Clean start for the Mount Gay 40th Gosford to Lord Howe Island yacht race that got away in around 10 knots of SE breeze in Broken Bay at 0200 UTC today.
Midnight Rambler in conditions to suit
Gosford Mayor Lawrie McKinna, worked with the start crew and fired the one minute gun, with GSC Life Member and Lord Howe veteran Terry Pike as official starter for the 40th running of the Blue water classic.
The yachts faced the starter in eight - ten knots SE breeze and found some line bias to the start boat end.
This gave officials a great look at the start and an opportunity to hear a few choice words from Midnight Rambler skipper Ed Psaltis as he called up the King 38 King Billy who had arrived a little early and was attempting to bear away to run the line.
Midnight Rambler pinged off the start but soon after the defending title holder TP 52 Frantic, which had hit the middle of the line with better boat speed sailed through to take the early lead.
SEx II start code zero - Mount Gay 40th Gosford to Lord Howe Island Race
Line honours favourite Southern Excellence II took some time to get a roll on but once they deployed the new Code Zero, the VO70 started to find it’s legs and has gapped the fleet after the yachts turned the Terrigal mark.
SEx II is rolling along at 14 to 15 knots and south of the rhumb line as predicted. This pace sees them inside the 2002 race record set by the VO60 Merit.
The boats furthest to the South appear to be Frantic and Sydney- Hobart winner Victoire, who got away to a conservative start but has moved into second on line honours.
Midnight Rambler continues perform well and in conditions that suit the Ker 40 and appears to be fourth on line.