by Tony Evans
The 39th Hempel Gosford to Lord Howe Island Yacht Race gets underway in Broken Bay at 1pm on Saturday 6th April 2013. At the weather briefing, held at the GSC Thursday night, the Bureau of Meteorology’s Mick Logan delivered a vastly different forecast to that predicted last weekend by some experienced weather men.
Wild Rose - Hempel Gosford to Lord Howe Island Yacht Race 2013
It now appears that the 2013 race fleet is looking at a slow Southern Tasman Sea crossing with light and variable East to NE winds early in the race.
Andrew Wenham, skipper of the leading line honours contender VO70 Southern Excellence II says that they are now considering likelihood of a time around 48 hours for the 416nm event, which would be well outside the 10 year old race record. Wenham also suggests that some of the smaller boats may finish as late as Wednesday and finding the likely overall race winner might now be a lottery.
However, if the back half of the fleet are assisted by a southerly change this may bring some of the smaller boats into overall handicap contention.
One skipper who was smiling at the conclusion of the weather briefing was Roger Hickman who suggests that the new forecast could suit he and the inform Wild Rose. Hicko has enjoyed considerable success of late with the veteran Farr 43, originally built for Bob Oatley and launched as Wild Oats in 1993.
Wild Rose’s latest Category One race achievements include wins in category in the past 2 Sydney-Hobarts and an overall IRC win in the last Lord Howe run in October 2011. The defending title holder is looking for 4 Cat Ones on the trot and back to back Gosford to Lord Howe races if all falls into place for Wild Rose.
Hickman added that if he does manage a result this week he will be dedicating the effort to his old mate Ian ‘Stripey’ Grant who sadly passed away last week.
The Race Committee also send their sincerest condolences to the family of yachting journalist Ian Grant, who was a friend of the Lord Howe as he was to the greater yachting community .
To follow the 2013 G2LHI Race, please visit the Gosford Sailing Club website where a link to the live tracking page can be found.
Tracking is again provided by Yellowbrick and this year sees the inclusion of an app for smart phones and tablets, giving followers the opportunity to watch the fleet in real time on the go.