Excellent conditions for Tanilba Bay’s Big Boat Regatta saw a record 42 boats head out onto the Bay at Port Stephens NSW.

The regatta was sponsored by Coastal Real Estate of Tanilba Bay in association with Andrew Hawkins BoatCrewGear.com.

With a steady 6-8 knot noreaster, three fleets were given seperate starts by Race Officer Steve onboard Alex and Hilda’s restored 47foot lugger Big Foot. John Forbes Re-imagined Hobies were the first to depart, in a line of 11 colourful boats which captured the attention of the locals who flocked to the shores along Peace Parade.

Next were 17 F18s competing in round five of the State titles. The mixed fleet of 13 other catamarans included 7 A class, 5 taipans and 2 Nacras.

Crews represented clubs from Northern Rivers, Great Lakes, Forster, Tanilba Bay, Newcastle, Speers Point, Wangi, Mannering Park, Toukley, Central Coast, Palm Beach, Manly, RPA, Kurnell and Vincentia.

Three races were run on the Saturday, then crews enjoyed dinner at Tilligerry RSL & Sports Club.

Sunday dawned bright and clear and a further two races were run.

Race Organiser Mike presented the winners trophies and thanked all competitors for their friendly rivalry and good sportsmanship (good sportspersons). John and Bronte won the Hobie division ahead of Patrick and Ellie with Georgia and Nick third. The F18s saw Archie and Beau victorious then Pete and Bailey on Hitchhikers Guide, then James and Emily. Adam’s Flying A took out the Mixed fleet ahead of a well deserved second with Bec and Scott on the Nacra Waitpinga, then Craig on the fighting taipan Helter Skelter.

President Steve thanked Donna and helpers in the canteen and the crews on the rescue and start boats and invited everyone back again next year.

Photos by Mark Chapman