Port Stephens Sail Away 2016

Blue Skies & Calm Seas

We had a fabulous few days on the annual Port Stephens Sail Away in October.

This trip is the perfect opportunity for our owners to extend their boating skills on a longer trip in the company of friends and with the support from Team Windcraft.

We’ve had some great feedback from our owners and thought we’d share it…

…so here’s a taste of what they got up to!

Hanse 355 – Penzance

Iain from Team Windcraft’s Service Centre joined Andrew Kemp on Hanse 355, Penzance. They left at 7am from Bayview and got into the Anchorage about 8.30pm. A full day’s sailing in picture perfect conditions….calm seas, sunshine and about 10knts breeze.

Conditions were so good on the way up that some owners reported doing the trip on just one tack! Much to their surprise! Penzance didn’t quite pull this off – but close.

A highlight for the Penzance crew was the huge pod of about 20/30 dolphins off Newcastle that they sailed with for a while!

The standout in wildlife spottings this year was the abundance of whales up near the entrance to Port Stephens – as the Moody Classic 41 Marquise owners commented – when sightings become almost ‘ho hum’ you know the numbers have increased. Sometimes too close for comfort!

Hanse 345 – Esprit d’ Arcachon

The Pecks on their 345 Esprit d’Arcachon left the CYCA earlier and spent the night at the very welcoming Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club along with half dozen other owners. The Newcastle stopover has become a very popular unofficial part of this annual itinerary. The club makes a point of welcoming the annual arrival of Windcraft owners – and at any other time as well!

Thankyou to the Windcraft team for a great event – lots of fun was had and we enjoyed the challenge of the sail up and back.

Bill & Elizabeth Peck – Hanse 345 – Esprit d’Arcachon

There was a good mix of regulars and newbies this year. Regular Sail Away participants were canny not to waste any of the breeze by getting into the current line which was running south from Port Stephens at about one knot. They used the 40/50m depth contour line as a guide to stay inside of this current – a handy tip for future participants!

For the smallest boat, Baby Gita, a Hanse 320 from west of Sydney Harbour bridge it was the first Port Stephens Sail Away for her owner, Brian.

We all had a great time and it was great catching up with the team from Windcraft and meeting the other owners and looking over their boats. Thank you personally for your efforts and we’ll see you soon.

Brian Hanse 320 – Baby Gita

It was also first time for some Windcraft rally regulars like Geoff Jarrett and Charles Smith.

They’ve owned their Hanse 385 & 415 for many years but this was the first time they were able to join the fleet ..and they were absolutely rapt.

Thank you again for a great weekend.

We did indeed have a very rough and exciting sail home.

Hamish was unbelievable and spent 12 hours on the wheel with heavy winds and a large following sea.

Geoff Jarrett Hanse 385 Hanseoff

Thank you so much to Peter, Windcraft, Mary and your very loyal staff for putting together another most enjoyable weekend. It is always great to catch up with old friends & make new friends with like-minded souls. Finally, we were able to get Elara to Port Stephens for the first time – It will definitely not be the last.

Mike & Selma Barry – Hanse 385 Elara

For Charles and Sylvia it got even better when they won the generous prize from sponsor Helly Hansen – a His and Hers sailing jacket.

Check out the video on our Facebook page!

We had an incredible trip home, we did it in 11 hours and started out very lumpy and as the wind came in the sailing got better.

We managed to snap a gennaker sheet and reached speeds of 13 knots!

We really had a ball and enjoyed the weekend, it’s been our best sailing adventure yet.

Rob, our sailing mate was also very impressed with Windcraft and Hanse.

Thankyou , we really appreciated the event and the Hanse/Windcraft hospitality.

Charles & Sylvia – Hanse 415 Bling Bling

The biggest yacht was David Newton’s Dehler 46 – YKnot. David’s only recently returned from Hamo but he never misses out on Port Stephens annual event! For some owners it was their 7th or 8th Rally. Each year we have a different colour event shirt – it’s nice to see that they last the test of time as Gordon Dyer was sporting his 2008 Sail Away shirt!

Club Marine, our other sponsor, again supplied the deliciously fresh local prawns and champagne which were enjoyed on Sunday afternoon overlooking the aqua water of this magic spot.

Some owners make the most of it and book some extra days to explore this waterway. To the envy of most of the fleet who woke at 5am on the Monday to sail back to Port Hacking, Sydney, Lake Macquarie or Pittwater.

Not quite so picture perfect on way home with lumpy seas and wind from all over. But it’s always a great sense of achievement and satisfaction. For Greg on Hanse 415 Lady Janie it was his second year of boat ownership and 2nd Port Stephens Trip and he was delighted with how much more confident he felt this year.

Thank you Team Windcraft for providing a wonderful time on the Sail Away weekend. Nicky and I had a great time. We are planning to do it again next year as well.

Nicky enjoyed her first long trip and StevieNics sailed well. It was nice to spend some time learning more about my sail trim, instead of having to dodge boats around Sydney harbour.

Nicky & Steve – StevieNics

A huge thanks to everyone who took part… Until next year….

Read about our previous Port Stephens Sail Aways

Port Stephens Sail Away 2015

Port Stephens Sail Away 2014

Port Stephens Sail Away 2013

Port Stephens Sail Away 2012

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