Celebrating The Geraldton Ocean Classic
The 49th Geraldton Ocean Classic started last weekend. Traditionally, the Fremantle to Geraldton is a 221nm downwind race, where the fleet hoist their spinnakers and surf all the way to Geraldton. Boats compete for the fastest time, and this race is the first race in the prestigious Bluewater Siska Trophy series.

There was a small fleet of 10 yachts including Edrick Delfos’ Shiraz III, with his crew from Geraldton and son Jayden. Craig Carter’s Indian {who holds the current fastest race record of 17hours 11mins since 2015}, and James Halvorson’s Giddy Up, the current Siska Cup holders were 2 of the 8 Division 1 fleet. Alan Stein’s Dirty Deeds had her mast stepped that week after a flurry of activity to have her race ready for Gero.

At 1325 they all crossed the start line in very light breeze, and it was a kite run to the Day Bouy. After rounding the North Mole Bouy the fleet headed out to Windmills and leaving Rottnest to starboard everyone headed north with the breeze was building to a steady 20-25knts.

The electrical storm north of Yanchep while visually spectacular, had small gusty squalls and big wind shifts from 4-25knts, which meant a lot of sail changes, and challenging times for some. John Rayner’s Al Fresco whilst in 3rd place were unfortunate and lost their A2 before nightfall, and Ian Clynes Joss retired off Lancelin after suffering a series of broaches and a Chinese gybe with all crew safe and well.

The middle of the fleet had Chris Higham’s Argo, and Anthony Kirke’s Enterprise within sight of each other for the majority of the race kept the competiveness alive and well.

It was a long race, with the majority of the fleet getting in after 2100hrs, although the Geraldton Yacht Club were hosts extraordinaire, serving food and drinks to the yachties and the banter began!

Congratulations to the winners: Craig’s Indian, James’ Giddy Up and Alan’s Dirty Deeds, in 1st, 2nd and 3rd  respectively in both IRC and YAH in Division 1.

And in Division 2, congratulations to Edrick on Shiraz III on their 1st in YAH and Peter Vlaar’s Farrago 1st in IRC.

Photos are here with thanks to Rick Steuart

Results on Sportspage here

Thank you to the Organising Authorities, the PRO and their team of volunteers who are champions in our sailing world.

The Geraldton Return Race starts on Friday 20 October with a link to the website and tracker here – Good luck to all competing.


Saturday 4 November: There are two options available this year – if you are not participating in the Roland Smith Race, there is also the Harbour Classic to consider, with some information on both below.

The Fremantle Harbour Classic – As part of Maritime Day 2017 in Fremantle, the race is conducted in the Inner Harbour area, providing spectators with a rare opportunity to view yachts, with their coordinated crews, working and maneuvering their boats in close proximity to the docks.

The Roland Smith Race – The 80 nautical mile Roland Smith Ocean Race is part of the Ocean Racing WA Blue Water Championship for the Siska Trophy and 41st Farrawa Cup Series.  A link to more details is here

From 21 November for 2 weeks: The Clipper boats will be in Fremantle
Trevor Taylor, from Optimus Prime is completing a circumnavigation on PSP Logistics in the Clipper Around the World Race. The fleet are coming to Fremantle Sailing Club and their arrival window is from Tuesday the 21 November. They will be here until their next race start to Sydney on 2 December, and there will be Open Tours of the Clipper Fleet at Fremantle Sailing Club from 27 November – 30 November.

25 and 26 November Royal Perth Yacht Club are the Organising Authority for the Carnac Island Race and the IRC States Week One and Southern Regatta over this weekend.

**One week later …. 2 and 3 December – This is the second weekend of the IRC States and the Rockingham Races, Dolphin and Gordon Craig as organised by RFBYC.

The Sailors Christmas Party: 15 December – That wonderful time of the year when all the shopping centres play carols on repeat is fast approaching. The Cruising Section are organizing a collaborative all section Sailors Christmas Party on 15 December at 7pm in the upstairs Function area. More details to follow…

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