Port Stephens Sail Away 2014
Hanse group boats are great offshore sailing yachts (they are all categorised by GL as A – Ocean Going). Our annual Port Stephens Sail Away is a fantastic opportunity for many of our owners to have their first taste of coastal sailing.
2014 was our 8th Port Stephens Sail Away and this year we were blessed with great, settled weather which allowed everyone (including our first timers) to have a great sail.
There was a wonderful feeling of camaraderie at the Anchorage Marina when 25 Windcraft boats lined the dock after sailing into Port Stephens. Many of our Sail Away veterans have formed friendships with fellow owners and took the opportunity to catch up. New owners and those joining the Sail Away for the first time were welcomed into the Windraft community.
The yachts were a mix of Hanse and Moody of various sizes and ages. A bit like their owners really… Boats had travelled from afar and some owners who couldn’t bring their boats to Port Stephens teamed up on other yachts so they didn’t miss out. Hanse and Moody flags were flying high – a sight which made our owners and Team Windcraft very proud.
It was really exciting to see so many children this year. They ranged in age from two-year-old Gemma on Audacious to many older teenagers. Fishing rods, inflatable kayaks and donuts were among the essential water toys on board. And of course when we reached our destination, whizzing about on the tenders was a popular pastime.
Our Service team were kept busy on Sunday towing delighted kids on the donut. The paddle board races were for ‘kids’ of all ages…
A number of crews sailed up early, stopping at Newcastle on the way. NCYC were very helpful and everyone agreed this was a great spot to call into. Southerly and easterly breezes in the 10 – 20 range provided good sailing. Those coming from Newcastle on Saturday had to beat into a strong Nor’ Easter. This wasn’t particularly pleasant, but provided great experience and all the boats handled the conditions well.
Fabulous Saturday Night
Saturday night drinks and dinner at Port Stephens saw over 100 people enjoying great food and drinks and swapping stories about the sail up.
Sunday morning brought clear blue skies and almost no wind – a hearty breakfast courtesy of Team Windcraft was the perfect start to the day helping everyone to clear their heads. A couple of boats went out for a sail but most were happy to take it easy on land after the long sail up.
A short stroll to the white sands of Corlette Beach for the champagne and prawns courtesy of Club Marine was sufficient activity! We set up the Marquee under the shade of a gum tree – a perfect spot to watch the rib and donut blasting up and down the bay which kept kids entertained
Paddleboards racing was about as strenuous as it got! Each boat nominated one crew member to partake in a ‘time trial’ – with the fastest time around the course winning a Helly Hansen gift voucher. Moody 41 Classic Mystic II walked away with the prize and all had a fun – the varying ‘styles’ of some racers providing much laughter. In the Team Windcraft paddle board race, Allan Bridge was the champion blitzing Ian and Rob.
Sunday night was NRL grand final, and many partied on until the early hours of Monday morning (without stopping to watch the match).
Some boats jumped on the back of Monday afternoon’s strong Nor’ Easter and had an awesome sail down the coast with heaps of whales on show. Other crews stayed on and enjoyed Port Stephens for a few more days making the most of the idyllic location and sailing weather.
2013 was a great year with 110 people on 26 boats (including 3 Moodys) enjoyed a fabulous sail up the coast and the social side of boating on some of the best waterways in the world. Pictures and video here
2012 sailors were blessed with blue skies, fair winds and lots of camaraderie. Pictures and full 2012 Port Stephens story here
2011 was a fantastic event despite some very poor weather. Read more about 2011 Port Stephens story here