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Sail Port Stephens double bunger

Sail Port Stephens is one of the fastest growing sailing regattas on the Australia eastern seaboard and for the 2014 edition, April 11 – 16, there is weighty pot of IRC gold waiting at the finish.

PORT STEPHENS – Skippers can choose the more relaxed option by entering Sail Port Stephens in cruising mode, or limber up at the NSW IRC Championship at Port Stephens then go for the double bunger and enter the prestigious 2014 Audi IRC Australian Championship immediately following.

Commodore of the Sail Port Stephens organising club, Corlette Point Sailing Association, Dom Grundy said “We have rejigged our format and will run the IRC racing from Friday to Sunday to fit in with the Easter break and the Audi IRC nationals at Newcastle.”

Given the limited berthing across three local marinas, Grundy encourages skippers to secure their entry and marina space early, in view of the expected influx of IRC contenders. “Sail Port Stephens has grown every year since its inception in 2008 and next April we expect the biggest IRC fleet yet, given we’ll be hosting the perfect lead-in event.

“Unlike past years the series will commence with the more serious IRC and Performance Racing component vying for the Port Stephens Trophy, and wind up with the more relaxed Commodore’s Cup for the cruising contingent.”

Corlette Point Sailing Association and the Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club have cooperated to deliver two high profile events within close proximity to each other and Sydney, and both family friendly given they comfortably fall within the NSW school term break.

The three-day NSW IRC Championship, starting Friday 11th April and the Sail Port Stephens icebreaker, is the best opportunity for the grand prix crews to find their groove prior to the national title over the Easter long weekend, April 17 – 20.

Next on the six-day schedule is the Commodore’s Cup for the cruising divisions, three days of less hectic inshore and offshore racing mostly in the expansive bay, which is two-times the size of Sydney Harbour, and using the Port Stephen’s Marine Park’s magnificent offshore islands as turning marks.

Feeder races will go ahead with Sydney to Newcastle on April 4 and Newcastle to Port Stephens on April 5.

Principal Race Officer Denis Thompson will return to oversee another well-run regatta with hopefully smoother conditions after this year’s fleet encountered an East Coast Low that dampened proceedings but not spirits. The vast expanse of sheltered water offered protection from the worst of the weather and allowed the hardy crews to keep racing inshore.

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