Flagstaff Marine Sail News and Stories

Beneteau Pittwater Regatta 2019 Round Up

Beneteau’s big and small revelled in the perfect conditions for the annual Beneteau Pittwater Regatta. With a fleet of 23 ranging in size from the majestic Oceanis 55 to the small but mighty FIRST 235 the 15-25 knot south westerly winds made for an exciting day out in the water for skippers and their crews.

Thanks to John Curnow for the fantastic photos of the day – you can download low res version here or contact John on 0419 969 959 for a discounted price for high res copies.

Champagne Start

Champagne Start

The morning started with the traditional champagne send off and race briefing at Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club.

“It was the perfect day for sailing a Beneteau,” said Flagstaff Marine’s Graham Raspass. “As they always relish a good breeze, are great upwind boats, and easily handled the swell around Lion Island. Our annual Pittwater Regatta would not be possible without the dedication of our terrific owners and it was fantastic to see so many smiling faces out on the water.” 

Spinnaker Division

Spinnaker Division

Skipper David Bokemann backed up his win at last year’s Beneteau Cup taking out first place in division 1 on Bombolo his Oceanis 46.1 FIRST Line. FIRST 50 Bullrush took second place, an impressive result for skipper Matthew Graison’s maiden race on his new yacht,. Colin McKeith on Aeolus his Oceanis 48 coming in third.

See full the results on the RPAYC website here.

Non-spinnaker Division

Non-spinnaker Division

With 17 Beneteau’s sailing in division 2 the competition was tight with the glory going to the FIRST’s taking out the top three places – a testament to the performance of this iconic range due to be revitalised with the NEW First Yacht 53 being launched later this year.

Skipper Shaw Russett took out first place on FIRST 40 Tailwind. The skipper’s plan had been to enter the non-spinnaker division so the crew could enjoy a glass of wine mid-race. All to no avail, the competition was tight and it was all hands on deck. Here’s an excerpt of Shaw’s excellent round-up of the day.

“At 40 feet we were the seventh smallest boat in the fleet keen to get clear air and with a reaching start we were up against a lot of longer waterlines so on the first leg we got low then encouraged them to play and interfere with each other and climb into the more disturbed air along Portuguese beach.  By the first mark, the only boat we hadn’t passed was the new 51, although the 55 and clutch of big 40 pluses were hot on our heels.

By the first mark, the only boat we hadn’t passed was the new 51, although the 55 and clutch of big 40 pluses were hot on our heels.

From Mackerel to Lion Island we still couldn’t catch the 51…  We broke away a little rounding the island but the return trip across Broken Bay had the 55 and Ivor’s Still Dangerous right on our tail.

Back in Pittwater, tactics and crew work came back into play and with the breeze swinging through 30 degrees and ranging from 8 knots to 22 knots we settled into constantly changing gear – so much for a drink.  Our perseverance paid off though with us closing in on the 51 and opening up on the 55 and Ivor. In the end the 51 beat us home by only 49 seconds but we opened up two minutes 14 seconds on Neville Whittey’s Oceanis 55 with Ivor’s 45 almost three minutes further adrift.

As it turns out, it was a good day for older Farr designed First 40’s with our sister ship sharing the podium along with the smallest boat in the fleet. Putting a bunch of sailors together is always a convivial affair but one of the things that Graham, Angela and the Flagstaff team do is a wonderful job of building a community…We’ll definitely be back for the next Pittwater regatta to defend our position next year.”

FIRST 40 IAGO came in second skippered by Rob Yeats and Robert Swan skippering Elusive Spirit FIRST 305, the oldest Beneteau in the race came in earned third place. Wilde Rush Flagstaff Marine’s Micah Lane’s Oceanis 51.1 FIRST Line was first across the line but graciously rescinded the second place.

See full the results on the RPAYC website here.

Largest To The Smallest

Largest To The Smallest

It’s always so rewarding for us to see Beneteau’s of all sizes and shapes competing together for the simple joy of sailing.

A huge shout out to Mini Bateau Skipper Josh Patterson for taking on the spinnaker division in his “mother ship” FIRST 235.

The largest boat in the fleet, Neville Wittey’s L’amour De Ma Vie Oceanis 55 had a fine day sailing and the crew looked spectacular in their matching hawaiian shirts. We caught up with Neville to hear his impressions of the day,

“We looked at the weather and it looked pretty blowy,” said Neville, “I wanted to make sure we all had a nice day so we decided to sail with our sails reefed. The boat sailed well the 51.1 got away from us a bit when the winds got light… We had a lovely, lovely day and what I learnt on the day ws that if we were out cruising in those conditions we could be sailing along reefed happy as a clam and really clicking on the miles, just flying…Everybody had a ball, thanks so much for putting it on.”

Winners All Round

Winners All Round

As always there were plenty of smiles all round and the celebration went on into the evening with prizes, dinner and dancing.

This years Best Dressed went to skipper Steve Smith and the crew of Oceanis 41.1P Freedom who looked dashing in their matching jackets.

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 the team from RPAYC for a wonderful event.

Save the date for the Beneteau Cup – we look forward to seeing you all out on Sydney Harbour in October for our next regatta, the Beneteau Cup hosted by CYCA Friday October 25th 2019.

See full the results on the RPAYC website here.

View and download low res photos of the day here.

For high resolution copies at the discounted price of two for $75 or four for $100. Please contact John Curnow 0419 969 959.

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