by Rob Kothe
Hundreds of sailors from around Australia will tonight take their clocks forward, for daylight saving on a moonless Lake Macquarie north of Sydney.
Blake Middleton, Bob Diamond, RVCP Swansea, Shaun Lewecki HCWYC Commodore, Leigh Buckland,Cancer Council NSW,Mark Cherrington & Phil Yeomans HCWYC- 2008 Heaven Can Wait Yacht Race)
It’s the annual Heaven Can Wait 24 hour Yacht Race, which started at 12 noon todayand will finish at 1pm tomorrow. Sailors have come from West Australia, Queensland and Victoria for this lake sailing classic.
Heaven Can Wait Yacht Club Commodore, Shaun Lewecki, a cancer survivor, started the race in 2006.
At this morning’s race briefing at the Royal Motor Yacht Club Toronto he reminded the fleet they should remember that many times in life they might sail into the darkness but dawn would come, just as it would in this race.
Lewecki said he and all cancer survivors were heartened by the enthusiasm with which the sports boat and trailerable sailing community had embraced this charity event.
He commented that next year a fleet of more than 100 boats could grace the Lake.
The race can be viewed in REAL TIME on the Internet. Race positions will be shown on the www.HeavenCanWait.com.au site, following the Ezitrak links.
The fleet of almost 50 boats headed south out of Toronto Bay at 12 noon, into a 10 knot south easterly.
Clive Kennedy's catamaran Two Tribes soon stretched away from the fleet, flying a hull. Steve Armours new Corsair 24 Kape Cara was close behind. As she closed on Mannering Park mark Peter Hewson's Sydney 41 Wallop Bashford was well placed as was Kim William's Melges 32 Rock n' Roll, ahead of Darren Cooney’s Farr 40 Inner Circle.
The fleet is now running north under spinnaker back up past the eastern side of Pulbah Island, into Belmont Bay and north towards Speers Point, before heading back to Toronto for the start of another 31 nautical mile circuit of the lake.
The overall race winner could complete up to six laps of Lake Macquarie by 1pm tomorrow.
Results from the One Lap Dash and progressive lap times from the 24 Hour race will be published as the race unfolds.
As the fleet headed north Two Tribes was well ahead at the Belmont mark, followed by Wallop then the Wayne Izzards Melges 32 Flyblown. Behind her was her twin sister, Kim Williams Melges 32 Rock n' Roll with the Bob Cowan's Dora Creek boat, the red hot Stealth 8 Stealthy.