July 19 - 25, 2015: Issue 223

  Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club's Mid-Winter One Design Regatta Wrap Up

 Elliott 7 lining up for the start

 Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club's Mid-Winter One Design Regatta 2015: Wrap Up

July 15, 2015

The Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club hosted their annual Mid-Winter One Design Regatta over the weekend of July 11 – 12 with 41 boats on the racetrack; Etchells, Elliott 7s, 11 metres, 5.5metres, Stars, Dragons and Melges 24s.

The Mid-Winter One Design Regatta is in its 2nd year and celebrates the rich history of the Club’s One Design Racing. This year the regatta attracted sailors from both local and interstate yacht clubs. Amongst the crews included current and former state, national and international One Design Class Championship sailors and also former Olympians to race on Pittwater.

The Mid Winter One Design Regatta was an excellent display of highly skilled sailing from seasoned sailors and the next generation of Australia’s sailing talent. The mix of “old school” and “new school” crews exposed the true challenges and excitement of one design racing has to offer. Each competitor brought their own knowledge and skills to Pittwater to battle it out in their One Design Class.

Adding to the challenge the unpredictable Pittwater breezes, Saturday provided a classic winter’s day of shifty and light north westerlies that constantly flicked west to north, dropping off and picking up tested out all of the classes in some tight racing.

The Stars excelled in the light wind made light work of the race course being able to take full advantage of the conditions.  The 5.5s and Dragons really brought the history aspect into the regatta with some boats displaying a pristine teak finishes to give a vintage feel to the regatta. Their low, long and sleek design allowed them to literally cruise through the race course at speed. The light winds didn’t favour the larger, heavier boats but when the solid gusts hit they really picked up the pace.

The Race Officials took the initiative to complete four races on the Saturday as the predicted weather forecast for Sunday may have eventuated in racing being abandoned. Luckily, the “polar vortex” which the media referred to it as was just a low pressure system. Huey provided a great 20 to 25 knot westerly. It was cold and windy which set the scene for an exciting last day’s racing. Blistering downwind spinnaker racing, exciting rail to rail upwind legs and the conditions really pushed competitors to their limits. The Melges 24s and Elliotts 7s danced a tango over the course taking full advantage of the strong winds.

Right: Melges 24 flying with the breeze on the Sunday

The tight competition between the Elliott 7s saw some very close racing. The downwind legs pushed out their rigs to the max. Gary Geitz showed his experience in style in keeping a cool head in the conditions sailing one of the Club’s Elliott 7 with control to take out the Elliott 7s class.

Seasoned years of sailing proved too much for the younger Elliott 7 competitors, including the Club’s Youth Development team who performed strongly with Malcom Parker’s team getting the best place out of the YD teams coming in 3rd. He was beaten by the Rob Crawford and his team who placed 2nd.

In the Melges 24 Class, the younger talent pushed their way to the top with Beijing Gold Medallist, Nathan Wilmot and his protégé, 470 sailing talent, Sasha Ryan skippered KRAKEN to win the Melges 24 division, reaching top speeds on the course. 

The Stars tested out the fitness of their crew, constant hiking off the rail was mandatory on upwind legs. Rob McMillan stepped up in the windy conditions and won both races on Sunday giving him the overall win of the Stars.

Overall the racing was fast and controlled, the weather allowed for all races to be completed with minimal damage or dramas.

A huge credit to the Race Officials for setting the course in some testing conditions. All the action and results from the regatta can be found on the Club’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/the-royal-prince-alfred-yacht-club-rpayc.  If you want to get involved with this great racing program, visit www.rpayc.com.au/yacht-racing/racing-program/one-design-racing for more information.

Melges 24s:

1st- The Kraken- Shasha Ryan

2nd- Amigos – Peter Kendall

3rd- Outliner– David Royle

Elliott 7s:

1st- Garry Gietz

2nd- Matt Crawford

3rd- Malcolm Parker


1st- Seawings- Hendrick Visser – 7pts

2nd- Black Knight – Bob Johnson

3rd- Cardinal Sin – John Paul


1st- NB Sailsports- Rob McMillan

2nd- Craigie – M Lovelady & Jason Antill

3rd- Cutting it Fine – Matt Visser

5.5 & Dragons:

1st Liquidity One- Robert Porter

2nd French Connection – Anthony Armstrong

3rd Hooligan – Marcus Blackmore

11 Metres:  

1st Antares – Martin and Anna Cross

2nd Pacesetter – Tony Doyle

3rd Force 8 Nemesis – Peter Gale 

Report and Pictures by Stephen Collopy, RPAYC Media, 2015