Flagstaff Marine Sail News and Stories

Beneteau Pittwater Regatta 2018

The sun was shining on a record breaking 28 yachts competing in this year’s Beneteau Pittwater Regatta. It was incredible to see the diverse fleet of Beneteaus out on the water – from the brand new Oceanis 41.1P right through to the First 235 – circa 1986.

All up, 170 members of the Flagstaff community enjoyed a picture-perfect day of sailing, sunshine and good times with family and friends.

Champagne start

Champagne start

The day started with breakfast and coffee at Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club. Flagstaff Marine’s Graham Raspass opened proceedings noting that, “This annual event would not be possible without the dedication of our terrific owners” and that he was “excited about seeing so many smiling faces out on the water and on the dance floor later on in the evening!”

Spinnaker Division

Spinnaker Division

The first race of the day was the Spinnaker Division. With 11 yachts entered, there was plenty of healthy competition out on the water. The wind disappeared just on start time and the answering pennant was raised – but the delay didn’t dampen the enthusiasm – if anything, it raised the stakes as skippers competed for the best pockets to fill their sails.

Beau Soliel takes the win

Beau Soliel takes the win

In the Spinnaker Division, Beau Soliel, skippered by Bob Batchelor, won line honours proving that a Beneteau can be a winner at any age. Second was skipper Greg Newton on Antipodes. In third place was Paul Eriksson’s Dansk.

Bob's winning streak

Bob's winning streak

The Beneteau Pittwater Regatta is Bob’s third win for the year giving him a clean streak of three for three. It was a hard won win, with a rough start Bob thought he had no chance of  Beau Soleil matching last year’s third place finish.

“We were early to the start, there was very little wind and we had to give way to another boat, which put us behind the pack.

We had a bit of trouble getting the spinnaker up in the light air.

Then we made a tack out into the clearer air. After we passed the first marker we tacked right out into the middle of the bay and we found a nice steady breeze and it was a great sail from there on.

We got round the mark at Barrenjoey and we put up the spinnaker – very shy, very tight – we managed to keep it up and carried it to the finish.”

Bob says it likely the Beau Soleil crew will be back to defend their title next year. “It was very enjoyable.” says Bob, “I’m very thankful to the Flagstaff guys who put all the effort into running  of the day, they do a great job. They’re a lovely bunch of guys.”

Oceanis 41.1P putting the P in performance

Oceanis 41.1P putting the P in performance

Unofficially, Flagstaff’s Micah Lane and Mike Coxon, skippering A’Vendre, the brand new Oceanis 41.1P, were fastest to the finish.

While we couldn’t let the professionals take home the glory, it was thrilling to see this new generation of Beneteaus perform on the water. Now we’re even more excited about the two new Oceanis 51.1 arriving in Sydney soon.

Non-Spinnaker Division

Non-Spinnaker Division

In the Non-Spinnaker Division, line honours were taken by skipper Nigel Edgar on his new Oceanis 45 Elysian – the yacht’s racing debut. Czech Mate skippered by Phil Dressler came in second, followed by Kevin Gray’s Eau de Vie in third.

Elysian makes a winning debut

Elysian makes a winning debut

Winning skipper Nigel was thrilled with Elysian’s first regatta performance.

“The boat points well and you just have to sail it sensitively for the wind conditions. We had a great start and were able to pick the wind shifts.”

“We had a really strong first leg and we stayed in the wind all day long. That was the advantage we had – it has great boat speed and for a big boat like that you need to keep its momentum up and we were able to keep it going all day.” 

So, is Nigel keen to make Elysian a regular contender? One thing’s for certain – his wife, Julie, has caught the racing bug!

“My wife, who didn’t really ever want to race, has said we should do another race.  So, you never know … I suspect you’ll see us at the next Beneteau Cup in the harbour and in Pittwater next year because we had a lot of fun.”

Winners all round

Winners all round

No one went home empty handed, with a treasure trove of prizes awarded after dinner. Special mention goes to Michael Cooper and his steam punk crew on Moondance who took out the newly minted award of Best Dressed. Skippers – start planning your 2019 outfits because the bar has been set high.

 

A huge thanks to all our skippers and crews from Graham, Micah and the Flagstaff Marine team. Special thanks also to the wonderful sponsors who supplied many of the evening’s prizes and to Debbie and the team from RPAYC for a wonderful event.

We look forward to seeing you all out on Sydney Harbour in October for our next regatta, the Beneteau Cup.