Cockburn Sound Regatta to mark major milestone

John PercySound Telegraph

The waters of Mangles Bay will again be filled with the sight of racing yachts large and small over the festive break as The Cruising Yacht Club conducts its 60th Cockburn Sound Regatta.

The Kwinana Industries Council Race to Rockingham will act as a feeder race to bring the metropolitan-based yachts down on Boxing Day and spectators on the beach and in the parks will have a grandstand view of all the action, which will continue over the following four days.

The inaugural regatta was held and conducted by Royal Fresh-water Bay Yacht Club after holding the Prince Philip Cup for Dragon-class yachts in 1956 in Cockburn Sound.

The need was seen for a club in Rockingham to be established and The Cruising Yacht Club was formed that year and later took over the running of the regatta.

In the early 1970s, the regatta used to run over a week and was reputedly the largest in the Southern Hemisphere; with a large number of dinghies mixing it with the keelboats.

These days, mostly keelboats will be racing in a number of separate divisions and there will be a multihull fleet to cater for catamarans and trimarans.

Up to 60 boats are expected to attend this year and racing will be a mixture of Windward/Leeward, Around the Buoys and Passage races. Each division will have at least six races and there will be prizes for division winners along with one for the overall regatta champion.

The fastest boat will not necessarily be the winner as a sophisticated handicapping system is used to ensure the winner is the boat that best sails to its potential.

Some of the boats are always looking for an extra crew member, so people may find themselves press-ganged.

The club will be buzzing over the course of the regatta, with a full social program planned and the Rockingham foreshore will be the place to be over the Christmas break.

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