The first of the new Sydney 47 Cruiser-racer class enters regatta

When Steve Chiodo launches what is the first of the stunning new Sydney 47 class cruiser-racers today his thoughts will be towards azure tropical waters, Australia’s most awarded international resort and the great racing that’s promised at next month’s Hayman Regatta.

Chiodo, from Melbourne, is the proud owner of the first Sydney 47, a yacht that takes the Sydney Yachts range into a new realm where competitive racing coupled with supreme comfort. Named Gomez, the yacht will be part of a special display in Sydney next Friday before being prepared for its voyage north for the Hayman Regatta, scheduled from August 30 to September 4.

Gomez will be facing a wide range of competitors in both the IRC and PHS divisions at Hayman. The latest entry is Don Algie’s superbly presented luxury yacht Storm 2, a 20-metre design from kiwi Alan Warwick. Algie, a well-known Whitsunday sailing identity who hails from nearby Airlie Beach, is the founder of the Hog’s Breath chain of restaurants. He will be competing this year under the flag of the Hayman Island Yacht Club.

The boat that will be a benchmark at Hayman this year is Wayne Millar’s well travelled and competitive 41-footer, Zoe. Millar, from Townsville, stands by the regatta as being the most satisfying he’s ever attended.

The concept behind the Hayman Regatta evolved from the more appealing attributes of some of the world’s foremost regattas. Apart from racing on the waters of one of the most beautiful sections of the Whitsunday region there is the special benefit for competitors of having almost the entire fleet assembled on the single arm of the floating marina within the man-made Hayman Harbour. It makes for a very intimate atmosphere where fun and strong camaraderie is the foundation for a great event. This mood spreads to the award winning resort, which comprises 214 rooms including penthouses.

The competition involves seven races, four short windward-leeward courses over two days on the sheltered waters of the Whitsunday Passage and three other races of between 30 and 40 nautical miles that loop around the many islands that are in close proximity to Hayman. There is a lay day included for rest, relaxation and a competitor get together on the beachfront.

During the period of the regatta the warm waters of the region are a haven for 15-plus metres long, 40 tonne humpback whales that migrate from the seas around Antarctica to calve at this time of year.