Peter Fletcher’s Gold Coast win on Chutzpah

  • August 1, 2018

Tasmanian international yachtsman Peter Fletcher has added the Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race to his long list of ocean racing victories.
Fletcher returned to Australia to again join Victorian Bruce Taylor aboard his40-footer called Chutzpah which today was officially declared the IRC overall winner of the 384 nautical mile race northwards up the Australian East Coast.
“They say I look very fetching in bridesmaid gear; we’ve looked to be in the money so many times, but being the bride is far better, far more satisfactory,” said Taylor in reference to the numerous times he has finished runner-up in a major offshore event over the near four decades he has been ocean racing.
Taylor’s doggedness is well-known in sailing circles. He’s had seven attempts at the Gold Coast Race and 38 attempts at the pinnacle Rolex Sydney Hobart with various Chutzpahs and a core team, including Perth-based navigator and longtime mate Kingsley Piesse and noted Hobart sailor Peter Fletcher.

SAILING – CYC Trophy 2013, Sydney – 14/12/2013
ph. Andrea Francolini

Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania member Fletcher, who was inducted into the Tasmanian Yachting Hall of Fame last year, has a remarkable list of long ocean racing victories around the world.
These include the Caribbean 600 in Antigua, the Newport to Bermuda, Sydney to Noumea, and three overall wins as crew in the Three Peaks Race. Like Taylor this was his first win in the Noakes Sydney Gold Coast Race and he, too, has yet to win a Sydney Hobart.
The Chutzpah crew recorded their best result of second in the 2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart and they’ve collected multiple other top five placings and divisional victories between 1986 and this year, but never the prize every sailor wants – the Tattersall Cup for the corrected time winner.
The Noakes Sydney Gold Coast Race is Chutzpah’s Rolex Sydney Hobart race warm-up and Taylor says he would love to go back-to-back in the two ocean classics.

Black Jack and Wild Oats XI match racing to the finish of the Gold Coast Race this morning. Photo Michael Jennings

“We thought this Gold Coast Race was a great opportunity to try out a couple of new crewmen and a couple of new configurations,” he said.
“What is pleasing outside the result is you have small boats owned and sailed by Corinthians, and it’s possible to jag a result like this,” said the popular retired orthodontist at Southport Yacht Club.
Second overall on the IRC scoresheet was Matt Allen’s TP52 Ichi Ban and third another TP52, Ian Short’s Highfield Caringbah.
Words: Peter Campbell
Photos: Andrea Francolini
31 July 2018