Sport - 25th Audi Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race
A bumper fleet of 78 has entered the 25th Audi Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race, organisers said.
Commenting on the high level of entries, vice commodore and chairman of the Sailing Committee, Garry Linacre said: “It is great to have so many competitors in this year’s race, proving its popularity as a feeder race to other northern regattas such as Audi Hamilton Island Race Week.
“We have again seen a number of new boats enter — whether they are brand-new builds, first-time racers with the CYCA or new yacht owners who have updated their yachts,” he said.
The Audi Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race is the third event of the four-part national Audi IRC Australian Championship and current leader Harvey Milne’s Archambault 31 Aroona will compete in this race with Anthony Paterson at the helm. Aroona will do battle with other IRC Championship top 10 yachts including
Michael Hiatt’s Farr 55 Living Doll, Nicholas Bartels Cookson 50 Terra Firma and Howard Piggott’s Beneteau First 40 Flying Cloud.
Audi Australia’s managing director, Uwe Hagen says the company is looking forward to the start of the event, and seeing the strong number of entries, the brand is convinced this ocean race is one of the highlights of the CYCA program supported by Audi.
“There’s a strong mix of the big, fast maxis and the smaller, highly competitive yachts, which will no doubt see the final result a close call at the end of the race,” Hagen said.
“It’s also good to see that many of the yachts entered in the Audi Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race will then head up to our final event of the year, Audi Hamilton Island Race Week at the end of August,” he said.
Robert Oatley’s 100-foot super maxi Wild Oats XI, and Peter Millard and John Honan’s 98ft maxi Lahana will be the front runners for line honours, while Wild Oats X (Bob Oatley’s Reichel Pugh 66 that will be skippered by Iain Murray), will do battle with other 60-footers; Peter Harburg’s RP66 Black Jack and Stephen Ainsworth’s RP63 Loki.
The race for the IRC overall win is wide open with a strong group of 40 and 50-footers including last year’s overall winner Ed Psaltis and Bob Thomas’ modified Farr 40 AFR Midnight Rambler, Andrew Saies’ Beneteau First 40 Two True, the overall winner of last year’s Rolex Sydney Hobart, Paul Clitheroe’s Beneteau 45 Balance, Darryl Hodgkinson’s Beneteau First 45 Victoire, Rob Hanna’s JV52 Shogun, Geoff Boettcher’s Reichel Pugh 51 Secret Mens Business 3.5 and Syd Fischer’s TP52 Ragamuffin.
All eyes will be on Sydney Harbour at 1pm on Saturday, July 31, when the 384nm Audi Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race commences from a start line off Nielsen Park, then proceeds out to the heads and turns left for the Gold Coast, finishing just off Main Beach, Southport.
The CYCA’s yacht-tracker system allows members of the public and media to follow their favourite yachts throughout the race. Each yacht is fitted with an Inmarsat D+ transmitter, which automatically updates the yacht’s latitude, longitude, course over ground and speed over ground — and transmits that information via satellite and then onto the race website http://goldcoast.cyca.com.au
In addition to showing each yacht’s position, the yacht-tracker system also shows the distance to finish line, as well as its progressive corrected time position under the IRC and PHS handicap divisions.
Social networking fans can also follow the race via Twitter at http://twitter.com/asgcyr
Audi Australia together with ONE HD, Australia’s only dedicated free-to-air digital sports channel, will show highlights from the Audi Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race on Monday, August 23 at 8.30pm on ONE HD, as part of the four-episode wrap of the Audi IRC Australian Championship. — By Jennifer Crooks
For further information, contact Jennifer Crooks, CYCA Communications Officer, phone 0458 211 678 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos: At the start line of the Audi Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race; Wild Oats X taking the line honours win in the 2009 Audi Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race. Photos by Andrea Francolini/AUDI