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6 March 2006, 01:49 pm
Successful Regatta Comes To A Close
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Audi Sydney Harbour Regatta 2006
Sydney, Australia

The Audi Sydney Harbour Regatta drew to a close yesterday, with the consensus at the Middle Harbour Yacht Club in Australia, that the organizers had done a brilliant job in putting together what most described as "a fantastic way to end racing for the summer."
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Middle Harbour officials were not only happy with the success of the first year, but some also with their competition on the final day yesterday. Ian BOX, Middle Harbour Yacht Club Commodore was one.

He had a much better day on the race track on Sunday; in race five, he got off the start line fast and tacked straight onto a lift. Twice leading around the windward mark on the windward leeward course. 'Yes, we had a much better day and we're happy about that.'

BOX Delighted

Commenting on the regatta, the Commodore said, 'As a first year event the organization has gone exceptionally well and is a credit to the organizers at the Club. Support from the participating clubs has been outstanding and the weather has been kind - although more breeze would have been good.'

Those clubs are: Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, Manly Yacht Club, Sydney Amateur Sailing Club, Royal Prince Edward Yacht Club and RANSA.

The Commodore continued, 'Audi as a sponsor has been spectacular. Their representatives here having been learning about racing and enjoyed their weekend on the water. I expect a number of their guests will be turned on to sailing; they got the opportunity of watching racing close to the action.'

Popular All Round

Competitors agreed. Annette HAWTHORN, co-owner of Imagination, which finished second overall in PHS Division 1 commented, 'We had a fabulous time. It was a wonderful regatta - very smoothly run. It was well organized and a perfect end to summer.'

While John STURROCK, third place finisher of the Classic division with his beautiful yacht Eudoria, had this to say, 'The Regatta has been great - it's just a pity there weren't more classic yachts out there - probably next year. I like the concept though - I'm all for it. It just needs more time to get established, but it was a very good turn out for the first time.'

The winner of IRC Division 2, Michael SPIES said, 'The Regatta is a great concept - no doubt about it. I'm sure it will grow to be something special.' He attributed his win to, 'A pretty solid crew, I had quite a few of the Tasmanians that helped me win Sailing South Week in Hobart this year.'

Australian Olympians Nicky BETHWAITE and Karyn GOJNICH, along with Helen IMPEY were thrilled with their Yngling win and even more excited about winning the Audi. 'We're trying to work out how to carve into three pieces though.' They were the only females amongst the winners.

Of the Regatta, BETHWAITE said, 'I think it's fantastic - and the Audi car has created a huge buzz. We couldn't be here for the announcement last night - we were just told and think that's a great idea. Now we have to decide which two of the three of us gets to go and drive it.'

Two competitors from each of the winning boats from the 17 divisions will have to meet Audi representatives at a location to be announced and will be put through their paces in an Audi - and may the best man, or woman, win.

Tough Conditions

Whilst racing was conducted under sunny skies yesterday, conditions were difficult on some courses. With a very light east south easterly breezes, it did get tough for the Sydney 38's contesting their National title just off Sydney Heads and for the IRC classes just inside the Heads.

'The weekend was a good result for the Audi Sydney Harbour Regatta,' said Middle Harbour Yacht Club's Regatta Sailing Director, John HURLEY, commenting on the racing. 'A waffling high produced light and shifty south easterly winds on Sydney Harbour.'

'Competition was excellent and it was close on all courses across the board. Although there were six course areas, again congestion was minimal,' he said commenting favourably on the quality of race management and competitors over the weekend.

Di PEARSON (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Action from Sydney:© Andrea FRANCOLINI/Audi Sydney Harbour Regatta
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