Beneteau Cup 2017

Flagstaff - beneteau-35

Last week Flagstaff Marine’s award-winning event, the Beneteau Cup, celebrated its 26th year. The event has a huge following and well-earned reputation of being one of the best regattas of the year. The fun-loving and competitive community of Beneteau owners had a great laugh while enjoying a day of camaraderie and competition on the glorious Sydney Harbour.

On the eve of the Beneteau Cup, thunderstorms mercilessly lashed Sydney. Many people awoke to loud cracks of lightning, wondering if the Beneteau Cup would be called off. Lady luck was on our side though … and by the morning the sun started to shine through the black clouds. You could feel the elation through the crowd as the storm that had ravaged Sydney only hours before miraculously turned into prime racing conditions.

The day kicked off with a delicious Champagne Breakfast sponsored by Hedge Finance and a warm welcome from Flagstaff Marine’s co-director Graham Raspass. Following Graham, we had a race briefing by CYCA as 240 skippers and crew became pumped up, ready to have fun …. and maybe even win!

Just after mid-day, the course was announced and the fleet took position near Robertson’s Point. Everyone was ready to fight it out for a place in their division. All three divisions were set to Course Two with Non-Spinnaker Division A and the Spinnaker Division further up the harbor.

It was a great race with 15 to 20-knot winds. Around every mark, crews were fighting it out for poll position … it was a close race in all three divisions.

After a tense morning of sailing, everyone took a load off and enjoyed some downtime tucking into a delicious packed lunch and a cold beer. The crews were unanimous in giving Flagstaff Marine a big thumbs up for packing so many yummy goodies.

Conditions were equally superb for race two, which included going around Shark Island before coming back to the finish line near Darling Point.

With the races over, everyone headed back to the CYCA for an entertaining night of dinner, dancing and trophy presentations.

The main award for the night, the ‘Beneteau Cup’ was awarded to Kim Clinton, co-owner of the ultra-distinctive and very well-traveled Holy Cow. Each year this prestigious award goes to the Beneteau owner who shows the Beneteau spirit. Kim was an easy choice as this year’s winner due to her great commitment to the Beneteau brand.

Kim has owned five Beneteau yachts over the past 20 years and navigated the Australian waterways more than any Beneteau owner we know of.

She has competed in many regattas along the way from Geelong to the top of Australia, in twilight’s Beneteau cups and even the Sydney to Hobart race. And, to top it all off, she raised huge amounts of money for charities. Great job Kim – thank you for everything you have done!

Silent Auction Raises $7,500 for Mercy Ships

Flagstaff - Mercyship

A heart-warming part of the evening was the silent auction for global charity Mercy Ships. Angela Raspass played a very moving video explaining the incredible work Mercy Ships do to deliver free world-class health services to those without access in the developing world.

Flagstaff owners very generously donated $7,500 in a silent auction – a wonderful result. Read more about Mercy Ships

Graham Raspass says, “The 2017 Flagstaff Marine Beneteau Cup on Sydney Harbour was a great day. The 240 skippers and crew on board 37 Beneteaus enjoyed an afternoon of champagne sailing with 16-knot breezes gusting to 23 knots. All of the Flagstaff team, including Micah and myself, loved being out on the water and hosting the post-race for dinner, trophy presentation and dancing at the CYCA.

We really appreciate the wonderful support of our sponsors Hedge Finance Group, Zettex, Burke Marine, Family Wealth Advisory and Boat Transport for making this event possible. We also really appreciate the generosity of our owners’ community in supporting Mercy Ships.

We look forward to seeing all our Beneteaus at next year’s Pittwater Regatta Saturday, May 12th 2018.”

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“Hi Micah and Graham,

Just a quick note of thanks for the fun and experience of the Beneteau Cup 2017 event last Friday. It was the first event for Belle Epoque and we all thoroughly enjoyed it. A brisk breeze, an inviting Sydney Harbour mostly to ourselves combined with an air of social competitiveness – what better way to spend a Friday?

A special shout-out to Mike Coxon, who bravely guided us around the course in a stress free and instructive manner. A truly monumental effort given the raw nature of our crew. Mike’s calm insights were extremely well appreciated. Thanks Mike!

Again, thanks to the whole Flagstaff Marine Team for a well-run and social sailing experience!
Team Belle Epoque.”


Non-Spinnaker Division A

1st Flying Cloud (Howard Piggott)

2nd Holy Cow! (John and Kim Clinton)

3rd Belle Époque (Gareth Jones, who having only taken delivery of his boat a few weeks ago was competing in his first Beneteau Regatta.)

Non-Spinnaker Division B

1st Flying Circus (Craig Boulton),

2nd Dancing in the Wind (Kim Bangel)

3rd High Voltage (Julian Davies)

Spinnaker Division

1st Danske (Paul Erikson)

2nd Antipodes of Sydney (Greg Newton)

3rd Far and Away (Graeme Lee)