active duties in the carnival, relegating his captaincy to Mr. J. H. Titchen, but his presence will not be missing on Saturday, as he is still, although behind the scenes, very much on the surface. It may be added that on the occasion of the 21st celebration of the regatta, Mr. Roche was presented with a wallet of notes and an address by the then Governor-General, Lord Stonehaven, and that was three years ago.
THE true significance of the importance of the Pittwater (N.S.W.) regatta, which will be held on Saturday next, is oft-times adumbrated by the plethora of events and the ramifications which characterise this annual meeting of all that is best in the aquatic world of sport in the Commonwealth. PITTWATER (N.S.W.) REGATTA IS CHIEF WATER EVENT. (1930, December 24). Referee (Sydney, NSW : 1886 - 1939), p. 9. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article131158581

MR. W. D. M. TAYLOR. Mr. W. D. M. Taylor, a director of the firm of Messrs. P. T. Taylor, Ltd., merchants, of York-street, city, died in a private hospital on Saturday, aged 49 years. He was a son of the late Mr. P. T. Taylor, M.L.C, and was educated at the Church of England Grammar School, North Sydney. Mr. Taylor, who is survived by a widow and two sons, one of whom was a distinguished athlete at North Sydney Church of England Grammar School some years ago, was an enthusiastic yachtsman, and was regarded as one of the best skippers on the harbour. He attended a navigation school, and obtained a master mariner's ticket so that he could carry out deep-water cruises. For 28 years he was a member of the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, was also a member of the committee, and was a member of the Union Club. When Lord Forster was Governor-General Mr. Taylor sailed with his Excellency on the Governor-General's yacht Corella. Mr. Taylor owned the yacht Triton. The funeral will take place this morning, following a short service at 10 30 at the chapel of the North Sydney Church of England Grammar School The remains will be cremated at Rookwood. MR. W. D. M. TAYLOR. (1933, September 18). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 10. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article17007865

There are no newspaper reports for a Pittwater Regatta in 1906, however, in 1907:

Residents of Pittwater and Newport have arranged a regatta for tomorrow. The programme is a long one, and comprises sailing races for local boats, 14ft to. 18ft, local fishing boats, all-comers 16ft skiffs handicap,14ft to 24ft sailing race, sailing race for youths 18 years and under; single-scull race youths 18 years and under,  single-scull races for ladies and youths, double sculls for gentlemen, double sculls for ladies, ladies and gents, double sculls, motor boat handicap, old buffers' handicap (50 years and over). Numerous entries have been received, and Miss Gladys Lloyd and Mr. John Roche (the hon secretaries)anticipate a good day's sport. AQUATICS. (1907, March 15). Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), p. 2. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article115216198

SAILING. The Pittwater Regatta will be held on the 16th instant The programme comprises fifteen rowing, sailing, and motor events The prize money totals £55 10s, besides a number of trophies. There are three sailing events, open to all-comers, viz , Handicap for 16ft skiffs, under P.J.S.S.C. rules, prizes £7, £2, and £1;handicap for 14ft to 24ft boats (jib and mainsail only), prizes £5, £2, and trophy; and an all boats handicap (jib and mainsail only, to be sailed by youths under 18), prizes £2 and £1.There is also a licensed fishing boat handicap-jib and mainsail) for Broken Bay, Hawkesbury, Cowan, and Brisbane Water boats, for prizes of £6, £1, and trophy. The rowing portion includes three races for ladies, and one for ladies and gentlemen, these, as well as other events, being for local residents only Entries for all comers races will close on the 12th, the local events closing on the 9th. Miss Gladys Lloyd and Mr John Roche are the hon. secs, their address being Post Office, Bay View, PittwaterThe flagship will be the steamer Woy Woy. SAILING. (1907, March 9). Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), p. 7. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article115223002

The postponed Pittwater regatta will be held tomorrow. The hon. secretaries (Miss Gladys Roche, and. Mr. J. Roche), and the committee have done a lot of work. Nearly a hundred entries have been received for the various rowing, sailing and motor boat races. 'The first event is timed to start at 11 am and is for local boats 14ft to 18ft, for which fifteen entries have been received. For the all comers sailing skiff race the following are the handicaps :,Native (H. Rodrick), scr; Dart (J.  Sharp), 3min Rainbow (J. Hanson), 8min; Mat (W. Riddle), 9min; Rio (A. Robey), 13min; Myrtle (J. Crouch); 16min. The entries for the ladies single sculls are: Mrs. Wilmot, Mrs. Jackson, Miss G.  Lloyd, and Miss L. Arter. The other events also include three  in which ladies may join, and the sailing races cater for all-classes of local craft. 

The steamer will be the flagship. Special coaches and motor 'buses ' will leave Manly for Bay View wharf at 9.15, 10.15, and 11.15,  returning immediately after the last race is completed. SAILING. (1907, March 22). Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), p. 2. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article115224482

Gladys Isobel Lloyd was the fifth daughter of William Fredrick Lloyd of Manly and Bayview. Gladys was a keen rower and took part in the first ladies double sculling championship of New South Wales. Bayview was also the base for the Pittwater Aquatic Club, out of which came many champions. There is more on Gladys and her family under Incidentals on the 1907 Pittwater Regatta History Page.

John Roche also became a lifelong member of the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club which hosted and promoted these regattas from the outset, joined by the Royal Motor Yacht Club as they too established a Broken Bay (Pittwater - at Newport) division for RMYC's in New South Wales. It was Mr. Roche who penned an article, published in 1930, on the America's Cup, and over a century of RPAYC connections to that race.

All that makes this year's 2022 Pittwater Regatta one that has origins that stretch back 135 years, if you count from that September 1887 meeting or 130 years if you count from that 1892 report of a Basin Regatta, or 116 years if you cast your minds' eye back to that February 1906 race between these four young men in our place, on the Pittwater estuary, with our own RPAYC being a core of these regattas.

Although there are numerous reports of one-off races between residents and visitors interspersed prior to, during, and after these larger gatherings of all aquatics sports and the local men and women who thrived pitting themselves against each other and the elements in, on and around the estuary, as well as venturing outside for laps of Lion Island or the coast - including the long running Basin Cup from Sydney Harbour and back, it remains The Pittwater Regatta which is celebrated most for its celebration of Pittwater's beauty, her peoples and the great water sports this regatta includes.

Walter Mark's Culwulla III pictured rounding Lion Island in 1914: MR. W. M. MARKS' CULWULLA III.

Designed by W. Fife, of Fairlie, Scotland ; builder, W. Ford, jun., Sydney, 1907. Length over-all, 50ft. l.w.l., 30ft., beam, 9ft. 3in.; tons, 13. MR. W. M. MAKES' CULWULLA III. (1910, February 22). The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954), p. 5. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article10054129

Below run reports received as a lead into and from the 2022, official, Pittwater Regatta.

Sydney 38 Class Steps Up To Support Women In Sailing

The Sydney 38 Association has gone all out, chartering a Sydney 38 for an all-female crew to race at the 2022 Sydney 38 One-Design NSW Championship, to be held in conjunction with the Pittwater Regatta in NSW this weekend.  

“We’ve taken this step to encourage women to sail in this Championship and other Sydney 38 events,” Class President, David Hudson, said. 

“The Sydney 38 Association has chartered Calibre and we’ve sponsored an all-female crew to be led by Liz Charles,” said Hudson, who has been president of the Association since end of October 2021. 

“I think it’s brilliant and we have the support and the interest of women in our class,” he said.

Charles has performed well as a skipper of the Azuree 46, Kayimai in women’s keelboat events, due to the generosity of the boat’s owners, Rob Aldis and Peter Byford. 

Hudson said It was resolved at the Association’s AGM that the Executive Committee be tasked with finding initiatives to increase female participation in Sydney 38 sailing. 

“This happened after being encouraged by Victorian Sydney 38 owner, Sal Balharrie,” Hudson explained. 

The Sydney 38 Association has chartered Calibre for an all-female crew to use> Photo: Warwick Crossman 

Balharrie bought Bruce Taylor’s Sydney 38, Chutzpah, in 2020 with one thing on her mind. After cleverly renaming the boat No Man’s Land, Balharrie sent an email to a broad range of women, asking if they would like to learn how to sail. Within 24 hours, the yachtswoman had a core of one dozen women prepared to commit to learning how to sail. 

At the time, Balharrie said, “I’m not setting out primarily to win trophies, I’m setting out to build a culture, to encourage and train women into sailing,” although the Melburnian does admit to a competitive streak. 

Hudson says, “It was a profound discussion and we’ve done something about it. One of the things we are looking to do is to give women the confidence that they can own and run their own boats.

“For our efforts, we have two boats with female skippers for the NSW Championship.” 

Mondo is the other, jointly owned by Lisa Callaghan, who habitually campaigns the Sydney 38 out of Manly Yacht Club, where she is President. 

Seven Sydney 38’s are entered for the Sydney 38 One-Design NSW Championship, which will entail six offshore windward/leeward races over the two days. 

Hudson and Peter Byford’s Conspiracy is the boat to beat, as the defending champion of the both the Australian and NSW titles. And there is one boat in particular that is up to the job: Peter Sorensen and crew on Advanced Philosophy. ‘Sorro’ is renowned for his competitiveness in a range of boats from 16 footers to sports boats, one design yachts and in open yacht events, both inshore and offshore.

“We both have had pros on our boat up to now, but for this regatta neither of us do. All seven boats will sail with Corinthian crews,” Hudson said.

The quickly improving Phil Herscovics and crew on Shine On – Team Callendina may surprise. The remaining entries are Kaizen (Bradley Newton) and Thirlmere (Mike Logan).

“Although we have only seven boats competing at this Championship in this challenging environment, we have 19 Sydney 38’s regularly sailing at regattas and in blue water events throughout NSW,” Hudson ended. 

Reigning Sydney 38 champion Conspiracy is the boat to beat. Photo: Warwick Crossman 

Report by Di Pearson

Pittwater Regatta 2022 Welcomes Inaugural NSW ORC Championship  

An eclectic mix of yachts is ready to line-up for the inaugural ORC Championship, which will   kick-start the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club’s (RPAYC) Pittwater Regatta, to be held from 11-13 February.

The Championship, supported by Sydney Marine Brokerage and to be held over three days, is open to club cruiser/racers to grand prix racing machines. 

Regulars on the offshore and inshore race circuit, LCE Old School Racing (Mark Griffith), and Nine Dragons (Bob Cox), along with Keiran Mulcahy’s Soozal, third place-getter at the 2020 Australian Yachting Championships, are among the Division 1 entries.

Soozal looking good at the 2021 Pittwater Regatta. Photo: RPAYC media.

Division 2 has an intriguing mix of  one-design, offshore, two-handed offshore champions and serious club racers, making it impossible to nominate a favourite. Matt Wilkinson’s Foreign Affair is a past Mumm 30 world champion, while Jan Scholten (Panchax), won the inaugural Two-Handed division of the 2021 Rolex Sydney Hobart with Jules Hall on Disko Trooper Contender Sailcloth. 

Shane Kearns and his S&S 34, White Bay 6 Azzurro, have won the Sydney Gold Coast race and pushed the cream of sailing to the limit in the Sydney Hobart, ultimately placing third overall in 2015 and fourth in 2021, with division and Corinthian wins aplenty in major events. 

An assortment of courses from inshore to offshore, passage and offshore windward/leeward races, will take place on the waters of Pittwater, Broken Bay, and between Terrigal Beach and Long Reef. Combined with a variety of conditions, the Championship will test all competitors’ mettle and will ultimately decide the all-round ORC champion.

“RPAYC has been involved with ORC for three seasons now and we’re very proud to have one of the larger fleets in NSW. It has shown that with mixed fleets and classes you have a fair rating system which gives a good test of crew skills and performance,” said RPAYC Commodore, Allen Stormon, who will take part in the regatta aboard Conspiracy in the Sydney 38 One Design NSW Championship. 

“We look forward to the Pittwater Regatta building each year. We have been in a period of growth, but it faded away for a while. One of our past Commodores, Wally Wardle, was instrumental in keeping it going and we’re reinvigorating it again. It’s a good time for classes to have a Championship within a regatta, a full race management team and all that RPAYC offers to members and visitors,” he ended. 

The Pittwater Regatta, being held over the weekend of 12-13 February, will also incorporate the Sydney 38 One Design NSW Championship, to be sailed on windward/leeward courses offshore. Conspiracy, the reigning Australian (2020) and NSW (2021) champion, owned by Peter Byford and David Hudson, is the boat to beat.

With a prized collection of trophies, Conspiracy has a target on her stern and one of the most competitive sailors across multiple classes, Peter Sorensen (Advanced Philosophy), is one of those with an arrow poised. 

The two Championships add more flavour to an already much anticipated event. Those entered in the Pittwater Regatta will be racing inshore and on the estuary of Pittwater over its usual two days of competitive racing, in ORC Club and PHS classes. This aspect of the regatta is appealing to sailors who enjoy the fun and social aspect of sailing. 

Locals from the host club dominate the entry list, so should have the upper hand. They include Susan Walters (Cape Fear), Rob McClelland (First Picasso), Matt Doyle (La Troisieme Mitemps) and James Pattinson (Ellipse II). 

‘Out of towners’ such as Queensland’s Geoff Dews (Hells Bells), along with the likes of John De Meur (Elysium) who represent Sydney Harbour clubs, will have their work cut out, but won’t lay down without a fight. 

On the social scene ashore, live music from Kate Lush will keep crews, their families and friends entertained on Saturday after racing. On Sunday, a local three-piece band ‘Violet Street’ will be playing a range of jazz and contemporary genres. Following Sunday’s racing, the winners will be crowned. 

Susan Walters' Cape Fear. Photo: Drew Malcolm, RPAYC

Racing schedule:

Friday 11 February

  • NSW ORC Championship, 2 inshore races

Saturday 12 February

  • ORC Championship, 25nm offshore race
  • Sydney 38 NSW Championship, 3 offshore w/l races 
  • ORC Club and PHS classes, 2 inshore races

Sunday 13 February

  • ORC NSW Championship, 3 offshore w/l races
  • Sydney 38 NSW Championship, 3 offshore w/l races

For all information, please visit the official website: rpayc.com.au/pittwater-regatta-inc-nsw-orc-championship-2022/

Report by Di Pearson

Weather Throws A Curve Ball On Day 1 Of NSW ORC Championship  

Friday February 11, 2022

Day 1 of Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club’s (RPAYC) NSW ORC Championship was a testing one for all competitors as torrential rain, squalls, thunder and lightning, combined with some shifty winds made for difficult but exciting racing on Pittwater.  

The day consisted of two inshore races that kept everyone on their toes. At the end of the day, Gerry Hatton’s Bushranger leads Division 1 from Keiran Mulcahy’s Soozal and Mark Tinworth and Mark Waterhouse’s Mercury.

Mercury, a modified Farr 40, claimed the spoils from Gerry Hatton’s M.A.T. 1245, Bushranger and Keiran Mulcahey’s King 40, Soozal in Race 1. 

There was little in it on the water; Mercury finishing three minutes ahead of its rivals, the latter two just nine seconds apart at end. Once the handicaps were applied, the trio were in the same order with seconds between them.

However, Bushranger turned the tables in Race 2, winning from Soozal and Bob Cox’s DK46, Nine Dragons. 

Nine Dragons on the estuary on Friday. Photo: RPAYC media

“It started out with some serious rain coming from the south in squalls, but we still started the race. A very squally day and variable. It was pretty miserable,” Hatton conceded.  

“It varied between 12 and 20 knots. We started the first race early and had to come back and re-start. Despite that, we fought our way back to finish second. We’ve had many a tussle with Soozal over the years, and whoever gets it right on the day, with a bit of luck involved, wins. It was a remarkable race with only seconds between us in the end.

“The second time round we got a very good start and picked the shifts better. The crew sailed better too, so therefore we got away from everyone. The rain stayed away for the second race, so it was better in that regard too,” Bushranger’s owner ended. 

Division 1 boats get off the blocks. Photo: RPAYC media 

In Division 2, Simon Grosser’s Young 88 Young at Heart showed a clean pair of heels, winning both races from Shane Kearns’ S&S 34, Azzurro-White Bay 6. The end result is that Young at Heart goes into Day 2 with a two-point advantage. Peter Farrugia’s Bull 9000, Bullwinkle, placed third in both races.

“The first race was pretty wild, but we had a good day, it was fun,” Grosser, from the host club, said. 

“We had good racing with Azzurro and we always have good racing with Bullwinkle and that legend, Clogs, on Panchax (Selden for Sailing),” he said of Jan Scholten who recently won the Two-Handed division of the Rolex Sydney Hobart with Jules Hall. 

“It’s good to have Azzurro and boats from Middle Harbour here that we don’t normally race. It’s a good mix up of boats in Division 2. And ORC is my preferred handicap system, so this event suits me.”  

Young at Heart won both races in Division 2. Photo: RPAYC media 

In other news, on Pretty Woman, five of Richard Hudson’s crew are products of the RPAYC’s youth development program: Alice Tarnawski  Anthony Hawke, Juliet Costanzo, Cam Whiteside and Alistair Read. 

Hudson is a big supporter of youths from the Club, and they are fixtures on Pretty Woman in major races and regattas.  

“Will (Hardcastle) and I bring the cunning, the youngers bring the youth and exuberance,” he said back at the host club this afternoon. “The young ones let me sail my boat from time to time,” he added, laughing.

“Alice did a brilliant job navigating and calling tactics and Anthony did a good job on the bow. They all sailed very well today. We had a ball.”

However, the Farr 45’s day did not go as planned and her results suffered for it: “We had backstay hydraulic failure, so we had to sail the second race without any backstay. It will be fixed for tomorrow,” Hudson explained. “We raced for the challenge today,” he said, making the best of a hard situation. 

A 25 nautical mile offshore passage race is planned for Saturday, to start from 12.30pm on Course Area B, between Terrigal Beach and Long Reef. 

The three-day ORC Championship, supported by Sydney Marine Brokerage, is open to club cruiser/racers and grand prix yachts.  

For all information, including full results, please visit the official website: rpayc.com.au/pittwater-regatta-inc-nsw-orc-championship-2022

Report by Di Pearson

NSW ORC Championship Continues As Pittwater Regatta Opens  

Saturday February 12, 2022

While the NSW ORC Championship continued today with an offshore passage race, the Sydney 38 One Design NSW Championship and Pittwater Regatta began their respective competitions in the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club’s (RPAYC) hosted events. 

Pittwater Regatta inshore fleet. Photo: RPAYC media 

It was a big day offshore for those in ORC Championship and the Sydney 38s, as they faced a messy sea state. The planned three windward/leeward races for the 38s were reduced to two because of the sea and shifty winds. 

Day 2 of the ORC Championship belonged to Gerry Hatton and crew on his M.A.T. 1245, Bushranger, who came out on top in Division 1 after sailing a 25 nautical mile passage race. Soozal, Keiran Mulcahey’s King 40, placed second. The Mark Griffith skippered DK46, LCE Old School Racing, claimed third place.

Overall, going into the final day tomorrow, Bushranger is three points ahead of Soozal, with Mercury (Mark Tinworth and Mark Waterhouse) in third place, a further four points in arrears.

“It certainly was choppy and lumpy with very variable winds of 5-22 knots from the south-east, moving towards the east during the day,” Hatton commented.

“We had a really good start. We went left off the start and that paid off. We reached across the wind to the top mark, then carried a Code Zero to the second mark off Terrigal. That’s where it dropped off to 5 knots.

“Coming back into Barrenjoey to the finish, we carried a spinnaker and had to drop it close to the finish line. It all went well. We have a very good crew who have been with me for years,” Hatton concluded.  

A new name came into focus in Division 2 today, when Martin Cross’s Sunfast 3300, Transcendence, took the win. It did so from one of the favourites on the longer offshore course, Shane Kearns’ S&S 34, Azzurro-White Bay 6. Kearns is hard to beat offshore in good winds. Mark Hellyer’s Italia 11.98, Cicero, finished third.

Simon Grosser’s Young at Heart holds onto the overall lead by the skin of her teeth after finishing fourth today. Azzurro-White Bay 6 is second, but on equal points with the leader, with Cicero third, some eight points behind.

For the finale tomorrow, the Championship will take the yachts on three windward/leeward races offshore. Such a variety of racing will decide the best of the best. The three-day ORC Championship is supported by Sydney Marine Brokerage. 

Sydney 38 One Design NSW Championship

A three-way tie exists in the Sydney 38 One Design NSW Championship, with Peter Sorensen’s Advanced Philosophy leading the charge – just. Sorensen said this afternoon, “We won the first race, but messed up in the second one. We had a tangle in the mainsheet and did a quarter of the second work with no main on, but we’re going pretty good overall. 

“The big surprise was Shine On, which hasn’t been that competitive against us blokes and Conspiracy up till now,” he said.

Shine On - Team Callendina (Phil Herscovics) won the first race from reigning champion Conspiracy (Peter Byford/David Hudson). Advanced Philosophy rounded out the top three. In Race 2, Sorensen took the win from Byford/Hudson with Herscovics third. It equates to the top three sharing four points each. Tomorrow’s final windward/leewards will be telling.

Racing was close between all seven Sydney 38s, although Herscovics got away from the rest in Race 1, while there was just one second between the top two in Race 2. 

Herscovics was thrilled with his results: “We had a great first race and pretty much led all the way round. It was a great start to the Championship. We had solid speed in lumpy conditions. We put a lot into our preparation, and it’s paid,” he said. “I have good people on board too, who are working well together, and that’s what it’s all about.

“We were doing well in the second race until a shackle came off the clew during a spinnaker hoist. We had to drop and re-set and ended up third. It was very exciting in Race 2; just seconds in it. 

“There are great people in the class with good camaraderie. The more 38s we can get to these events, the better. The racing is so good,” he ended. 

Liz Charles, for the first time sailing with an all-female crew on Calibre (chartered by the Sydney 38 Association for the ladies), had an excellent day, finishing sixth in Race 1 and fourth in Race 2, to be fourth overall.

Calibre and her all female crew skippered by Liz Charles. Photo: RPAYC media 

Pittwater Regatta

On Day 1 of the Pittwater Regatta, sailed inshore in much calmer conditions, one boat stood out in Division 1. Heath Walters (Banta) opened his campaign with a pair of wins to hold a four-point lead over Revolver (Michael Ritchie), while Pacesetter (Andrew MacPhail) is third overall in a tie situation with Revolver. 

In Division 2, Chris Hornsby (Pick Pocket, a Garry Mull design) emulated Walters, pulling out two victories for a lead over Vittoria (Alan Reece) which ended the day with a pair of second places and James Pattinson’s Ellipse II, a pair of third places in her tally. 

“We got two very good starts. Basically, the crew, including my wife Julia, and the two Johns worked very well. We had good clean spinnaker sets and drops. Good to have boats from the other clubs there too. It was challenging, with either little or two much wind. Typical Pittwater weather,” Hornsby said.  

“The wind varied from 30 to 40 degrees and ranged from 10 to 20 knots. It was hard – especially the second race – we had to run a shy spinnaker,” said Hornsby who owns the smallest boat by far in the Division 2 fleet. 

The Pittwater Regatta entrants will sail two more inshore races tomorrow to decide the winners and the Hornsby’s say they are looking forward to that.

Video highlights from all three course areas today: https://youtu.be/qw4eWG3Dors

For all information, including full results, please visit the official website: https://rpayc.com.au/pittwater-regatta-inc-nsw-orc-championship-2022/

Report by Di Pearson

Two NSW Champions Crowned - Pittwater Regatta Winners Announced  


Sunday February 13, 2022

The final races were completed in the inaugural NSW ORC Championship, the Sydney 38 One Design NSW Championship and Pittwater Regatta, with new champions crowned and winners announced at the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club (RPAYC) early this evening.


Gerry Hatton’s Bushranger led from the outset and did not relinquish throughout. The M.A.T. 1245 design added 1-4-3 results to her second and two wins of the last two days to be crowned the inaugural Division 1 ORC NSW champion.


“It was a tough three days,” Hatton’s son Andrew said. “We started off with thunder lightning and rain, then had a good second day with solid winds, and today was light and shifty.


Gerry: “The first race we today we did well, the second we were on the wrong side of a shift and the third we got a bit mixed up at the top mark, got behind and had to play catch up, but we did enough to win. It was a fantastic three days. It was exhilarating but exhausting. We are thrilled to win the first ORC NSW title.”


Hatton is still competitive at 85. Apart from son Andrew, he has son-in-law Michael Fountain (tactician) and his son Tom (20), along with Alex Smith, Andrew’s brother-in-law  aboard.  Renowned boat builder, John McConaghy also sailed with them.


Keiran Mulcahy’s Soozal and Mark Tinworth and Mark Waterhouse’s Mercury did the work required to hold onto their respective second and third places overall.


Soozal, a King 40, finished the day with 2-3-4 results, while Mercury, a modified Farr 40 was at her best on the windward/leeward courses with 3-2-1 results. She lifted up to place one point behind Soozal. The Mark Griffith skippered DK46, LCE Old School Racing, won Race 5 to finish fourth overall.

Bushranger heading out. Photo: RPAYC

2022 Pittwater Regatta - Mercury. Photo: Dinghy Fever Photography


The new NSW champion in Division 2 is Simon Grosser’s Young 88, Young at Heart. Grosser also led from Day 1 and finished the way he started, adding a second and a pair of wins to his two wins and a fourth from the first two days.


“We had great fun. It was really good to have other clubs come and compete and I hope we can return the favour. For us, it’s about sailing with a bunch of mates that like doing well. It’s an older boat, but as long as everything works and you sail well, you do well. You don’t need be a millionaire to go sailing and it’s good to kick butt on an inexpensive boat,” he said.


Shane Kearns kept the pressure on with Azzurro-White Bay 6, to place second overall, which he carried over from yesterday. Windward/leewards are not usually the S&S 34s forte, particularly in the light breeze and sloppy seas that were offered up today. It was therefore a surprise to see him score 4-2-3 results to finish five points behind Young at Heart.


Mark Hellyer’s Italia 11.98, Cicero, was sitting in third place overall yesterday. She maintained that place by just one point, saved by victory in the first race of the day before scoring a pair of sixth places.


Supported by Sydney Marine Brokerage, the NSW ORC Championship was a three-day affair that started with two inshore races in Pittwater on Friday, followed by a 25 nautical mile passage race on Saturday and ended with three windward/leeward races today. A more diverse range of races and conditions would be hard to find and certainly decided who was the best of the best in the two divisions.  

2022 Pittwater Regatta - White Bay 6. Photo: RPAYC


Sydney 38 One Design NSW Championship

Peter Byford and David Hudson, Conspiracy, came into the day tied on points with Advanced Philosophy (Peter Sorensen) which had led overall on countback coming into the day, but the defending champions were not to be denied.

Two bullets and a second place on the offshore windward/leeward courses sealed the deal for the co-conspirators, who retain their Sydney 38 One Design NSW Championship title.


Sorro and his young crew of philosophers could not keep yesterday’s momentum going. Their 3-6-1 results gave them second overall, helped by victory in the final race. Phil Herscovics 8-3-4 meant third overall for Shine On – Team Callendina, but they were challenged by Liz  Charles’ all-female crew on Calibre.


Calibre, chartered for Charles and crew by the Sydney 38 Association, placed fourth overall on countback after scoring 2-4-3 results today. Extraordinary, as they are new to the class.


“One of the things the Association wanted to do was to give women the confidence that they could compete in one-design racing, and look what it’s done,” a pleased president, Hudson, said.


“We had experienced and new people racing, but everyone was very in touch. It was a lottery around the top mark this afternoon. The ladies on Calibre did very well and so did Phil Herscovics. I’m delighted for them.


“We are happy to keep our title, but we like to be challenged. Make no mistake, it was very close racing on both days for the entire fleet. The difference in some races was the length of the bow, and in yesterday’s Race 2, it wasn’t even that much.


“Everyone has had a really good regatta. Each has done well, especially given it was difficult sailing offshore today. To keep the boats moving demanded a lot of hard work and attention. It was even hard for officials to set a course in the light winds on a big sloppy sea.,” Hudson ended.

2022 Pittwater Regatta - Conspiracy. Photo: RPAYC


Pittwater Regatta

Participants were given two passage style races around Pittwater on the final day. Michael Ritchie, who came into the day in second place overall with the Ritchie 38, Revolver, owned by his father Bruce, won the first race. However, there was no denying Heath Walters, Banta, who added a further win to yesterday’s two victories to claim the series from Revolver by three points.


Walters had the advantage of his two young sons, Harley (24) and Logan (18), on the crew of his Melges 24, along with their two mates, Liam and Mitch. The ‘young guns’ made up for the disadvantage of being one of the smallest boats in the fleet.


“The boys have been sailing the Melges with me for years. They loved the weekend, and so did their mates. It was great having younger guys on board,” he said shoreside.


“It was a very light shifty breeze with a maximum of 10 knots, so it was hard work trying to keep up with the Farr 40s and other big boats, but we worked hard,” he said.


“We were in the same division with my sister-in-law (Susan Walters with her Cape 35, Cape Fear, who finished fourth overall). We’re not a very competitive family,” he said, tongue in cheek.


“It’s good to have the Melges out. We only got our ORC rating in the last week and I like it, especially this weekend, because we won! It helps having local knowledge too.”


Bob Stoddard’s Alpha Crucis, completed  the top three after scoring third and second places respectively, moving the 5.5 Metre right up the board.


In Division 2, Chris Hornsby’s Pick Pocket made it a clean sweep, robbing the rest of the division by winning both races today, adding to yesterday’s two wins. Vittoria (Alan Reece) and James Pattinson’s Ellipse II, also mirrored their performances of yesterday, scoring a pair of seconds and thirds respectively, to finish in that order overall. 


“We just carried on from what we did yesterday,” Hornsby said after putting his Gary Mull designed Pocket Rocket 22 to bed.


“The weather was good, it just suited us. And we have a good crew. John Priddis, John Marwood and I have sailed together for ages. We’ve done 20 Hobarts between us and raced Etchells and Dragons. After a while you start to get the idea… Julia (his wife), is a director of the Club (RPAYC) and she always sails with us. She keeps us all in line,” he said laughing.


“We are very happy to have won both ORC and PHS. It’s not often that happens.”

Pick Pocket at the 2022 Pittwater Regatta. Photo: RPAYC


The last word goes to Richard Hudson, a long-time member of the RPAYC and supporter of youth sailing at the Club: “The young crew sailed very well. I really enjoyed the weekend, even though we didn’t do as well as we’d have liked. The Club ran a very good regatta.


“We’re now getting the young crew ready for the Pittwater to Coffs Harbour Yacht Race. A lot of our crew are younger than the boat, which is 25! I love sailing with them,” he ended.

Please see today’s video highlights at: https://youtu.be/PDkWsBZCfVY

For 2022 Pittwater Regatta photos pleas visit RPAYC online Album

For all results, please visit the official website: https://rpayc.com.au/pittwater-regatta-inc-nsw-orc-championship-2022/

By Di Pearson

Vittoria at the 2022 Pittwater Regatta. Photo: RPAYC

2022 Pittwater Regatta Video - Saturday

Published by Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, Saturday February 12, 2022

Pittwater Regatta 2022 - Day 3 Highlights - Sunday

Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, Sunday February 13, 2022

Final day of racing for the Pittwater Regatta 2022, inc ORC NSW Championship and Sydney 38 NSW Championship

2022 Pittwater Regatta - Revolver. Photo: RPAYC