16 Mitala Street, Newport NSW 2106   Tel: 61 2 9998 3700
 
 

       

16 Mitala Street, Newport NSW 2106
Tel: 61 2 9998 3700

 
 

Checkmate Launches Aussie Assault at Pittwater to Paradise Regatta

Owner, Ray Roberts and crew of the iconic US-built Peterson 50, Checkmate are looking forward to launching the vessel’s Australian racing career in the 2018 Club Marine Pittwater to Paradise Regatta, which starts Tuesday 2 January.

Inclement conditions during delivery to Sydney from the Gold Coast resulted in damage that put the yacht, renamed Checkmate of Hollywood, out of this year’s Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.

As Michael Spies, seasoned sailor and long-time friend of owner Ray Roberts, explained: “We were pretty devastated not to make the Sydney Hobart, but with the adverse weather during delivery, we just weren’t prepared in time.”

Instead, they prepped and sailed Ray’s FARR 55, Hollywood Boulevard, which finished 10th, and are now flying back from Hobart in time for New Year’s Eve on Sydney Harbour, then a quick scoot to Pittwater for the Race start on Tuesday.

Checkmate is a sensational dual-purpose boat,” continued ‘Spiesy’. “She’s a proper yacht – nothing like the disposable boats we’ve been sailing for 30 or so years. We’ll watch the NYE fireworks on Sydney Harbour then get ready for the P2P.”

With her eye-catching gleaming timber hull, 50-foot Checkmate of Hollywood, with a sail number well-known to TV addicts of a certain age: 90210 (the Hollywood post code), is a 40-year-old IOR Doug Peterson design, built of Brazilian mahogany in San Diego by the illustrious Carl Eichenlaub, and updated in 2000 to make her a fast, competitive racing yacht.

In October 2017, Ray “Hollywood” Roberts bought the boat from the Orange County School of Sailing and Seamanship where she had given great service following her donation by the previous owner.

Roberts immediately sailed her to a win in her Class in the 53rd San Diego to Ensenada International Yacht Race.

Checkmatesailed from the US West Coast across the Pacific to Australia and cleared Customs at Southport Yacht Club at the end of November, before heading to The Boat Works on the Gold Coast for a thorough overhaul.

Roberts said Checkmate is one of the last cold-moulded wooden boats and unique in Australia. “It’s a showpiece and with her age allowance, we could be half a chance.”

The boat was originally commissioned for Monte E. Livingston who, apart from being one of Hollywood’s first entertainment Lawyers, was also one of Howard Hughes’ attorneys. He and his firm partner raised the funding for The African Queen staring Humphrey Bogart.

“You don’t see boats like this anymore,” said Joe Goddard, who oversaw the refit. ““Everyone who sees her is captivated. The stern is a lot fairer than the usual Peterson boats, making her a narrower, faster boat.

“It’s a middle-aged boat, but she is incredibly beautiful and fast. During the refit, we must have taken 500kg of junk off her, and with her new sail wardrobe and professional crew, with her IRC rating, she has really good odds.”

The crew comprises Skipper Ray Roberts, Michael Spies, Polish/international sailor, Filip Pietrzak who is Bowman, and Olympians and brothers, Jamie and Bobby Wilmot.

“We pride ourselves on a solid crew,” said Spiesy, adding “we have a good mix of old fellas who’ve been around the block”.

“We’re hoping to get a reasonable result in the P2P, given the time, effort, passion and money that have been invested in Checkmate of Hollywood.”

In terms of pedigree and potential, this exceedingly special, veteran yacht is one to watch.

“With our IRC rating we will be very competitive,” said Spiesy. “No older boat has been done properly in Australia. It’s our long-term plan to spend the next phase of her life creating a new tradition for this brilliant boat in Australia, then competing in Asia.

“In the P2P, we won’t be happy if we get screaming southerlies, but if it’s a mixed bag of conditions, it will be a tight race.”

Following the P2P, Checkmate of Hollywood will be berthed at Sydney’s Rozelle Marina and used as a training boat for the next generation of sailing talent. The Destination!The Destination!

 

The official weather briefing will take place at 9am on Tuesday 2 January at RPAYC.

For more information visit http://www.pittwatertoparadise.com.au/

Facebook: @pitt2paradise

Twitter: @Pitt2Paradise

Hash Tags:

#pitt2paradise

#RPAYC

#clubmarine

#predictwind

#henrilloydaus

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
Prev Next

Optimist North Americans Report

14 Dec 2018

Report on Optimist North American Championships, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, July 2018This year I was selected to represent Australia in the North American Championships (NAMs) in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. The regatta had...

Read more

2018 SORS Optimist Regatta

11 Dec 2018

2018 SORS Optimist Regatta hosted by Georges River Sailing Club is done - what a great regatta with a mix of conditions. Congratulations to all some amazing racing over the...

Read more

🎄🎅 RPAYC Christmas Trading Hours 🎅🎄

05 Dec 2018

Boatyard Operations The boatyard will close from Friday 21st December, 2018 - Monday 7th January, 2019. Competitors in the Club Marine Pittwarer to Paradise Regatta requiring a lift prior to the...

Read more

Sail GP Sydney, February 2019

04 Dec 2018

Get behind Club Member & Olympian Jason Waterhouse who is representing Team SailGP Australia. We have been advised that the best way to view the racing will be on personal boats...

Read more

29er State Titles - Round 1, Wangi Wangi

04 Dec 2018

Two crews of 2 RPAYC sailors, Fletcher Walters, Jack Hildebrand, Oscar Verity and Ellis Merrett, made the journey to Wangi Wangi Sailing Club on the western shores of Lake Macquarie...

Read more

Respect Ocean Racing - Female Hobart Team Announced

03 Dec 2018

Team Ocean Respect Racing, led by Stacey Jackson, to raise awareness of ocean health issues in Australia, supported by 11th Hour RacingIn a bid to encourage stronger female representation in...

Read more

Australian Optimist Girls Squad, Hong Kong - Bayley Taylor

03 Dec 2018

On the 13th of October, the three RPAYC members of the Australian  Optimist Girls squad  (AOGS) made up of, Bayley Taylor, Eva Attwood and Sienna Brown (plus parents and siblings)...

Read more

Optimist World Championships - Daniel Links

03 Dec 2018

Report from Daniel Links  On the 16th of August I left for the Optimist World Championships with my mum and the rest of the Australian Worlds Team, we had all placed...

Read more

RPAYC Yoga & Pilates Trial

27 Nov 2018

RPAYC member and Olympic silver medallist, Nina Curtis, and Pierre Ainscow, injury specialist, who has also worked with Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing and Artemis Racing, are excited to introduce Yoga...

Read more

About RPAYC

The Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club - RPAYC is a yacht racing and sailing club based on Pittwater.

The yacht club offers year round inshore and offshore racing, cruising, centreboard dinghy racing, sail training and courses plus has a large marina accommodating up to 352 vessels.

There is also a modern boatyard with comprehensive marine services to help maintain your vessel.

Membership, including family membership is now available.

Sign Up for News

Register here to receive the latest information on news and events at the Club
Please wait

Weather Links

Check the latest conditions:

Welcome to RPAYC