It’s one of Australia’s oldest sailing trophies, celebrating the fastest sailing boat on Newcastle Harbour. Now, the ‘Cock of the Harbour’ is also set to become one of the richest off-the-beach races in the country.
As part of the 2021 SailFest Newcastle Regatta on April 10, the iconic event run by Port Hunter 16ft Skiff Sailing Club at Stockton is carrying valuable vouchers among the prizes on offer for the different dinghy and catamaran fleets.
Each class has to muster at least six starters to receive $500 in gift certificates from East Coast Marine and Sails – a North Sails affiliated sailmaker and shipchandlery based at Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club. First place will receive $250, second $150 and third $100. That’s in addition to trophies and other prizes.
Every boat also receives a skipper’s pack with complementary long-sleeve sailing tee-shirt, cap, sunglass strap and stubbie holder, while the crew pack contains a cap and stubby holder.
Separate prizes will be on offer for 16-Foot skiffs that compete.
“Everyone’s welcome … skiffs, cats, MGs, Moths, VSs, 49ers, Flying Ants – everyone,” says club stalwart Arran Gore. “And anyone can win – in light winds the 16s are hard to beat, whereas the cats like fresher conditions.”
Not too fresh though – the defending champion is the Port Hunter 16-Foot skiff Kilo, piloted by Rob Flanagan, Anthony Johnson and Graham Roberson, who outlasted the much-fancied multihulls as the breeze built to over 30 knots.
The gun is set to fire at 2pm.