The Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club’s decision to remove a significant cost to compete in its major event, the Club Marine Pittwater to Coffs Harbour ocean race, has opened the door to a new group of debutantes.
Closing date for entries is one week from today, Friday 6 December, and regulars and newcomers alike have only seven sleeps to lodge their entry and paperwork.
Last month the progressive Sydney Northern Beaches yacht club announced that boat owners are allowed to compete in the 33rd running of the event carrying a satellite phone as an alternative to HF radio for communication purposes, a major coup for the longstanding event.
Thanks to the club’s foresight, Andrew Butler’s Dufour 36 Astral from the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia is now one of the newcomers signed up for the 2014 edition starting January 2nd from Broken Bay.
"The relaxation of the HF requirements was a significant factor in our decision to proceed with the race and I commend the club on making a balanced decision that does not compromise safety but allows the Cat 2 races to become more accessible to newcomers to the sport,” said Butler.
"It's an expensive exercise getting a boat up to Cat 2 certification and to tie up possibly $5K on a single bit of kit is a big investment, particularly for a race such as Coffs where other technologies such as yellow brick and Sat phone are available to achieve the same outcome."
The previous requirement for HF radio being an obstacle to participation was feedback competitors took to the club. “The club listened to the comments and responded proactively and responsibly,” said Pittwater Coffs organising committee chairman, Richard Hudson.
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