April 19 - 25, 2015: Issue 210

 First Place for First Sail Port Stephens 2015 Entry - RMYCBB's Dave Griffin Takes Divisional Honours 

 SPS2015 Al Fresco division 2 winner- photo by Saltwater Images.

 First place for first Sail Port Stephens entry 

15 April 2015

Event: Sail Port Stephens, April 13-19, 2015 conducted by the Corlette Point Sailing Association and raced on Nelson Bay and around the outer islands of Port Stephens on the NSW north coast

The owner of the first boat to register for the 2015 Sail Port Stephens regatta is “chuffed” to be taking home top divisional honours by the narrowest of margins in the completed Commodore’s Cup series.

Dave Griffin and his Royal Motor Yacht Club crew on board the Titan 36 Al Fresco from Pittwater in Sydney beat John Veale and Graeme Davey’s Elan 340 GWhizz by one point after three passage races, two inshore on Nelson Bay and the closing Three Islands Race mostly offshore today, Wednesday April 15, 2015 in magic conditions.

“We had been looking forward to the regatta for a long time,” said an excited Griffin having just seen the final scores. “We had a ball last year, even in the rain, so we booked the same house and we were the first to enter this year. We’ve enjoyed the Commodore’s Cup immensely, Kerinda gave us a great tussle all three days and socially it’s been excellent. We’ll be back again next year!”

The fun isn’t over for Al Fresco. They’ll take a break along with other crews for a layday tomorrow and be back out on Friday for the second half, this time racing in the Performance Cruising division with many of the same boats and faces. 

Division 1 of the Commodore’s Cup was taken out by Mark Skelton’s Beneteau 40.7 called JAB, their lead a little more comfortable than Al Fresco’s at three points clear of the second placegetter, Steve Connor and his 39-foot Jones design called Arch Rival from Sydney. 

“Last year was our first year and we won Performance Cruising division. This year we decided to do the whole regatta,” said Skelton. “Today was lovely; we had a great start and first beat that carried us through. It’s very unique and different sailing around islands as course marks compared to racing around the buoys. You can get trapped in no breeze under them.”

Skelton and JAB sail for Wangi Amateur Sailing Club on Lake Macquarie and on board racing for Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club is trimmer Rob Howard, the other half of the Schouten Passage partnership. Jan Howard and her ‘skirts’ crew weren’t able to get near sistership JAB’s final top scoring result with Schouten, but they seemed to fulfil the fun quota set prior to the opening race on Monday. 

Skelton are his crew are staying on at Port Stephens for the Performance Cruising series starting Friday through to Sunday April 19, 2015 and the skipper says he’s very comfortable with the building forecast. 

Last year’s rainy Sail Port Stephens is a distant memory, replaced by a third magic day of sunny skies, a top temperature of 26 degrees and 10-12 knots of north-easterly breeze outside the heads, less inshore which was perfect for the first of the two day Junior One Sail Series just off the Port Stephens Sailing and Aquatic Club at Soldiers Point. Kids in BICs, Optimists, Laser Radials, Laser 4.7s and Sabots completed two races on flat water with a fair bit of woo-hooing and the odd crash in the pre-start. Harry Bailey’s Open BIC called Newcastle Yacht Club leads the series.

This evening many of the 40 Commodore’s Cup crews will gather at the Nelson Bay Bowling Club for dinner and official trophy presentation. 

Presentation - Photo by Craig Greenhill: Saltwater Images

Principal Race Officer Denis Thompson reckons “it’s been an incredibly good Commodore’s Cup series, fantastic weather and a good variety of courses with some very close racing. Today there were three division 1 boats overlapped on the finish line.”

Tomorrow, Thursday April 16, is a layday for the keelboat fleet prior to the opening of the second stage Port Stephens Trophy incorporating the NSW IRC Championship on Friday 17th. 

The Hunter coastal forecast for Friday is south-east to south-westerly winds 15-20 knots tending east to south-easterly 10-15 knots in the evening then tending east to NE in the late evening. Stronger northerly winds are likely on Saturday.

Pantaenius’ major sponsorship of Sail Port Stephens continues for the second year and the regatta is proudly supported by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW.

Full results  

Entry list 

Sail Port Stephens website 


By Lisa Ratcliff

 SPS 2015 JAB Commodore's Cup division 1 winner- photo by Saltwater Images.

 Commodores Cup Cruising

Hosted By Corlette Point Sailing Club

Series Results [EHC DIV1] up to Race 3

Place Ties                  Sail No                        Boat Name                                 Skipper                                From        Sers Score Race 3 Race 2 Race 1

1                                  W108                        JAB                                                 Mark Skelton                        WASC        13.0                    5.0 5.0          3.0

2                                 415                                ARCH RIVAL                                 Steve Connors                DSC                16.0                    1.0 13.0  2.0

3         1.0S                 MH3033                        ZENITH                                         Scott Beach                        MH                18.0                    8.0 9.0          1.0

4                                 33345                        BLACK SHEEP                         Derek & Martin Shepp        CYCA        18.0                    7.0 2.0          9.0

5         3.0S                 67                                COLORTILE                                 Kristy/Warren Buchan        CSC&RMYC  20.0                    13.0 3.0          4.0

6                                 8009                        OCC. COARSE LANG ONE Robert Alder                        RPAYC        20.0                    10.0 4.0          6.0

7                                USA40063                PT 73                                         Phill Arnell                        NCYC        22.0                    11.0 1.0         10.0

8                                 M102                        TOY STORY                                 Thomas Woods                LMYC        23.0                    12.0 6.0          5.0

9        2.0S                         6609                        AMANTE                                         Dennis Cooper                CYCA        24.0                    2.0     10.0        12.0

10                                 N349                        SCHOUTEN PASSAGE         Jan & Richard Howard      NCYC        24.0                    9.0 7.0           8.0

11        3.0S                         500                                ANTIPODES OF SYDNEY         Greg Newton                CYCA        28.0                    3.0 14.0 11.0

12                                 35000                        NEXT LIGHT                                 Chris Ryan                        CYCA        28.0                    6.0   8.0         14.0

13                                 6834                        BREAKTHROUGH                 Nods Emsley                CYCA        29.0                    4.0 12.0 13.0

14                                 6698                        FIREFLY                                         Dean Gillies                        RMYC        32.0                 14.0 11.0    7.0

15                                 B46                                CHAMPAGNE ON ICE                 Mark Wisby                        PSYC        49.0                 17.0C 17.0F  15.0

16                                 AUS183                        BREEZIN                                 Bradley Sewell                SLMASC        51.0                 17.0C 17.0C  17.0C

Commodores Cup Cruising

Hosted By Corlette Point Sailing Club

Series Results [EHC DIV2] up to Race 3

Place Ties Sail No Boat Name                                Skipper                      From                          Sers Score           Race 3           Race 2              Race 1

1                 6636 AL FRESCO                                Dave Griffin             RMYCBB                    10.0                    5.0             1.0               4.0

2                 3425 GWHIZZ                                        J Veale/ G Davey     GFS                          11.0                    1.0             3.0               7.0

3                 6584 KELSEA BLUE                        Adrian Williams     GSC/RSYS          15.0                    2.0             10.0              3.0

4                 3267 IN THE MOOD                        Keith Masters     RMYCBROKENBAY  17.0                    10.0             5.0              2.0

5                 5708 KERINDA                                Len Payne             RMYCT                  21.0                    3.0             7.0              11.0

6                 351         HIGH VOLTAGE                        Micha Lane             TBA                          23.0                    6.0             8.0              9.0

7                 6571 PASSION                                David Edmiston     GFS                          25.0                    16.0             4.0              5.0

8                 PH3200 STEADFAST                                Glenn Smith             CSC/RMYC          27.0                    4.0             11.0              12.0

9                 6990 GREAT WHITE                        Bob Penty             CYCA                          30.0                    15.0             9.0              6.0

10                 6906 BANDALENI                                Greg Kowalski     ASC                          32.0                    18.0             13.0              1.0

11                 MYC7 TENSIXTY                                Ian Green             MYC                          33.0                    14.0             2.0              17.0

12                 6940 INCEPTION                               John Sprague             GSC                          35.0                    8.0             14.0              13.0

13                 6740 EVEN FINER                               Geoff Dilworth             GSC                          37.0                    7.0             12.0               18.0

14                 9385 KITE                                       Ian White                     RMYCT                  38.5                    17.0             6.0               15.5

15                 7788 ALLSAIL DANCING STAR       Russell Waddy     RPAYC/RMYCBB  39.0                    13.0             16.0               10.0

16                 63344 KOKO                                       Roy Leslie             GSC                          52.0                    11.0             27.0C               14.0

17                 6767 BIG BLUE                               Stephen Phillips     WYC                          54.0                    19.0             27.0F               8.0

18                 4903 EGGSILANTE                       John Egger             GSC                          54.5                    12.0             27.0F               15.5

19                 6593 LU LU BELLE                       Peter Lewis             MHYC                          55.0                    9.0             27.0F               19.0

20 15.0S         BOW1 BELLS BREEZE                      Julian Bell             PSYC                          57.0                    21.0             15.0               21.0

21                 8420 JUBLILEE                              Ian Arthy                    CYC                          57.0                    20.0             17.0               20.0

22                 BOW11 MARGARITAVILLE              Paul O'Rourke            CPSA                          62.0                    22.0             18.0               22.0

23                 259          JIA                                              Chris Bebb            GSC                         65.0                    23.0             19.0               23.0

24                 9111 ROPABULL                              Mike Roper            RMYC/BB                 81.0                    27.0C             27.0C               27.0C

24                 6942 SMOOTH CRIMINALS              Ray Harley            PSYC                         81.0                    27.0C            27.0C               27.0C

24                 OC35 HELTER SKELTER              Graham Raspass    MHYC                         81.0                    27.0C            27.0C               27.0C

 SPS 2015 final Commodore's Cup race - photo by Saltwater Images.

Above: SPS15 Junior One Sail Series waiting for wind

Below: SPS15 Junior One Sail Series competitor photos by Saltwater Images

 d'albora Marina Nelson Bay at sunset - photo by Saltwater Images.

Report by Lisa Ratcliff - Photographs by Craig Greenhill: Saltwater Images, 2015.