Beneteau Cup 2016

Beneteau Cup 2016

Elusive Spirit was entered onto the 2016 Beneteau Cup on Sydney harbour. My crew, Ray Hill and Darryl Bartley, joined me as we made our way to Central Coast Marina for refueling and a change of headsail. The number 1 was taken off and the number 3 was raised as we made our way out of Brisbane Water into Broken Bay.

As the main was raised, we put in the first reef as we were met by a boisterous waves. A long tack out to sea followed with the second reef put into the main as the wind picked up from the south, gusting 25 to 30 knots. A patrol boat kept a wary eye on us as we passed close by as we headed out to sea. In a confused sea and a few bigger gusts, I decided to turn around and head back into Coaster’s Retreat and wait for the winds to abate a little, which was predicted for later in the day.

After an enjoyable lunch, we headed out again about 1500 and left the second reef in the main along with the number 3 headsail and the motor on. A long but settled trip ensued as we slowly made our way down the coast towards the heads, entering about 2000 and made our way to the CYCA in Rushcutters Bay.

Mooring up in the pond allowed us to move to the restaurant for dinner only to find that it had closed at 2100! So it was a scratch meal on board and then we recovered with a good night’s sleep.

Friday 25th November saw a lovely sunrise then an enjoyable breakfast on board with weetbix being the highlight! The club facilities were taken advantage of as we waited for the commencement of the day’s proceedings. This started with a welcome followed by a second breakfast but this time of champagne and croissants reminding me of Paris.

We were issued with our bag of goodies including anniversary glasses, our lunches, beer, wine, water, T shirts, cap and the sailing instructions along with a lot of promotional material. The first race was a circuit of the harbor towards the heads and we were able to put in a good start and then watch as the 40, 50 and 55 footers built up speed to pass us as we headed for the first mark. Then it was a reach on the SE breeze to Georges Head then a beat back around Shark Island then a reach and run to Robertson’s Point via the Point Piper mark. We were able to finish with a few of the fleet and were happy with our effort.

Lunch followed and we headed to Farm Cove to sail about under main only as we enjoyed the lunches that had been provided, along with some refreshing water. Then it was off to the start for the second race.

Again a good start had us in a perfect position to closely watch as the big yachts wind up and try to overtake us. The second race took in again Shark Island but then it was a run/reach to Fort Dennison before returning to Shark Island, rounding to starboard and then the final run to the finish. Another good race had been enjoyed by all the crew.

We returned to the CYCA where Elusive Spirit had a mooring right in front of the club , so was ‘acquired’ by Beneteau to fly the Beneteau flags from the mast head for extra exposure.

After a few refreshing drinks, we were called upstairs where we sat down to a great meal, and the results were announced. Elusive Spirit was placed 3rd in the fleet of 13 yachts that made up Non Spinnaker B, the Non Spinnaker A having 13 also and the Spinnaker Division having 6 entries. Along with 2 catamarans the fleet was certainly healthy with everyone enjoying the racing, the camaraderie and the hospitality.

The evening also raised funds for Mercy Ships, a hospital ship that goes into countries and carries out many operations that would not normally be available to many people.

A big thank you to the Beneteau Team that again put on a great regatta. Well done Graham Raspass and the rest of the crew.

The evening was spent back on board although Ray Hill had to return to the coast by train. Darrly and I headed out on Saturday and explored the eastern shoreline of the harbour, stopping at Store Beach for lunch before raising sail at Manly for a leg that took us across the harbour, having to avoid a tanker entering at same time as our cruise, and continuing on up the Parramatta River to Mortlake where we were put about as the Mortlake Ferry made her way across the river. I was able to explore Morrison Bay where my first yacht, Eillom 2, is sadly looking very neglected.

We then motor sailed back down the river and returned to the CYCA where the offshore fleet had gathered after the race down from Pittwater. An enjoyable evening then followed as we ate, drank and told tall tales about each other’s experiences.

Sunday saw the return race to Gosford with the raising of sail just off Clarke Island. Rex Parker joined Darryl and I as crew, thank you to Bruce Thomas for this gesture. For us it was one tack out the harbour on the SE breeze and then a reach up the coast to the finish off Box Head.

What a fabulous few days. Thanks to the crew and the organisers of both the Beneteau Cup and the Gosford Sailing Club Offshore Fleet.

Robert Swan

Elusive Spirit Beneteau 305

Gosford Sailing Club


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