It's on 2018

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Bigger fleet tipped for the ‘right race at the right time’

Organisers of the reborn Newport Coffs Coast Yacht Race are looking to double their fleet size this year, with the event now tagged “the right race, to the right place, at the right time”.

At its official launch in Coffs Harbour today, Race Director Rob Brown OAM said there was great potential to rebuild entry numbers to beyond that of 2016, which attracted 42 boats and more than 400 sailors.

As Development Manager for race hosts the Royal Motor Yacht Club (RMYC) Broken Bay, he called on all yacht coastal club- and cruiser-racer sailors to consider competing.

“If you do only one ocean race this year, make it this one,” Brown said. “At 230 nautical miles, it’s a great length and you get to finish in a wonderful coastal town that’s in full family holiday swing.

“The race is conducted under the Safety Category  of 3 Plus, which makes it affordable and accessible for a broader range of yachts. Competitors only need to have a VHF radio and a satellite phone for communications, not a High Frequency radio.

“Also, all yachts are provided with a Yacht Tracker beacon technology to enable an online audience and race officials to closely follow the course and positioning of the fleet.”

Since its maiden run in 1981 with a fleet of 14 yachts, the coastal dash from Pittwater to Coffs has been fondly regarded as a fun, friendly, warm-water alternative to the Rolex Sydney-Hobart.

It was conceived by a recreational sailor, Max Tunbridge, while competing in a race that rounded South Solitary Island, just north of Coffs, then returned to Sydney without stopping at arguably NSW’s best coastal harbour. No fun, he thought.

At its peak the Coffs race lured up to 120 entrants, among them Apollo, Ragamuffin, Wild Oats XI and Hong Kong’s Beau Geste, making it bigger than the Hobart some years.

However, disaster befell the event in 2017 when Coffs Harbour Marina and seawall sustained damage during severe winter storms.  RMYC Broken Bay, in association with the Coffs Harbour Yacht Club (CHYC), forged a new partnership to reinstate the iconic event to the national calendar and reinvigorate interest in the Coffs Harbour region.

International insurance company Pantaenius Sail & Motor Insurance stepped in as major sponsor, adding to a portfolio that includes the popular Sail Port Stephens regatta. The 2017 Newport to Coffs Coast Yacht Race (NCCYR) then started on a new date of 27 December with 12 entries.

The all-encompassing entry divisions include PHS, ORCi, IRC. Multihulls are also welcome to compete under OMR handicapping.

It appeals to skippers and crews who like to sail over the Christmas break yet are disinclined to compete in the more challenging and more expensive Sydney-Hobart yacht race.  or Pittwater-Southport because of safety equipment requirements, cost or time constraints.

The Newport to Coffs race is close enough for family and friends to pack their beach gear and golf clubs and drive up the coast to welcome and celebrate the race with all the crews and supporters. Many competitors stay on to enjoy play-and-stay golf or hinterland sightseeing activities.

RMYC Broken Bay Commodore Chris Lee says: “Royal Motor Yacht Club Broken Bay is once again proud to be hosting the 2018 Pantaenius Newport to Coffs Coast Yacht Race. It’s our second year associated with the race and we’re looking forward to increasing the number of entries from last year.

“The southerly current provides many challenges for crews and means hugging the coast. The upshot is that they will experience some of most picturesque beaches and coastline all the way to Coffs Harbour.”

“We are pleased to be working with Coffs Harbour Yacht Club once again and we look forward to their wonderful reception when the yachts finish and settle in at their berth at Coffs Harbour Marina.”

CHYC Commodore Garry Innes says visiting yachts will be warmly welcomed, while there has also been greater interest from Coffs Harbour yacht owners to compete.

“This iconic yacht race will go from strength to strength with our partners the Royal Motor Yacht Club and the full support of Coffs Harbour City Council and the Coffs Coast business community,” he said.

“There’s something planned every day to create a buzz around the club precinct, starting with a race barbecue on December 29 followed by a civic reception and presentation evening on the 30th.

“We’ll also see New Year’s Eve in with a fun race starting at 1pm, then fireworks lighting up the waterfront that night.”

The record time stands at just 18 hours and it’s a relatively easy delivery trip home once a nor-east weather window arrives. This year, yachts can also cruise in company northwards to Southport.

“It’s a great time to sit back and enjoy the social activities put on by the Coffs Harbour Yacht Club in its marquee,” Rob Brown adds. “Then it’s a relatively easy sail home, which is sure to suit many club racers.”

NCCYR co-sponsors include Road Tech Marine, B&G, Robert Oatley Wines and Musto.

Further details and a Notice of Race can be downloaded at

2018 Pantaenius Newport to Coffs Coast Yacht Race - 27th December 2018

We are pleased to announce that the 38th Pantaenius Newport to Coffs Coast Yacht Race is on again and we invite all yacht owners to come and join us, in the best little yacht race on the East Coast of Australia.
Pantaenius Sail and Motor Insurance is proud to support the race once again and look forward to working with Royal Motor Yacht Club Broken Bay and Coffs Harbour Yacht Club.  
The race will be conducted under Safety Category 3 Plus; which makes it quite affordable for a broader range of yachts. At 230nm the race takes between 1.5 and 3 days so finishing at Coffs Harbour a day or so before New Year’s Eve is a great attraction for crews and their families to be involved.
The event has been endorsed by Coffs Harbour Council and also the Coffs Coast business community who guarantee that this year the Coffs Welcome and festivities will be better than ever! 
So get organised, and plan your Christmas around the Newport to Coffs Race!

All the best,
Rob Brown OAM
Race Director

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Celebrating victory with Line Honours!

About Time has taken first line honors in the inaugural Newport to Coffs Coast yacht race. "The champagne corks have popped and there's a few beers around all the crew. Great determined sailing," said race organiser Rob Brown. The leading boat crossed the finish line near the southern breakwall inside Coffs Harbour at just after 5.30am. Second place went to Lake Macqurie boat Shakti with Newcastle yacht, Anger Management securing third. The next group of yachts are due to sail into the harbour at about midday.


anger management Medium

Congratulationto to the crew of Anger Management, first in ORCi and IRC divisions.

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Congratulations crew of Shakti. Overall winner in the PHS division.




Before the race begins there are some important details we would like to tell all skippers and crew. Here’s what’s happening.


After all the boats have crossed the finish line; the sails are packed; covers tucked in; ropes coiled and everything is stowed away…it is time to sit back, relax and enjoy the social program put on by your hosts The Coffs Harbour Yacht Club.  Join in the nightly entertainment and dinning at the CHYC RACE HUB MARQUEE.  Here’s what happening.

DEC 29 RACE BBQ AT CHYC early evening
DEC 30 PRESENTATION EVENING AT CHYC following Mayors reception
DEC 31 FUN RACE 1PM- See sailing instructions in race pack.


 Pittwater to Coffs Harbour Yacht Race announcement


The RMYC Broken Bay in association with the Coffs Harbour Yacht Club is excited to announce a new partnership, and can confirm that the Pantaenius Newport to Coffs Coast Yacht Race will start in Pittwater on 27th December 2017. This much-loved annual coastal event is now secure and event planning is well underway.

This will mark the 37th running of the Coffs Harbour race and in its new format will be named the

“Pantaenius Newport to Coffs Coast Yacht Race”. RMYCBB Commodore Chris Lee added:
“It was a privilege to be invited to host this race which is a milestone event for our club and parallels our steady growth in all areas of the club’s activities. We are proud to support this iconic race and believe we can add to its appeal with its new format and timing.

Rob Brown, our Development Manager and Race Director for the race, has done a great job co- ordinating the process of partnering with Coffs Harbour Yacht Club and all of the other elements necessary to stage this race.”

Rob Brown OAM commented:
“We are delighted to be involved with this race. We have compiled a first class Race Management Team in Denis Thompson and look forward to providing yacht owners, crews, family and friends with a great event, here in Newport and also at Coffs Harbour.

The race will be sailed under Category 3 + (Plus) Safety which will make it more affordable and easier for yacht owners to compete without the requirement to have a High Frequency radio installed.

Competitors will only need to have a VHF radio and a Satellite phone for communications. This should appeal to a wider cross section of the yacht racing community that would not normally consider contesting a race of this length, which is 230 nautical miles.

The timing of the event between Christmas and New Year should also be attractive to all involved especially for those who have to resume work early in the New Year. We are finalising the Race Documentation which will be available shortly.

We are also very pleased to have Pantaenius Sail and Motor Yacht Insurance on board as our naming rights partner. They are a great supporter of RMYC and now getting behind this fantastic yacht race.”

Denis Thompson Principal Race Officer:
I am excited to be involved with the Newport to Coffs Coast race again, having been involved with the race for ten years previously. The race is a true test of tactics and strategy with varying winds along the coast and the East Australian Current to contend with. The warm water sailing and warm welcome in Coffs is sure to appeal to a lot of sailors during the Christmas and New Year period.

Jamie MacPhail from Pantaenius Insurance said:
“We are proud to be involved with such an iconic event and all of its history. I did so many of these races in the 80’s & 90’s, and it is great to see the race is safe and in good hands. It is particularly pleasing to see the race return to its original and most successful time slot between Christmas and New Year”.

“With the race around 230 nautical miles it means that yachts can return home easily in a relatively short weather window. We are sure this will suit many club racers.”

Commodore Garry Innes Coffs Harbour Yacht Club said:
“We are delighted to report that this iconic yacht race will return this summer with a new format and a new date.

“The Coffs Harbour Yacht Club Board are delighted to announce that they fully support the RMYCBB in organising the Race. It is also fully supported by Coffs Harbour City Council and The Coffs Coast business community.”

“The new date brings the start back to its original start date to 27th December. This will allow boat crews to race over the Christmas to New Year period, and then able to return to work for an early start in January.”

“We have had considerable interest from yacht owners here at Coffs who have shown interest the timing of this event.

“We are delighted to partner with the Royal Motor Yacht Club who have been very professional in the process of bringing all of this together. Working with the likes of Rob Brown and his team, is a breath of fresh air.

“It’s a new beginning for an old race, a new beginning that has the potential to see it stay alive for many decades to come.” Mr. Innes said.

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