Khaleesi tacks in the Audi Hamilton Island Race in August.
Khaleesi tacks in the Audi Hamilton Island Race in August. Andrea Francolini

Former helmsman recalls 1994 Pittwater to Coffs win

AMONG the growing list of entries for the Club Marine Pittwater to Coffs Yacht Race starting January 2 are boats revisiting with a different owner and those still holding that new boat smell.

Bob Steel’s latest 39-foot boat named Quest arrived from Turkey over winter and will compete for the organising Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club.

Helmsman James MacPhail said the Pittwater to Coffs race will suit the boat.

“It’s set up for passage racing more than windward-leeward,” he said.

“The boat will club race on Pittwater while it’s being prepared for our first offshore event including bringing the safety requirements up to scratch and testing our slightly modified sail program designed for open water.

“All on board have done plenty of Coffs races over the years.

“One of the best for me was on Mad Men Across The Water in 1994.

“We were on the rail the whole way and took first over the line.

“I enjoy the race because the fleet squashes against the coast, so you get good boat-on-boat racing.”

Khaleesi, sailing for Middle Harbour Yacht Club, is a first-time entry for owners Andrew and Pauline Dally who attempted a start in 2006 with their previous boat but were dramatically holed in a collision and bumped out.

“We aren’t ramped up enough to go to Hobart and Coffs is a good option because we know Nine Dragons will be on the start line,” Andrew Dally said.

“We’ve only had day races against them and we want to see how we pair up offshore.”

Over the past 18 months, Bob Cox and the Nine Dragons team have concentrated on regattas with a high degree of success.

So far 15 monohulls and three multihulls feature on the early start list. Entries close on December 4.

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