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Competitors ready for 2024 Pittwater Regatta

by Di Pearson / RPAYC media 18 Jan 06:00 GMT 9-11 February 2024
Pittwater Regatta inshore fleet © RPAYC media

Organisers at Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club (RPAYC) are pleased to announce a new Super 40 division for their Pittwater Regatta, to be held from 9-11 February, 2024 and incorporating the ORC NSW Championship.

Michael Ritchie has moved the Ritchie 38 Revolver, designed by his father Bruce, into the Super 40 division. He will shoot it out with the likes of Little Nico, the well-known Shaw 11 Metre owned by Adrian Walters and Campbell Letchford's Farr 400, Vento. Their competition starts on the Saturday and concludes on Sunday.

"The Pittwater Regatta is an opportunity to get the most exciting bowsprit planning boats from 31 to 44 feet together and race on a more equal footing under PHRF and ORC. We'll be running the numbers in IRC as well, so people can see how they are going," Ritchie said of the well-named division that provides exhilarating sailing.

Little Nico is considered the benchmark of Super 40 racing and Revolver's owner agrees. "We sail against them in the Super 40 division at Middle Harbour Yacht Club, so we know how good they are.

"We can keep pace in the light and heavier stuff, but Little Nico thrives in the mid-range of winds where she becomes very hard to beat. Everyone has something different to offer in the Super 40's and we welcome them all," he said of the mix of boats from his Ritchie 38 to Farr 400's, MC38's, Bakewell-White 40's and others that fit the mould.

The third running of the ORC NSW Championship, supported by Sydney Marine Brokerage, opens the regatta on Friday 9 February with an offshore Passage Race.

Dave Ross, owner of the Cape 31, Kukukerchu, is trying his luck in the ORC NSW Championship for the first time.

"We won our division in ORC at Hamilton Island Race Week last year, so we thought we'd give it a crack at the Pittwater Regatta. Kukukerchu fits in the ORC rating band well," Ross shared.

"We're really looking forward to the regatta as a whole. It's something that's new for us. We've never sailed out of Pittwater before. We're the little boat in the big boat fleet there.

"We're looking forward to socialising after racing and meeting new people too. I've booked an Airbnb at Pittwater for me and the crew so we can enjoy the social aspect without having to drive home late to the east," Ross ended.

Richard Hudson has also put his hand up for the Championship. He and a crew including youths from the RPAYC, recently scored second in division in the 2023 Rolex Sydney Hobart and won the IRC Corinthian Trophy with the modified IC45, Pretty Woman.

Pretty Woman's crew will pit themselves against last year's winner, Gerry Hatton and his latest Bushranger and third placegetter, Bob Cox's DK46, Nine Dragons, among other stiff competition.

"We're looking forward to the regatta. The boat has been cleaned up after the Hobart, so we're ready to go.

"The DK46s - there will be three of them - will be our main competition. We owe them time, so they'll make us work hard. It's good to have a benchmark though," Hudson admitted of Nine Dragons, Mark Griffith's Old School Racing and Sandy Farquharson/Rob Aldis' Khaleesi.

"The majority of the 11 crew in my last two Hobarts will join me for the Championship," RPAYC yachtsman Hudson said, while admitting, "We haven't done shorter course racing for a while, but I felt like changing it up a bit.

"After this, we'll do the Pittwater to Coffs Harbour Yacht Race," he said of the RPAYC's coastal race that starts at 1pm on Friday 22, March, 2024.

Pittwater Regatta Championship entries are headed by Division 1 reigning champions, Peter Byford and David Hudson with their Sydney 38, Conspiracy. In March, the pair will be defending the NSW Sydney 38 Championship title they also won last year.

Close of entry is 1700hrs on 2 February, so please visit: www.pittwaterregatta.au and enter now.

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