Club Marine Pittwater to Southport Yacht Race length draws keen skippers

Two skippers drawn by the longer distance of January’s first-ever Club Marine Pittwater to Southport Yacht Race have marked the January 2, 2017 start date and are busy preparing crews and their steeds for the first offshore event of the New Year. 


Entry has been extended to December 15, 2016 by the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club. Enter herefor the monohull, short-handed and multihull divisions.

Preferring a two to three day race to the usual day and a half ocean passage from Pittwater to Coffs Harbour is a key reason for both Steven Czapp’s entry as a first-time skipper of a boat he knows well, and Phil Bennett’s return since 2010, the last time he and King Billy competed in the RPAYC’s traditional calendar opener.

Since 2013 Turbulence, the first Adams 11.9m out of the mould back in 1979, has racked up 20,000 nautical miles in the Melbourne to Osaka and Brisbane to Vanuatu plus other major ocean races under previous owner Eric Marsh, Czapp’s step-father.

He gifted the boat to Czapp at Easter this year and the new skipper has equally big plans racing under the flag of Southport Yacht Club, the Pittwater to Southport race finish partner.

Czapp prefers the longer hauls for the experience and feeling of “getting away from the world” as he begins his quest to tackle a bigger goal - next year’s Rolex Sydney Hobart yacht race.

Weather-wise the Queenslander says beam reaching in 25 knots for the 370 mile race back to his home port would well suit the five tonne Turbulence, once known as Newcastle Flyer.

Bennett seconds a similar forecast. Made of King Billy Pine, his custom made John King design called King Billy is a heavy-built boat that prefers heavy weather. “We’d like the wind from the north and reasonably rough,” Barnett said. “Because the boat’s heavy, she doesn’t bounce around like the modern boats - that’s when we get a handicap advantage. As soon as it goes behind and light, then we’ve got a problem.”

Speaking from his 5,000 acre sheep and wheat farm near Yass, where Bennett spends a third of the year way from Sydney’s northern beaches and his boat of almost a quarter century, he added, “Lengthening the race is a good thing and Southport is a great destination. 

“We did the boat up to make the Hobart last year. We are all getting a bit old and not too keen to go to Hobart again, and when the Alfred’s announced the race would end at Southport that was more in line with us. We like to go to sea a bit longer than a day and a half.”

Bennett had King Billy built 24 years ago, in 1992…. “the reason the original crew are starting to retire,” he laughs. “It was built as a cruising boat but I went racing because I wanted to get into as many extreme situations as I could, and still be comfortable. Really I’ve just raced it since it was launched, in the Lord Howe Island race and it’s been to Coffs Harbour 10 times. It’s had a really good offshore career.”

The 2017 Club Marine Pittwater to Southport bluewater race will start at 1pm on Monday January 2 to the north of Palm Beach headland and take the fleet up the New South Wales coast and into south east Queensland. It will conveniently feed into SYC’s Bartercard Sail Paradise Series starting on Sunday January 8 and SYC is delighted to offer free berthing from the finish of the Pittwater to Southport race to the end of Sail Paradise, on Thursday 12, to owners entered in both events.

SYC has also arranged 10% accommodation discounts, at Hilton Surfers Paradise and Mantra. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.for the booking codes.

On December 19, 2016 the RPAYC’s competition called ‘The Prep’ closes and one lucky winner will score the $700 prize pack, including a GoPro Hero 5. Full details on the Facebook page.

Enter here

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@pitt2southport #pitt2southport #southport17

By Lisa Ratcliff /RPAYC media

Further information:

For media informationplease contact:
Lisa Ratcliff m. 0418 428 511 e. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For race enquiries please contact:
RPAYC sailing office ph. (02) 9998 3771 e. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

How's your preparation for the racing going?

With 6 weeks to go until the big race North final preparations are in full swing. This weekend saw the Bird Island to Port Hacking race conducted, with the majority of the fleet finishing in the early hours on Sunday morning. The race gave skippers and crew great oversight sailing experience and tested navigators on rounding the Port Harking Mark. 

Tell your preparation story online at the event facebook page and go into the draw to win a fantastic prize pack! 

Important Race Dates

The start of the Club Marine Pittwater to Soutport Yacht race 2017 is getting closer with 6 weeks to go! Below are important dates for those intending to enter and those that have already entered. 



Close of Entries & Submission of Boat and Crew Eligibility Documentation, prior to:

Thursday 1  December 2016

Last day for amending eligibility documentation

Thursday 15 December 2016

Sailing Instructions available by:

Thursday 8 December 2016

Close of Eligibility Protest submissions

Thursday 22 December, 2016

RPAYC New Years Eve Function 2016 – from 1930hrs

(Tickets available from RPAYC reception)

Saturday 31 December 2016

List of Competitors and Handicaps published by:

Sunday 1 January, 2017

Breakfast and Lunch menu available

– Halyards RPAYC - 0630 – 1700hrs

FoC Bacon and Egg rolls for competitors

– Halyards RPAYC – 0730 – 0830hrs

Mandatory Race and Weather Briefing BoM

– 0900hrs RPAYC

Club Marine Pittwater to Southport Yacht Race Start Times: 1300hrs – Monohulls – 1315hrs Multihulls

Monday  2 January 2017

Presentation for Club Marine Pittwater to Southport Yacht Race – 1800hrs - SYC

Friday 6 January 2017

Bartercard Sail Paradise 2017

Southport Yacht Club’s premier offshore Sailing Regatta, Bartercard Sail Paradise will be held at SYC on the Gold Coast.

For race news and further information, visit

Saturday 8 to 12 January 2017

Competitors will be informed by SMS messages of updates to the schedule of events in Southport. Communications will be sent to the number submitted in a Boats Entry.


Club Marine Pittwater to Southport Yacht Race set to ROCK!

Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club’s inaugural Club Marine Pittwater to Southport Yacht Race, starting January 2, is destined to “rock” when the fleet arrives at Southport Yacht Club, on the Gold Coast.

The club has organised “A Night with the Stars” dinner and entertainment extravaganza to welcome the competing crews.

The lead act will be legendary “rocker” Digger Revell. He will be supported by three other high-profile acts: Dennis Knight, Lucy McIntosh plus Vic and Kerrie Kena.

It is scheduled for the evening of January 6.

“Our club wants to make the finish of the Club Marine Pittwater to Southport Race a memorable experience for all competing sailors, and this big night is very much part of that plan,” said Southport Yacht Club’s commodore, Kerry Noyes. “It will also be a great curtain-raiser for our Bartercard Sail Paradise four-race offshore series that starts on January 8.

“Much to our delight, we have secured the services of Australia’s pre-eminent Race Director, Denis Thompson, to take on that role for Sail Paradise.

“We are hoping that many of the crews contesting the Southport Race will join us for Sail Paradise so they can further sample the wonderful experiences the Gold Coast has to offer.”

The Club Marine Pittwater to Southport Race will bring an exciting new dimension to high-summer sailing out of Sydney. The 370-nautical mile course will have magnificent coastal scenery as the backdrop for the entire distance, and there will be some interesting tactical challenges.

Wind out of the southern sector promises exciting downwind sailing; a refreshing daytime nor-easterly will make for warm upwind sailing, and a night-time offshore westerly will provide opportunities to make good gains on the opposition.

Both the Pittwater-Southport Race and Sail Paradise are open to monohull and multihull yachts.

A big welcome awaits competing crews on reaching the finish line. Southport Yacht Club will be providing marina facilities for all yachts.

Details for the Club Marine Pittwater to Southport Race can be found at

Details for Bartercard Sail Paradise 2017 can be found on the club’s website:

Beating Dehydration While Ocean Racing

Hydration tips from Tana Anderson, RPAYC’s Head Personal Trainer.

In a previous article we spoke about the importance of getting your team to assist where possible with the logistics of the race off the water. However, another area of which can be overlooked is the diet and physical training plans in preparation for a long ocean race.

This article we look into the best ways to keep hydrated while out racing and minimising fatigue.

Firstly we need to look at what the body will be enduring when racing. A mixture of wind, sun and salt water leads to a common cause of fatigue resulting from dehydration. It’s amazing how fast the body can lose focus when dehydrated

As mentioned, dehydration plays a big role in ocean racing. To combat the problem Tana insists competitors need to develop a good drinking routine a few days beforehand so the body is in peak performance and well hydrated before the race.

“Competitors need to remember that skolling huge amounts of water at during the day won’t hydrate you, I strongly recommend a sustained and consistent drinking routine, I’d suggest keeping a water bottle close by at all times.” Says Tana.

With all the sports drinks on the market it can be tempting to just buy a bottle and be hydrated quicker. However, the marketing gurus behind these products are pushing something that may not be as effective as you think as Tana explains.

“All sports drinks are both good and bad, the high sugar content and acidity doesn’t hydrate you as effectively as water. It can also act as a diuretic making you lose more fluid. If you are wanting to mix up the water I’d suggest either adding a piece of lemon, cucumber or lime in your water or if you want to have a sports drink I’d suggesting alternating sips with water to dilute it.” Says Tana.

“Sports drinks are designed to assist hydration for those in high intensity sports like football. The quick dose of sugar and salts helps replenish the body and also assist in hydration. However, in an ocean racing scenario you’re looking at the long term benefits where sports drinks just don’t cut it.” Tana added.

On top of water intake you do need to consider what else you are taking in which can cause dehydration. Anything which contains caffeine will act as a diuretic, drinks like coffee, energy drinks and some soft drinks will have the opposite effect and will dehydrate you. Yes, this does also apply to alcohol.

A good tip when out racing it’s good to have a urine colour chart in the onboard bathroom. Toilet humour aside, it’s something we have to do and cross checking the colour with a chart can help remind the team to keep up with the fluids. It’s very easy to forget the necessities when racing.

Quick look at beating dehydration

·         Limit caffeinated and sugary drinks prior and during the race

·         Drink small amounts of water throughout the day

·         Try and avoid sports drinks

·         Add lemon, lime or cucumber to your water to add flavour.

There you have it, some easy steps to take to keep your body hydrated and focused for the 2017 Club Marine Pittwater to Southport Yacht Race. Next week Tana will explain the importance of healthy snacking while racing. 

Sitting on the rail in the sun and wind can dehydrate you very quicklySitting on the rail in the sun and wind can dehydrate you very quickly

Have you ever been on a sailing boat where they carried out an evacuation drill?

Last year we asked this same question to everyone who came to our Sea Safety and Survival program. Very occasionally people had been on a boat where a discussion had taken place aroundthis matter. When you’re on a boat it is extremely important that you know at all times how to get out of the boat in an emergency.


If there is a fire in an engine bay, it may not be possible to climb over the fire to exit via the companionway. We suggest everyone going on every boat take the time to understand which hatches would be viable as an exit and how they are opened.

Many people who are new to boats do not instinctively understand how to unlocked or open a hatch. The skipper should ensure that all hatches are dogged and not locked when people are on board. This is an easy thing to forget. The crew can and should also check this when coming on board.

When discussing abandonment, or evacuation it is common to be drawn into the evacuation elements and assume people will know what to do in the event of a fire.

As the skipper, you need to identify which hatches can be used by which people in emergencies as exits and show them how to open them. As an example, remember that the lowering of a spinnaker pole to the deck, deck stowage of a dinghy and the physical size of people could mean that not all exits are available to all people all of the time.

Preparation tips with Neil Driscoll

Preparing for a Cat 2 race from Pittwater all the way to Southport takes a lot of time. Neil Driscoll from Above and Beyond Boating points out a few tips on crew organisations which can make the preparation a little easier for the skipper and the team.

Neil, through his many years as an experienced sailing mentor points out that some teams overlook the simple tasks of preperation which sometimes can take the longest.

High Anxiety in the 2015 Pittwater to Coffs High Anxiety in the 2015 Pittwater to Coffs

“Developing your team into their roles earlier rather than later betters their performance on water, however, developing their roles off water can greatly improve the boat’s logistics for the race.” Said Neil.

Just like on the boat, team members have their set roles and task list. Similar format should follow on from that off-water.

“A skipper/owner doesn’t sail the boat on their own so they shouldn't do everything off water on their own” Said Neil.

“Examples of task allocation include passing on the Safety Audit co-ordination, team uniforms and even the social aspect of the event. Having someone organise all the social stuff like where to go afterwards to celebrate makes the experience for the team all that much better” Neil added.

Just by thinking a little outside the box and getting the team to help out where possible will make the race that much more enjoyment for all.

For more handy safety and preperation tips visit


Auric’s Quest for Pittwater to Southport honours

Fred Bestall’s return to Australia and the yacht racing scene marks a big step up from his time living in California in the 1980s racing a heavy one-tonner, the last competitive boat he owned.

Three months ago Bestall bought Bob Steel’s 2002 Sydney Hobart winner called Quest and in early January 2017 he’ll contest the very first Club Marine Pittwater to Southport Yacht Race sailing the rebadged Auric’s Quest for his home state of Queensland and the finish partner, Southport Yacht Club.

“My old boat was a one-tonner I bought from Denis Connor in the ‘80s that was either very fast or very slow, no in between, whereas my new boat is a 46-foot dinghy and a much higher level of racing,” said Bestall talking about his entry in the 370 nautical mile sprint due to start off Barrenjoey Headland at 1pm on Monday January 2, 2017.Aurics Quest credit: Tina DialAurics Quest credit: Tina Dial

Three days before the 10th Brisbane to Keppel Race back in August, Bestall took ownership of Steel’s champion Nelson/Marek design and renamed it Auric’s Quest, after his company and the Latin term for gold. He set off with a pre-assembled crew for what turned out to be a baptism of fire – a breezy and ultimately record-breaking run north for the eventual line honours winner, Wild Oats XI.

Le Billet hands the boat keys to a RPAYC Youth Team

Club Marine Bluewater Pointscore Series 

The Bird Island race was held on Saturday and saw 14 boats compete, a great fleet to see!
The fleet enjoyed the southerly winds to get them to Bird Island before battling to work their way home in a dropping breeze. 

For Le Billet owners Mark Tinworth and Mark Waterhouse this BWPS Season they have handed the 'keys to the boat' to a team of youth members seeking to develop their offshore skills. The team will be competing in all the BWPS offshore races with the Club and competed in the CYCA Sydney to Gold Coast race in July.  Mark Tinworth says "Its been great to be able to offer the run of the boat to the youth team, they have heaps of energy and are keen to learn big boat sailing"....
Mark Waterhouse says “ We looked back on the days when Perpetual Motion took YD to Coffs and we thought to ourselves, why is this not happening any more, so we got a few of the YD crew together for 2015 and 2016 race and we all had a great time . So then we decided to get the YD crew to commit to the full BWPS and we will commit to providing some training for them, and we ended up with half the crew YD and half the crew Le Billet regulars. A big thanks to Rachel for rounding up the YD and doing the sell on them.
It has worked out fantastic, the key is to give the YD crew key positions on helm, main , pit and trim and not just send them up front .In fact we have oldies doing bow and mast. The YD kids are super keen to learn stuff like tactics, navigation etc and of course Safety at Sea (particularly on overnight races). As one of the YD said, “we need a few oldies on board for when it all goes pear shape".



Pittwater to Southport


The Pittwater to Paradise Regatta will be starting on Sydney's Pittwater,  1 hour drive north from Sydney's CBD on January 2, 2019 and run through to 9 January, 2019.

The ocean race offers competitors a strategic challenge as they race between the surfline and the current, past unsurpassed scenic coastlines, prior to arriving in one of Queensland's most popular coastal cities. Once on the Gold Coast boats will enjoy a four day series regatta hosted by the Southport Yacht Club.

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The Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club
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T: 02 9998 3700
A: 16 Mitala St, Newport 2106 Australia

Southport Yacht Club
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T: 02 6652 4390
A: 1 Macarthur Pde, Main Beach, Queensland, 4217