by Di Pearson
Race 2 of the CYCA’s Blue Water Pointscore Series, the Flinders Islet Race, will get underway on Sydney Harbour at 10.00am this Saturday and record-holder Loki, Stephen Ainsworth’s priceless Reichel/Pugh 63, will head the line up.
Race record holder Loki
Last year’s overall BWPS winner, Darryl Hodgkinson and his Beneteau Victoire, will not be on the start line on Saturday, so the focus will be on previous winners; Loki, which set the Flinders Islet race record of seven hours 48min 44sec in 2010 and Syd Fischer’s TP52, Ragamuffin.
Eyes will also be on the Ed Psaltis, Michael Bencsik, Bob Thomas owned Ker 40, AFR Midnight Rambler, which was not launched in time for last year’s opening race.
Following Race 1 of the BWPS, the Audi Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race in late July, Loki leads the 2012 series from Ragamuffin and AFR Midnight Rambler, which respectively finished fourth second and third overall last season.
There are some new names in the prestigious six race series this year. Two Beneteau F40’s; Ron Forster’s Ariel and Jonathan Stone/Mat Vadas’ Breakthrough (the former Chancellor), along with Rob Hoile’s Beneteau 47.7 Kaliber (formerly Pretty Fly) and James Cameron’s Hick 35, Luna Sea, will join the 19 other starters this weekend.
In PHS, both 2011 second and third overall placegetters, the Archambault A40, Papillon (Phil Molony), and Tony Levett’s Sydney 38 Eleni, are back for another tilt. However, the winning entry, NSC Mahligai, will not be a starter.
In a change to the program, the 92 nautical mile Flinders Islet Race has been swapped with Bird Island due to increased shipping traffic from Port Kembla. The start time has changed from evening to morning, which will help boat owners integrate new crew members to the boat during daylight hours.
Boat owners and their navigators attended a compulsory briefing for the BWPS at the CYCA on Wednesday evening, with the emphasis on safety and compulsory radio skeds throughout the six race series.
The Bureau of Meteorology is predicting 15-20 knot south-westerly winds for the start of the race, tending south during the morning and decreasing in strength to around 10 knots. Along the south coast, more of the same is expected.
Sunday’s conditions on and around the Harbour are expected to be variable, with a 10-15 knot north-easterly expected in the afternoon.
SAILING - Audi Sydney to Gold Coast 2012 - start in Sydney ph. Andrea Francolini RAGAMUFFIN
SAILING - Audi Sydney to Gold Coast 2012 - start in Sydney ph. Andrea Francolini MIDNIGHT RAMBLER