Monday, 16 April 2012

Pittwater to Port Stephens shorthanded Yacht Race 2012

This race runs between Pittwater (Sydney) and Port Stephens on the coast of New South Wales in Australia.  About 28 boats took part in the race this year and sailed into Newcastle on Saturday evening on their completion of the first leg.  I had only read about this event in the Saturday morning Newcastle Herald.  When I read that they would leave on the Sunday morning to complete the race to Port Stephens, I knew that it was another destination for a Photo Safari!

The day turned out overcast with occasional breaks in the cloud so I didn't get any of the sparkling water shots I had hoped for.  Still, an overcast day is always good for Black & White shots !

We arrived at the Queens Wharf just in time to catch the fleet motoring up the Hunter River to the starting area.  From there they unfurled sail and awaited the starters horn.  For about 30 mins it was awesome to see them simply sailing around Port Hunter until it got close to the starting time.   Once the horn blew for the countdown, the all raced back across the starters line and jostled about, trying to maintain a good position that may get them first off the mark.

There was a slight delay as a monster coal freighter sailed out of the loaders to begin its global voyage.  It was huge in comparison to the more petite sailing yachts and once it was on its' way past the Stockton Breakwall, the starters horn sounded and the fleet was off!

Port Hunter made an excellent backdrop for this event; from the green of the Stockton Foreshore and the rocky Stockton Breakwall to the picturesque Nobbys Point with lighthouse and meteorological station atop!

As they gained the heads and started out to sea, they unfurled their spinakkers and, even from so far back it was an awesome sight!   Hmmm.......thought for next years race......fleet in full sail through the heads from the Stockton Breakwall!!

Another wonderful day in Newcastle!

Hope you are all well.