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".

A summer sailing bonanza …

A summer sailing bonanza …

·       Club Marine Pittwater to Southport Race +

·       Bartercard Sail Paradise Series

Australia’s east coast offshore sailing scene will take on an exciting new dimension in early January with the staging of the inaugural Club Marine Pittwater to Southport ocean race, followed by a new-look Bartercard Sail Paradise series out of Southport Yacht Club, on the Gold Coast.

The race to Southport, which will start on January 2 with the coastal passage extended to 370 nautical miles from the traditional new year race to Coffs Harbour, to a finish line set off Southport Surf Club, the organisers of Sail Paradise seized on the opportunity to have that event become an added incentive for sailors to race north from Pittwater.

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary Offer

Bring the family to Southport! After the race why not join the family and visit the Wildlife Currumbin Sanctrary, Special Offer for competitors, recieve 50% discount on admission: Select your tickets and add the coupon code “SYC2016”

Frantically finding a new boat for the Club Marine Pittwater to Southport race

The yacht Frantic’s demise on the rocks at Grassy Island during the last race of Airlie Beach Race Week in August could easily have meant the withdrawal of the first Queensland entry for the Club Marine Pittwater to Southport Yacht Race starting in less than four months’ time.

Instead, skipper Graham Furtado is scouting for a new 40-footer and though the timeframe is tight, he’s planning to secure a replacement by the end of October and still be part of the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club’s first offshore race to Queensland setting off on January 2, 2017 from the mouth of the Hawkesbury River.

Frantic was competing at the Airlie Beach regatta when its spinnaker became wrapped around the forestay. Winds gusting up to 30 knots kept knocking the Sayer 40 over and dragging it towards the shore, while the tide sucked the stricken vessel in the same direction. Eight crew members were rescued by fellow competitors and the boat was left, only to wash out to sea and sink. Frantic was eventually located by a diver, who saw the mast tip sticking out at low tide off Olden Island, and refloated, then towed ashore where Furtado’s insurance company classed it a write-off.

Prepare for the Bluewater Pointscore Series - Lifejacket & Training Special

With Race 1 of the Club Marine Bluewater Pointscore Series completed, its time to prepare for the rest of the Series.

Above and Beyond Boating have all the training courses you need for Racing, Cruising, and International Charters. For those planning on participating in theClub Marine BWPS Series including the Club Marine Pittwater to Southport Race, ABB have put together a fantastic deal on Lifejacket and acessories required by all crew that also includes an offshore training session.

Included in the special is a Spinlock Deck Vest with hammer activation, the worlds smallest GPS enabled PLB, AIS beacon set to activate automatically with DSC, whichard safety tether, offshore emergency training session. 

Register for the Club Marine BWPS Series here. If you are looking to crew in the offshore Series, be it Short Ocean Pointscore, BWPS or the Pittwater to Southport Race, register with the CrewWithMe system.

Entry opens for Club Marine Pittwater to Southport Yacht Race

Entry is open for the first-ever Club Marine Pittwater to Southport Yacht Race, the lead-in offshore race of the New Year and one of the major events to fall within The Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club’s sesquicentenary year (150yrs).

The Notice of Race and entry is available from the event website

Given the damage to Coffs Harbour marina caused by a powerful east coast low in June, and uncertainty about the timing of repairs, last month the organising club announced it was moving the finish of its key coastal event further north, to Southport for 2017.Pretty Woman, the first entrant racing in the 2012 Pittwater to Coffs Pretty Woman, the first entrant racing in the 2012 Pittwater to Coffs

The 370 nautical mile race will commence from the traditional Pittwater start line north of Palm Beach Headland at 1pm on January 2, 2017, and finish some two to four days later, depending on the size of the boat and sailing conditions.

Mark Griffith, owner of the RPAYC based Ker 40 Showtime that was built and launched as Midnight Rambler back in 2011, is throwing his name in for the new race and says, “I think it’s a great change and I’m really looking forward to it”.

The same Australian Sailing Category 2 requirements apply to the Pittwater to Southport Race. Importantly, the progressive Sydney Northern Beaches club doesn’t require owners to carry expensive HF radios, a major cost saving introduced for the 2015 Coffs Race. Instead the fleet is monitored round-the-clock via the Yellow Brick tracking system, plus organisers will use VHF radio communications, mobile and Satellite phone technology to stay in touch with the fleet.



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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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