State’s best to sail in for NSW Country Yachting Championships at Newcastle

FRANTIC PREPARATION: The crew on local yacht Frantic are coming into form after taking out the Sydney Noumea. Picture: Andrea FrancoliniNewcastle Cruising Yacht Club has invited all regional yacht clubs to contest the NSW Country Yachting Championships this weekend.

Competition will be across IRC, PHS Cruising/Non-Spinnaker divisions.

“We are looking forward to the event, and know we have a few boats coming to compete with us up at Newcastle,” sailing manager Jack Buchan said.

“There will be some fantastic offshore sailing over the weekend”.

There will also be a team’s event to find the country yacht club of the year.

Clubs are welcome to enter multiple teams.

All sailing will be offshore windward/leeward racing.

The club will also host a comprehensive onshore program including welcome drinks on theFriday night and Saturday night party with live music, beforeending with a presentation barbecue on Sunday afternoon.

There will be some serious competition for honours, especially form the Newcastle-based sailors.

Mick Martin will be sailing Frantic, just having won line honours in Sydney Noumea Race.

“As per the boat’s name, we have all been pretty busy, frantically repairing the yacht from the Sydney Noumea, we got thrown around out there a bit,” Martin said.

“But were all squared now, we just want to get out there for a sail.

“We will be keeping an eye a few boats out there, we’ve had some good tussles with Nine Dragons.

“It’s all tactics, so we’re looking for a good start, and sustaining that throughout the weekend.”

Martin said “a decent amount” of local boats were entered.

“It’s always good to have racing here,” he said.

“We have a TP series later in the year, so things are really ramping up.

“Newcastle is a great city, it’s got a huge harbour and the foreshore is really coming on.”

Local skipper Phil Arnall and his Anger Management crew are in red-hot form, current trophy holders from the Pittwater to Sydney Race.

Joe De Kock will be inviting a special guest on board his yacht, Good Form.

Joining De Kock’s crew will be Carolijn Brouwer.

Brouwer is a world champion, multiple Olympian and Sydney to Hobart campaigner who etched her name in sailing history as the first woman to win the eight-month, 45,00 nautical mile Volvo Ocean Race on board DongFeng.

Meanwhile, Bob Cox and Nine Dragons – the current NSW yachting champions – and CYCA Winter Series winner Noel Cornish on St Jude will head up from Sydney.

Main sponsor Asahi Premium Beer returns for their second edition of the Asahi Super Dry NSW Country Yachting Championships.

The club hopes to attract like-minded sailors that enjoy good competition in a relaxed, friendly environment.

“We have a great fleet assembled,” NCYC Commodore Steve Rae said.

“There are some quality crews down from Sydney, but our local guys will give them a run for their money.”

Rae said boats like Frantic and Anger Management hadbeen going really well lately.

“Conditions look good, with 15-20 knots expected.

“It will give the Sydney boats some different racing to contend with and hopefully we will see some competitive racing out of it.”

ALL-ROUNDER: Cruise Craft Fish 360M offers unobstructed fishing thanks to its centre console design.

FISHING FROM ALL ANGLESIntroduced at the 2018 Melbourne Boat Show, the Cruise Craft Fish 360M capitalises onthe newfound popularity of the centre console configuration.

This new model offers the ability to fish 360 degrees around the perimeter of the boat. The360M combines a 20-degree deadrise vee hull with an all-new deck and interior layout.

This locally produced, fibreglass console boat gives Aussies an alternative to the US imports flooding the market.

At 6.35 metres long and weighing 2140kg, powered with Yamaha outboards, the 360M will likely prove more popular due to its lower cost and more manageable size.

NICHOLSON LINKS UP WITH DOYLELocal sailor Chris Nicholson is buying into Doyle Sails Lake Macquarie.

Nicholson is a world-renowned Australian sailor whohas a significant number of sailing accolades under his belt.

He has competed in six Volvo Ocean Races, most recently with Akzo Nobel in 2017-18.

He willworkin partnership with Peter McNeill, who has been a sailmaker for 40 years having set up his own business in 1992 and part of Doyle Sails Group since 2007.

McNeill is an experienced sailmaker and also a world-class sailor, winning multiple events including the 2004 Etchells World Championships.