Pittwater to Coffs Harbour Yacht Race returns

Pittwater to Coffs 2022 – Mark Bradford, winning skipper. In the hands of Harburg’s long-time skipper Mark Bradford, Black Jack clean-swept the trophies, also winning IRC, ORCi and PHS classes in a race where the weather decided in favour of the big boat.

COFFS Harbour Yacht Club, in conjunction with Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, will once again host the Pittwater to Coffs Harbour Yacht Race, which starts on Friday 31 March 2023 off Barrenjoey Headland.

The East Coast Classic event has attracted an increased number of entrants on the 2022 race, with 31 entries to date.

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The 27 monohulls will start at 1300 hours and the four multi hulls will start at 1310.

The record of 17 hours 10 minutes 31 seconds is held by the 100ft super maxi Black Jack, but this could be broken by the downwind flyer Andoo Comanche, another 100ft super maxi and the winner of the recent Sydney to Hobart.

Also in contention for the race record is the ORMA 60 REX, a 60ft Trimaran capable of speeds in excess of 30 knots.

The first boat is anticipated to reach Coffs Harbour around 6.30am on Saturday morning, 1 April.

The battle of the smaller boats will be hotly contested.

Many of these boats competed in the 2022 event and have had victories in their division in last year’s Sydney to Hobart race.

This year, nine of the monohull fleet have elected to sail the race with only two people on board in the “double handed” division.

“It’s a challenging task to race a boat 226 nautical miles (418 kilometres) and more so with only two sailors on board,” John Wait, CHYC Commodore told NOTA.

Locals are especially looking forward to seeing the battle between Disko Trooper Contender Sailcloth and Mistral.

Mistral is a home favourite, having been constructed by Coffs Harbour locals in 2018-19.

Raced by owner and sailmaker Pierre Gal in the 2019 Sydney to Hobart race, he took out all the major prizes in his division.

The battle between the multihulls is also generating a great deal of interest.

“Unfortunately, build-up of sand in the entrance to Coffs Harbour and the draft of some of the larger yachts, such as Andoo Comanche and Whisper, means they will remain offshore,” said John.

They will either stay for a short time before returning to Sydney or proceed north for the 75th Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race, which starts on Good Friday.

Spectators can view the yachts from the Coffs Harbour marina break wall and Muttonbird Island or from the Southern Break wall.

Anyone interested in following the race online, can go to www.ybtracking.com, which gives the position and speed of each entrant from start to finish.

“Members of the yacht club will be on hand to greet each crew and welcome them to beautiful Coffs Harbour.

“We wish all skippers and crew favourable winds, all the best and look forward to hearing their stories on arrival,” said John.


Coffs Harbour Yacht Club members Doug Gayford and Chris Holmes welcoming the Pittwater crews in 2022.

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