Happy days

The Beneteau Pittwater Regatta was held on Sydney Harbour, bringing together sailors from the Beneteau community, each with a range of experience and knowledge.


Photography by John Curnow

Beneteau’s big and small revelled in the perfect conditions for the annual Beneteau Pittwater Regatta. With a fleet of 23 ranging in size from the majestic Oceanis 55 to the small but mighty FIRST 235 the 15-25 knot south westerly winds made for an exciting day out in the water for skippers and their crews.

The morning started with the traditional champagne send off and race briefing at Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club.

“It was the perfect day for sailing a Beneteau,” said Flagstaff Marine’s Graham Raspass. “As they always relish a good breeze, are great upwind boats, and easily handled the swell around Lion Island. Our annual Pittwater Regatta would not be possible without the dedication of our terrific owners and it was fantastic to see so many smiling faces out on the water.” 

Skipper David Bokemann backed up his win at last year’s Beneteau Cup taking out first place in division 1 on Bombolo his Oceanis 46.1 FIRST Line. FIRST 50 Bullrush took second place, an impressive result for skipper Matthew Graison’s maiden race on his new yacht, Colin McKeith on Aeolus his Oceanis 48 coming in third.

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With 17 Beneteau’s sailing in division 2 the competition was tight with the glory going to the FIRST’s taking out the top three places – a testament to the performance of this iconic range due to be revitalised with the NEW First Yacht 53 being launched later this year.

Skipper Shaw Russett took out first place on FIRST 40 Tailwind.

FIRST 40 Iago came in second skippered by Rob Yeats and Robert Swan skippering Elusive Spirit FIRST 305, the oldest Beneteau in the race came in earned third place. Wilde Rush, Flagstaff Marine’s Micah Lane’s Oceanis 51.1 FIRST Line was first across the line but graciously rescinded the second place.

It’s always so rewarding for us to see Beneteau’s of all sizes and shapes competing together for the simple joy of sailing.

A huge shout out to Mini Bateau Skipper Josh Patterson for taking on the spinnaker division in his FIRST 235.

The largest boat in the fleet, Neville Wittey’s L’amour De Ma Vie Oceanis 55 had a fine day sailing and the crew looked spectacular in their matching hawaiian shirts.

“We looked at the weather and it looked pretty blowy,” said Neville, “I wanted to make sure we all had a nice day so we decided to sail with our sails reefed.

The boat sailed well the 51.1 got away from us a bit when the winds got light. We had a lovely, lovely day and what I learnt on the day was that if we were out cruising in those conditions we could be sailing along reefed happy as a clam and really clicking on the miles, just flying. Everybody had a ball, thanks so much for putting it on.”

As always there were plenty of smiles all round and the celebration went on into the evening with prizes, dinner and dancing.

This years Best Dressed went to skipper Steve Smith and the crew of Oceanis 41.1P Freedom who looked dashing in their matching jackets.

flagstaffsail.com.au