Yachting Australia Corporate Partner
Sydney to Gold Coast Race - One for the Big Boys
A shy reaching spinnaker start at 1pm Saturday in 15 to 20 knot westerly is likely for the 68 boat Sydney to Gold Coast fleet, but a speedy start may be the highlight of the race, as a winter high pressure system is expected to camp over the race track on Sunday.
These conditions will advantage the larger boats that will have longer use of the dying breezes. For the small boats, it will be a tough, slow race, as light winds mean that coastal land breezes may be the major engine.
Should it be a Big Boat race, Sean Langman’s lightweight 66 footer Grundig, sailing with a six-man crew already installed as the line honours favourite, could also take a handicap win.
Ludde Ingvall’s 24 metre Tokolosh-Luna Park Sydney, better known to most sailors as Nicorette, broke the Coffs Harbour race record in January, along with Wild Oats, and is racing to Southport for the first time. Although a ton lighter than she was in January, these conditions will not suit her.
The Volvo 60’s - David Gotze's Indec, Andrew Short Marine and Magnavox 2UE will be keen to keep Grundig and Tokolosh honest, but the coastal tacking is tough for these boats that are designed for long ocean legs.
Certainly for the heavier boats it is going to be a long race.
Infinity III, for many years British Racing Green, is now sporting a news Safety Orange paint job, ‘easier for ferries to see,’ quipped owner Martin James
’We are 65 feet, but we are heavy, and my 17 crew are going to be in for a long race,’ he added.
Phil Dickinson, owner of the luxury Beneteau 50 Champagne on Ice commented, ‘it might be champagne sailing on Saturday night, but the fizz will certainly be gone after that.’
With the gradient offshore breeze having more south in it, navigators will be torn between their desire to make northern miles early, and the need to be on the coast to stay out of the current and position themselves for the land breezes on Sunday and Monday.
’The winner of this race on handicap will be the boat that has tippy toed northwards inside the current, found the nightly land breezes and pulled out their Jesus card at just the right time,’ commented Andrew Lygo from Getaway Sailing School. His Sydney 38, Getaway Sailing, will be part of the 14 boat Sydney 38One Design fleet.
Nigel Holman, 1993 Hobart winner, will be sailing his Sydney 38 Cuckoos Nest north. ‘It’s going to be slow but we don’t care, the Sydney 38 fleet will have a race within a race and the tactical battles will be fierce. We will all have a lot of fun sailing around each other.’
Sail-World will be providing detailed race coverage; with mid race interviews providing the news of what looks set to be a difficult tactical battle.
For more details on the boats and the race as it unfolds visit www.sail-world.com/southport