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    Two NSW champions crowned - Pittwater Regatta winners announced

    all images © Dinghy Fever Photography

    The final races were completed in the inaugural NSW ORC Championship, the Sydney 38 One Design NSW Championship and Pittwater Regatta, with new champions crowned and winners announced at the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club (RPAYC) early this evening.

    Gerry Hatton’s Bushranger led from the outset and did not relinquish throughout. The M.A.T. 1245 design added 1-4-3 results to her second and two wins of the last two days to be crowned the inaugural Division 1 ORC NSW champion.

    “It was a tough three days,” Hatton’s son Andrew said. “We started off with thunder lightning and rain, then had a good second day with solid winds, and today was light and shifty.
    Gerry: “The first race we today we did well, the second we were on the wrong side of a shift and the third we got a bit mixed up at the top mark, got behind and had to play catch up, but we did enough to win. It was a fantastic three days. It was exhilarating but exhausting. We are thrilled to win the first ORC NSW title.”

    Hatton is still competitive at 85. Apart from son Andrew, he has son-in-law Michael Fountain (tactician) and his son Tom (20), along with Alex Smith, Andrew’s brother-in-law aboard. Renowned boat builder, John McConaghy also sailed with them.

    Keiran Mulcahy’s Soozal and Mark Tinworth and Mark Waterhouse’s Mercury did the work required to hold onto their respective second and third places overall.

    Soozal, a King 40, finished the day with 2-3-4 results, while Mercury, a modified Farr 40 was at her best on the windward/leeward courses with 3-2-1 results. She lifted up to place one point behind Soozal. The Mark Griffith skippered DK46, LCE Old School Racing, won Race 5 to finish fourth overall.

    The new NSW champion in Division 2 is Simon Grosser’s Young 88, Young at Heart. Grosser also led from Day 1 and finished the way he started, adding a second and a pair of wins to his two wins and a fourth from the first two days.

    “We had great fun. It was really good to have other clubs come and compete and I hope we can return the favour. For us, it’s about sailing with a bunch of mates that like doing well. It’s an older boat, but as long as everything works and you sail well, you do well. You don’t need be a millionaire to go sailing and it’s good to kick butt on an inexpensive boat,” he said.

    Shane Kearns kept the pressure on with Azzurro-White Bay 6, to place second overall, which he carried over from yesterday. Windward/leewards are not usually the S&S 34s forte, particularly in the light breeze and sloppy seas that were offered up today. It was therefore a surprise to see him score 4-2-3 results to finish five points behind Young at Heart.

    Mark Hellyer’s Italia 11.98, Cicero, was sitting in third place overall yesterday. She maintained that place by just one point, saved by victory in the first race of the day before scoring a pair of sixth places.

    Supported by Sydney Marine Brokerage, the NSW ORC Championship was a three-day affair that started with two inshore races in Pittwater on Friday, followed by a 25 nautical mile passage race on Saturday and ended with three windward/leeward races today. A more diverse range of races and conditions would be hard to find and certainly decided who was the best of the best in the two divisions.

    Sydney 38 One Design NSW Championship

    Peter Byford and David Hudson (Conspiracy) came into the day tied on points with Advanced Philosophy (Peter Sorensen) which had led overall on countback coming into the day, but the defending champions were not to be denied. Two bullets and a second place on the offshore windward/leeward courses sealed the deal for the co-conspirators, who retain their Sydney 38 One Design NSW Championship title.

    Sorro and his young crew of philosophers could not keep yesterday’s momentum going. Their 3-6-1 results gave them second overall, helped by victory in the final race. Phil Herscovics 8-3-4 meant third overall for Shine On – Team Callendina, but they were challenged by Liz Charles’ all-female crew on Calibre.

    Calibre, chartered for Charles and crew by the Sydney 38 Association, placed fourth overall on countback after scoring 2-4-3 results today. Extraordinary, as they are new to the class.

    “One of the things the Association wanted to do was to give women the confidence that they could compete in one-design racing, and look what it’s done,” a pleased president, Hudson, said.
    “We had experienced and new people racing, but everyone was very in touch. It was a lottery around the top mark this afternoon. The ladies on Calibre did very well and so did Phil Herscovics. I’m delighted for them.
    “We are happy to keep our title, but we like to be challenged. Make no mistake, it was very close racing on both days for the entire fleet. The difference in some races was the length of the bow, and in yesterday’s Race 2, it wasn’t even that much.

    “Everyone has had a really good regatta. Each has done well, especially given it was difficult sailing offshore today. To keep the boats moving demanded a lot of hard work and attention. It was even hard for officials to set a course in the light winds on a big sloppy sea.,” Hudson ended.

    Pittwater Regatta

    Participants were given two passage style races around Pittwater on the final day. Michael Ritchie, who came into the day in second place overall with the Ritchie 38, Revolver, owned by his father Bruce, won the first race. However, there was no denying Heath Walters (Banta), who added a further win to yesterday’s two victories to claim the series from Revolver by three points.

    Walters had the advantage of his two young sons, Harley (24) and Logan (18), on the crew of his Melges 24, along with their two mates, Liam and Mitch. The ‘young guns’ made up for the disadvantage of being one of the smallest boats in the fleet.
    “The boys have been sailing the Melges with me for years. They loved the weekend, and so did their mates. It was great having younger guys on board,” he said shoreside.
    “It was a very light shifty breeze with a maximum of 10 knots, so it was hard work trying to keep up with the Farr 40s and other big boats, but we worked hard,” he said.

    “We were in the same division with my sister-in-law (Susan Walters with her Cape 35, Cape Fear, who finished fourth overall). We’re not a very competitive family,” he said, tongue in cheek.
    “It’s good to have the Melges out. We only got our ORC rating in the last week and I like it, especially this weekend, because we won! It helps having local knowledge too.”
    Bob Stoddard’s Alpha Crucis, completed the top three after scoring third and second places respectively, moving the 5.5 Metre right up the board.

    In Division 2, Chris Hornsby’s Pick Pocket made it a clean sweep, robbing the rest of the division by winning both races today, adding to yesterday’s two wins. Vittoria (Alan Reece) and James Pattinson’s Ellipse II, also mirrored their performances of yesterday, scoring a pair of seconds and thirds respectively, to finish in that order overall.
    “We just carried on from what we did yesterday,” Hornsby said after putting his Gary Mull designed Pocket Rocket 22 to bed.
    “The weather was good, it just suited us. And we have a good crew. John Priddis, John Marwood and I have sailed together for ages. We’ve done 20 Hobarts between us and raced Etchells and Dragons. After a while you start to get the idea… Julia (his wife), is a director of the Club (RPAYC) and she always sails with us. She keeps us all in line,” he said laughing.

    “We are very happy to have won both ORC and PHS. It’s not often that happens.”

    The last word goes to Richard Hudson, a longtime member of the RPAYC and supporter of youth sailing at the Club: “The young crew sailed very well. I really enjoyed the weekend, even though we didn’t do as well as we’d have liked. The Club ran a very good regatta.
    “We’re now getting the young crew ready for the Pittwater to Coffs Harbour Yacht Race. A lot of our crew are younger than the boat, which is 25! I love sailing with them,” he ended.

    Please see today’s video highlights at:
    For, please visit the official website:

    NSW ORC Championship continues as Pittwater Regatta opens

    While the NSW ORC Championship continued today with an offshore passage race, the Sydney 38 One Design NSW Championship and Pittwater Regatta began their respective competitions in the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club’s (RPAYC) hosted events.

    It was a big day offshore for those in ORC Championship and the Sydney 38s, as they faced a messy sea state. The planned three windward/leeward races for the 38s were reduced to two because of the sea and shifty winds.

    Day 2 of the ORC Championship belonged to Gerry Hatton and crew on his M.A.T. 1245, Bushranger, who came out on top in Division 1 after sailing a 25 nautical mile passage race. Soozal, Keiran Mulcahey’s King 40, placed second. The Mark Griffith skippered DK46, LCE Old School Racing, claimed third place.

    Overall, going into the final day tomorrow, Bushranger is three points ahead of Soozal, with Mercury (Mark Tinworth and Mark Waterhouse) in third place, a further four points in arrears.

    “It certainly was choppy and lumpy with very variable winds of 5-22 knots from the south-east, moving towards the east during the day,” Hatton commented.

    “We had a really good start. We went left off the start and that paid off. We reached across the wind to the top mark, then carried a Code Zero to the second mark off Terrigal. That’s where it dropped off to 5 knots.

    “Coming back into Barrenjoey to the finish, we carried a spinnaker and had to drop it close to the finish line. It all went well. We have a very good crew who have been with me for years,” Hatton concluded.

    A new name came into focus in Division 2 today, when Martin Cross’s Sunfast 3300, Transcendence, took the win. It did so from one of the favourites on the longer offshore course, Shane Kearns’ S&S 34, Azzurro-White Bay 6. Kearns is hard to beat offshore in good winds. Mark Hellyer’s Italia 11.98, Cicero, finished third.

    Simon Grosser’s Young at Heart holds onto the overall lead by the skin of her teeth after finishing fourth today. Azzurro-White Bay 6 is second, but on equal points with the leader, with Cicero third, some eight points behind.

    For the finale tomorrow, the Championship will take the yachts on three windward/leeward races offshore. Such a variety of racing will decide the best of the best. The three-day ORC Championship is supported by Sydney Marine Brokerage.

    Sydney 38 One Design NSW Championship

    A three-way tie exists in the Sydney 38 One Design NSW Championship, with Peter Sorensen’s Advanced Philosophy leading the charge – just. Sorensen said this afternoon, “We won the first race, but messed up in the second one. We had a tangle in the mainsheet and did a quarter of the second work with no main on, but we’re going pretty good overall.

    “The big surprise was Shine On, which hasn’t been that competitive against us blokes and Conspiracy up till now,” he said.

    Shine On – Team Callendina (Phil Herscovics) won the first race from reigning champion Conspiracy (Peter Byford/David Hudson). Advanced Philosophy rounded out the top three. In Race 2, Sorensen took the win from Byford/Hudson with Herscovics third. It equates to the top three sharing four points each. Tomorrow’s final windward/leewards will be telling.

    Racing was close between all seven Sydney 38s, although Herscovics got away from the rest in Race 1, while there was just one second between the top two in Race 2.

    Herscovics was thrilled with his results: “We had a great first race and pretty much led all the way round. It was a great start to the Championship. We had solid speed in lumpy conditions. We put a lot into our preparation, and it’s paid,” he said. “I have good people on board too, who are working well together, and that’s what it’s all about.

    “We were doing well in the second race until a shackle came off the clew during a spinnaker hoist. We had to drop and re-set and ended up third. It was very exciting in Race 2; just seconds in it.

    “There are great people in the class with good camaraderie. The more 38s we can get to these events, the better. The racing is so good,” he ended.

    Liz Charles, for the first time sailing with an all-female crew on Calibre (chartered by the Sydney 38 Association for the ladies), had an excellent day, finishing sixth in Race 1 and fourth in Race 2, to be fourth overall.

    Pittwater Regatta

    On Day 1 of the Pittwater Regatta, sailed inshore in much calmer conditions, one boat stood out in Division 1. Heath Walters (Banta) opened his campaign with a pair of wins to hold a four-point lead over Revolver (Michael Ritchie), while Pacesetter (Andrew MacPhail) is third overall in a tie situation with Revolver.

    In Division 2, Chris Hornsby (Pick Pocket, a Garry Mull design) emulated Walters, pulling out two victories for a lead over Vittoria (Alan Reece) which ended the day with a pair of second places and James Pattinson’s Ellipse II, a pair of third places in her tally.

    “We got two very good starts. Basically, the crew, including my wife Julia, and the two Johns worked very well. We had good clean spinnaker sets and drops. Good to have boats from the other clubs there too. It was challenging, with either little or two much wind. Typical Pittwater weather,” Hornsby said.

    “The wind varied from 30 to 40 degrees and ranged from 10 to 20 knots. It was hard – especially the second race – we had to run a shy spinnaker,” said Hornsby who owns the smallest boat by far in the Division 2 fleet.

    The Pittwater Regatta entrants will sail two more inshore races tomorrow to decide the winners and the Hornsby’s say they are looking forward to that.

    Video highlights from all three course areas today:

    For all information, including full results, please visit the official website:

    By Di Pearson/RPAYC media

    Final Placings - 2022 Pittwater Regatta
    Congratulations to all of our podium placegetters after a fantastic event, also a very large thank you to all of our volunteers and members who assisted in the running of this event.
    NSW ORC Championships - Division 1
    1st: Bushranger (Gerry Hatton)
    2nd: Soozal (Keiran Mulcahy)
    3rd: Mercury (Mark Tinworth & Mark Waterhouse)

    NSW ORC Championships - Division 2
    1st: Young at Heart (Simon Grosser)
    2nd: Azzuro - White Bay 6 (Shane Kearns)
    3rd: Cicero - Mark Hellyer

    Pittwater Open Regatta - IRC Division 1
    1st: Soozal (Keiran Mulcahy)
    2nd: Mercury (Mark Tinworth & Mark Waterhouse)
    3rd: Bushranger (Gerry Hatton)

    Pittwater Open Regatta - IRC Division 2
    1st: Bullwinkle (Peter Farrugia)
    2nd: Foreign Affair (Matt Wilkinson)
    3rd: White Bay 6 Azzuro (Shane Kearns)

    Pittwater Open Regatta - PHS Division 1
    1st: Mercury (Mark Tinworth & Mark Waterhouse)
    2nd: Bushranger (Gerry Hatton)
    3rd: LCE Old School Racing (Mark Griffith)

    Pittwater Open Regatta - PHS Division 2
    1st: Young at Heart (Simon Grosser)
    2nd: White Bay 6 Azzuro (Shane Kearns)
    3rd: Panchax Selden for Sailing (Jan Scholten)

    Sydney 38 NSW State Championships
    1st: Conspiracy (Peter Byford)
    2nd: Advanced Philosophy (Peter Sorensen)
    3rd: Shine On (Phil Herscovics)

    Pittwater Inshore Club Regatta - ORC Club - Div 1
    1st: Banta (Health Walters)
    2nd: Revolver (Michael Ritchie)
    3rd: Alpha Crucis (Bob Stoddard)

    Pittwater Inshore Club Regatta - ORC Club - Div 2
    1st: Pick Pocket (Chris Hornsby)
    2nd: Vittoria (Alan Reece)
    3rd: Ellipse II (James Pattinson)

    Pittwater Inshore Club Regatta - PHS - Div 1
    1st: Banta (Health Walters)
    2nd: Revolver (Michael Ritchie)
    3rd: Harlequin (Joachim Fluhrer)

    Pittwater Inshore Club Regatta - PHS - Div 2
    1st: Pick Pocket (Chris Hornsby)
    2nd: Ellipse II (James Pattinson)
    3rd: Kelsea Blue (Adrian Williams)
    Full Results:
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