A mix of conditions decide ORC NSW Championship 2024

A mix of conditions decide ORC NSW Championship 2024
Dave Ross’ Cape 31 Kukukerchu © Andrea Francolini
The Pittwater Regatta, incorporating the ORC NSW State Championship, is a flagship event in early 2024. Running over three days from 9th to 11th February, the ORC State Championship returns alongside the Pittwater Regatta.

11 February 2024 - Pittwater, NSW, Australia -  A light weather day on the water helped decide the final outcomes of both the ORC NSW Championship, supported by Sydney Marine Brokerage and the Pittwater Regatta, organised by Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club (RPAYC).

A mix of conditions and races throughout gave everyone a thorough workout.

Coming into the day’s trio of windward/leeward races on the Palm Beach Circle, winners of Divisions 1 and 2 of the ORC NSW Championship were all but decided, as both leaders had already won the previous three races.

Cape 31, Kukukerchu of Dave Ross
Cape 31, KUKUKERCHU of Dave Ross © Andrea Francolini

So it was that David Ross’ Cape 31, Kukukerchu, was crowned Division 1 champion. Runner-up was Bob Cox’s Nine Dragons, while Mark Griffith’s LCE Old School Racing moved up to third overall, the two DK46’s revelling in the light. air.

Kukukerchu suffered, bringing home 7-5-5 results, but they were enough to claim the title.

Ross said of the average 6-8 knot breeze, “It was hard work – choppy and lumpy in the little boat, but we managed to even it out and pull it off.

“We talked about what we had to do and said, ‘Let’s sail the best we can to the conditions we get and go hard’. We had to think more strategically and consolidate where we could.

“Yesterday was our weather, today wasn’t. The Melges got all the bullets. They did well,” he said, referring to David Suttie’s Lockdown.

David Ross concluded, “I’ve got a great team, it was fun. The regatta was so well run. Good camaraderie here and new friendships made.”

The best Division 1 performance today came from David Suttie’s Lockdown. His Melges 32 was at home in the conditions and won all three races. Unfortunately, two of their previous results meant no podium finish.

David Suttie’s Lockdown
David Suttie’s Melges 32 Lockdown © Andrea Francolini

David Suttie’s son Robert said, “We were very happy to win the three races today.

“Yesterday was very hard in those big conditions. We did have a couple of awesome downwind rides, but we got totally smashed offshore. Today suited the boat. We have a big sail plan for a little boat and spent time tuning the rig, so we were powered up.

“We sailed Lockdown (bought during COVID, hence her name) fast downwind again today. We also got great starts and have great crew,” he said.

Garry Holt and Let’s Get It On
Corby 36, Let’s Get It On of Garry Holt © Andrea Francolini

In Division 2, Garry Holt and Let’s Get It On from Queensland claimed the title. The Corby 36 added two wins and a second place to her tally today, an exceptional result.

Their second place, Holt said, came about because “We lost Peter (Sheldrick) overboard. His foot was on the brace and it flicked him off the boat. The boys did a great job getting him back on board, it helped that he is fit and helped himself too.”

Of their performance, Garry Holt said, “It’s a great boat. It’s the ex-Jessandra that Michael Spies put together, but I’ve updated it with a full refit. It’s made a big difference. It’s the best the boat’s ever been, but you have to have a good crew too. They are the best crew I’ve ever sailed with.”

The yachtsman brought the boat south for the Australian Yachting Championships at Newcastle, Sail Port Stephens, and the NSW Yachting Championships. “We saw this Championship was on, and it’s been beneficial for us to tune up,” Holt ended.

Garry Essex’s J/99, Veloce
Garry Essex’s J/99, Veloce © Andrea Francolini

Garry Essex’s J/99, Veloce, steamrolled her way into Division 2 second place overall, helped by a win and a third today. Coyote, sailed by Rob Brewer and several RPAYC Youth Development crew, was promoted to third after the outcome of two protests resulting from the fierce and close racing across the division.

The official presentation was held at the RPAYC early this evening, where competitors were thanked and welcomed back the next year, 7-9 February 2025.