Blog & News

Blog & News

J/99 Australian Championships 2024 – Sydney Harbour Regatta

March 6th, 2024 news

Middle Harbour Yacht Club Nautilus Insurance – Sydney Harbour Regatta 2024

Close to 200 yachts and over 1000 sailors came from all over NSW and interstate to race in the 2024 Middle Harbour Yacht Club (MHYC) Nautilus Insurance Sydney Harbour Regatta. The racing spread the length of the Harbour over seven course areas.

Despite moody skies and rain showers, the opening day of the Sydney Harbour Regatta was nothing short of exciting as gusting winds to 30 knots hit Sydney Harbour forcing the best out of all yachties and their boats. Sunday saw glorious north-north/easterly winds with a sunny hot day.

Fleets of J/99’s J/70’s and J/24’s competed in the regatta.

Seven J/99’s competed in their second ORC National Championships racing three W/L races each day. By the last races of the regatta, the fleet were within seconds of each other at each mark rounding and finish, making for exciting racing.

Defending champion, Jules Hall from Disko Trooper_Contender Sail Cloth, ended the day in front, but Ian Smith (Jupiter) did not make the day easy for Hall by any means in their three windward/leeward races. The pair were one point apart leading into Sundays final races.

“It’s been a fabulous regatta,” Hall said. “The class has come on in leaps and bounds since last year. It was very close racing. We were delighted to win, but huge congratulations to everyone in the class.

“On Saturday we had a 29 knot gust and Sunday we found a hole in the course. It’s been a true test of abilities. I have to say the camaraderie and atmosphere in our fleet is fantastic – and that’s the best part of the class.”

Mr Jeff Johnstone, President of J/Boats Inc flew into Sydney especially for the event and raced with the crew of Azzurro, skippered by Ron Spinner. The crew pulled together superbly finishing 3rd ORC.

Ron commented: This was our first ‘hit out’ in a J/99 Nationals. We were very privileged to have Jeff Johnstone on board giving us advice during the whole regatta. First racing day was difficult with a 25knt sea breeze and lumpy seas rolling through Sydney Heads for 3 races, a complete change from what we were used to. With 5th, 7th and 3rd results on the board for the day, we had a lot of work to do on day 2 with quiet conditions forecast. With Jeffs incredible knowledge of the J/99, he rearranged our rig settings, and straight out of the blocks came 1st in race 4. 3rd for both race 5 and 6 secured third overall for the championship.

Again, were so privileged to have Jeff on board for the weekend. Calling the shots in Sydney Harbour is difficult even for the best of the best local sailors but Jeff took this in his stride. The whole crew gelled and we had a great Regatta.

Post racing, the crews got together on the dock comparing notes and enjoying the camaraderie that fleet racing brings.

In J/70 division, Michael Nash on Maybe J took first place, closely followed by Karyn Gojnich on Jabiru and Miles McLennan on Jedi finishing 3rd, a new owner in the J/70 class.

The J/24 class held close racing with John Crawford on Innamincka taking first place, David West on Ace in 2nd and Marc Trompe on Waterborne Again 3rd.

Performance Spinnaker Division 2 held four Harbour passage races over the two days with David O’Loughlin skippering J/99 Siena to a win his division.

David commented: “I’m a huge fan of Middle Harbour Yacht Club and the other clubs that give their time for this massive undertaking. I’ve been involved in race management so completely understand how hard it is,” O’Loughlin said.

“We had an awesome day yesterday and today was great too. We had tactical and competitive racing today. The Harbour was very tricky. Teamwork skills were needed. My kids Sophie (22) and Jack (19) sailed with me. It’s great to sail with your kids.”

Organisers at Middle Harbour Yacht Club are thankful to the clubs that continue to support the running of the Regatta: Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, Sydney Amateur Sailing Club, Manly Yacht Club, Royal Australian Navy Sailing Association, Royal Prince Edward Yacht Club, Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, the Sydney Flying Squadron.

For full results: https://app.sailsys.com.au/club/152/profile?tab=results

With extract from Middle Harbour Yacht Club – Di Pearson editorial

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