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  • intouch Magazine

Australian Yachting Championships Day 1 abandoned due to weather

Racing on Day 1 of the SailFest Newcastle Regatta, incorporating the 2024 Australian Yachting Championships and Pallas Capital TP52 Gold Cup Act 2, was abandoned this morning ahead of predicted strong winds and hazardous sea conditions.


Weather models indicated that a black nor-easter would hit Newcastle NSW around midday, gusting to over 30 knots and bringing torrential rain and 3-metre seas. The Bureau of Meteorology has issued gale and surf warnings for the region.

Principal Race Officer Denis Thompson considered attempting an early windward-leeward race but prudently decided to abort the entire day rather than risk having the fleet and committee vessels caught at sea.

It was a relief for the 12 TP52s, in particular, which are configured for inshore racing to suit the round-the-buoys format. Their mainsails don’t have reef points, making them vulnerable to damage that would end any hopes of competing on the remaining two days of the regatta.

Winds are tipped to abate tomorrow and a passage race and two windward-leewards will be attempted, along with three windward-leeward races on Sunday.

It means waiting another 24 hours to see the compelling showdown between the new-generation TP52s Hooligan (Marcus Blackmore) and Secret Men’s Business (Geoff Boettcher), along with divisional favourites Nine Dragons (Box Cox), Soozal (Kieran Mulcahy), Maritimo 54 (Michael Spies), Advanced Philosophy (Peter Sorensen) and Saltwater Wine (Tom Woods).

The annual Cock of the Harbour race for off-the-beach classes is expected to proceed from 2pm tomorrow at Port Hunter 16ft Sailing Skiff Club. Weather permitting, Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club will also run free Try Sailing sessions for kids aged 6 to 12 within the confines of its marina. Hours are 10am-2pm both tomorrow (April 6) and Sunday.

Updates will be posted at the event’s Facebook page and website.


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