Incorporating the Blue Water Pointscore Series (IRC), Tasman Performance Series (PHS), the Cape Byron Series (ORCi) and the Line Honours Series
Arguably the four most prestigious of the Cruising Yacht Club’s pointscores, the Blue Water Pointscore, the Tasman Performance Series, the Cape Byron series and the new Line Honours Series consist of six races that commences with the Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race on 28 July 2018 and will finish with the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race on 26 December 2018.
A solid Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race result is crucial to placing in this series as it is a non-discardable race. Other races included are the Bird Island Race, Flinders Island Race , Cabbage Tree Island Race and the Newcastle Bass Island Race.
RACE DATES AND OVERVIEW:
Saturday 28 July 2018 – Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race (Separate NOR / Entry) Cat 2
Introduced in 1986 by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia as ‘the great winter escape’, the Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast is second only in status to the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race among ocean races conducted by the club. The 384nm course starts off Nielson Park on the final Saturday in July where the fleet turns left out of Sydney Heads towards the finish line off Main Beach on the Gold Coast.
Apart from variable winter winds, the East Australian Current plays a significant role in decision making as the yachts sail up the NSW North Coast to Southern Queensland. At times, it is very much a “rock-hopping” race as yachts hug the coast to avoid the current. Wild Oats XI currently holds the Open race record of 22 hours, 33 minutes and 46 seconds, set in 2012, while Stephen Ainsworth’s Loki holds the Conventionally Ballasted race record of 1 day, 2 hours, 52 minutes and 33 seconds.
Wednesday 12 September 2018 –Compulsory Blue Water Pointscore Series Briefing
Saturday 15 September 2018 – Flinders Islet Race (1000 start time) Cat 2
The Flinders Islet race is a 92nm race conducted in September. The race starts on a Saturday morning near Point Piper on Sydney Harbour. The fleet proceeds out Sydney Heads and tracks south down the coast to round Flinders Islet, approximately 1nm east off Port Kembla Harbour, Wollongong, before returning to finish in Rushcutters Bay, Sydney Harbour.
In 2017, KOA, a TP52 owned by Peter Wrigley and Andy Kearnan, set a new race record of 7 hours, 30 minutes and 19 seconds. Competitors compete for the Ron Robertson Memorial (1st place IRC) and the Kings Birthday Cup (1st place PHS).
Friday 12 October 2018 – Newcastle Bass Island Race (1900 start time) Cat 2
The third race of the Blue Water Pointscore is the 200nm Newcastle Bass Island Race, which is used by some competitors as a qualifying race to the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. Starting on a Friday evening in October, the competitors race out of the Harbour heading north to a rounding mark 2nm north east of Nobbys Head. The fleet then races south to Bass Island, just south of Flinders Islet off Wollongong, before making their way back north to the finish line in Rushcutters Bay, Sydney Harbour. In 2014, Matt Allen’s Carkeek 60, Ichi Ban, raced to a new record of 20 hours, 52 minutes and 49 seconds. Competitors compete for the Solo Trophy (1st place IRC).
Friday 9 November 2018 – Cabbage Tree Island Race (1900 start time) Cat 2
The 180nm Cabbage Tree Island Race is the club’s third most popular Blue Water Race. Attracting more than 40 competitors each year, many Rolex Sydney Hobart competitors use this race to qualify to enter and as crew training as it is the last big race before the RSHYR. The race starts on a Friday evening in November near Point Piper. The fleet then heads north to Cabbage Tree Island (just north of Port Stephens) and returns to finish in Rushcutters Bay, Sydney Harbour. Wild Oats XI, the Oatley family’s supermaxi, set the Open race record in 2012 with a time of 12 hours, 15 minutes and 55 seconds, though the Conventionally Ballasted race record is held by Matt Allen’s Carkeek 60, Ichi Ban, set in 2015 with a time of 13 hours, 23 minutes and 10 seconds. Competitors compete for the Halvorsen Brother’s Trophy (1st place IRC) and Woollahra Cup (1stplace PHS).
Saturday 1 December 2018 – Bird Island Race (1000 start time) Cat 2
The 85nm Bird Island Race is held on the first Saturday in December and is the last BWPS before the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. With a morning start, competitors sail from Sydney Harbour to Bird Islet (approx. 3nm north east of Norah Head), before returning to Sydney Harbour to finish. The current race record was set in 2011 by Stephen Ainsworth’s Loki in 6 hours, 38 minutes and 56 seconds. Competitors compete for the Janzoon Trophy (1st place IRC) and George Barton Trophy (1st place PHS).
Tuesday 26 December 2018 – Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race (Seperate NOR / Entry) Cat 1
First started as a cruise to Hobart in 1945, the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race held annually on 26 December is labelled as the ‘Mount Everest’ of offshore yacht racing. From the spectacular start in Sydney Harbour, the fleet races out into the Tasman Sea, down the south-east coast of mainland Australia, across Bass Strait, then down the east coast of Tasmania. At Tasman Island the fleet turns right into Storm Bay for the final sail up the Derwent River to the historic port city of Hobart. The Tattersall Cup is awarded to the overall winner on IRC, whilst the J.H. Illingworth Trophy is awarded to the line honours winner in each race, with both winners also presented with a Rolex Yacht Master II Timepiece. In 2016, Anthony Bell’s Perpetual Loyal smashed the old race record, winning the race in 1 day, 13 hours, 31 minutes and 20 seconds.
There are four perpetual trophies awarded in the Blue Water Pointscore to various champions. The Jack Halliday Perpetual Trophy for the Blue Water Champion is one of the most prestigious awards and is hotly contested each season. Many skippers have been fortunate enough to win the trophy on multiple occasions, none more than Syd Fisher with a record nine Blue Water Championships on his various Ragamuffin yachts. A full history of Blue Water Champions, dating back to 1958 can be seen in the history tab on the left.
The Malcolm Halliday Perpetual Trophy is awarded to the Tasman Performance Series Champion on PHS in the Blue Water Pointscore. The Cape Byron Perpetual Trophy for the Cape Byron Series is awarded to the ORCi Champion in the Blue Water Pointscore. The Pat Cooper Memorial Trophy is awarded to the Line Honours Series Champion in the Blue Water Pointscore.
Blue Water Pointscore History:
Outside of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, the Blue Water Champion is the most prestigious and hotly contested season pointscore, with the winner presented the Jack Halliday Perpetual Trophy. Many skippers have been fortunate enough to taste success on multiple occasions, with the lucky few also going on to win the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. None greater though than Syd Fisher, who holds the record with 9 Blue Water Championships in his various Ragamuffin’s.
Cruising Yacht Club of Australia Blue Water Champion’s
|1958-59 Siandra||1980-81 Big Schott||2000-01 SAP Ausmaid|
|1959-60 Anitra V||1981-82 Once More Dear Friends||2001-02 Ragamuffin|
|1960-61 Joanne Brodie||1982-83 Scallywag||2002-03 Quest|
|1961-62 Rival||1983-84 The Roperunner||2003-04 Nips N Tux|
|1962-63 Carmen||1984-85 Mercedes IV||2004-05 Ichi Ban|
|1963-64 Lorita Maria||1985-86 Sagacious||2005-06 Prime Time|
|1964-65 Caravelle||1986-87 Another Concubine||2006-07 AFR Midnight Rambler|
|1965-66 Cadence||1987-88 Singapore Girl||2007-08 Ragamuffin|
|1966-67 Cadence||1988-89 Nadia IV||2008-09 Mr Beaks Ribs|
|1967-68 Moonbird||1989-90 Prime Factor||2009-10 Quest|
|1968-69 Ragamuffin||1990-91 Kings Cross||2010-11 Loki|
|1969-70 Ragamuffin||1991-92 Kings Cross||2011-12 Victoire|
|1970-71 Ragamuffin||1992-93/IOR Kings Cross||2012-13 Loki|
|1971-72 Taurus||1992-93/IMS She’s Apples II||2013-14 Wild Rose|
|1972-73 Ginkgo||1993-94/IOR Wild Oats||2014-15 Celestial|
|1973-74 Love and War||1993-94/IMS Take Time||2015-16 Balance|
|1974-75 Patrice III||1994-95 AMP Wild Oats||2016-17 Chinese Whisper|
|1975-76 Fair Dinkum||1995-96 Kings Cross||2017-18 Patrice|
|1976-77 Ragamuffin||1996-97 Atara|
|1977-78 Ragamuffin||1997-98 Ragamuffin|
|1978-79 Deception||1998-99 Ragamuffin|
|1979-80 Relentless||1999-00 Atara|
Current Blue Water Race Records
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race (628nm)
Open – 2017 – LDV Comanche – 1d 09h 15m 24s
Conventional – 2017 – Ichi Ban (TP52) – 1d 19h 10m 20s
Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race (384nm)
Open – 2012 – Wild Oats XI – 22h 03m 46s
Conventional – 2012 – Loki – 1d 2h 52m 39s
Cabbage Tree Island Race (180nm)
Open – 2012 – Wild Oats XI – 12h 15m 55s
Conventional – 2015 – Ichi Ban (Carkeek 60) – 13h 23m 10s
Flinders Islet Race (92nm)
2017 – Koa – 7h 30m 19s
Bird Islet Race (85nm)
2011 – Loki – 6h 38m 56s
Newcastle Bass Island Race (200nm)
2014 – Ichi Ban (Carkeek 60) – 20h 52m 49s
PONANT Sydney Noumea Yacht Race (1,064nm)
2018 – Frantic – 4d 02h 23m 34s