Two days away from the closure of entries for the the 28th edition of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s annual Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race and the fleet currently stands at 51 yachts representing four states.
Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race - Howard Piggott’s Flying Cloud is one of nine Beneteaus competing.
'I would like to encourage all yacht owners who may be considering racing north to enter their boat over the next 48 hours,' Commodore Piggott said today. The Commodore will be competing in the race with his Beneteau First 40,Flying Cloud,with his Brisbane-based son George joining him in this first race of the CYCA’s 2013 Blue Water Pointscore Series.
Rod Jones, thetwo-time Australian IRC championand one of fourQueensland entrants, will bring hisWelbourn 50 Audi Sunshine Coastto the start line.Built to the IOR rule in Gosford for original owner Warren Johns, and launched as Heaven Can Waitin 1989, it represented Australia with some great results.
After purchasing the boat last year, Jones optimised and tweaked it ahead of its first major hit out in this year’s protracted Gosford Lord Howe Island Yacht Race. He won the PHS class after finishing third on line and is expected to be among the front runners for overall honours.
Jones will do battle with other 50 footers such as Bob Steel’s Rolex Sydney Hobart winning TP52 Questfromthe host club, Wayne Keavy’s Elliott 52 Upshot, Darryl Hodgkinson’s Cookson 50 Victoire (formerly Jazz) and Robert Date’s RP52 Scarlet Runner.
Scarlet Runnerwon her division in her first Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race in 2009 and went on to takeline honours and a new race record in the2009 Cock of the Bay race (ORCV). Date also steered his yacht to win the Adelaide to Port Lincoln race in 2010 and took the line and overall double in 2011.
Date will have other Victorian support in the shape of Bruce Taylor and his IRC 40, Chutzpah, a regular in CYCA events for over 30 years. He has amassed an incredible 10 divisional wins in the Hobart race as well as a second and third overall.
Tasmania is represented by David Taylor with his Sydney 36 Pisces. With good local results, including winning the 2010 Tasport Series, which incorporates the Launceston to Hobart race, Beauty Point to Low Head dash, and the King of the Derwent, he also won the 2009 Launceston to Hobart yacht race.
This is the first time that Grant Wharington’s 100 foot Wild Thing(Qld) will line up against super maxi Wild Oats XI and Peter Millard and John Honan’s 98ft Lahana. With the Brisbane Gladstone race its only major offshore race since undergoing modifications, including a lengthening to 100 feet, competitors and spectators will be following Wharington’s progress on the water and the yacht tracker.
An enviable group of optimised 40 footers includes nine Beneteaus, Warwick Sherman’s Ker GTS 43 Occasional Coarse Language Too and Midnight Rambler, the Ker 40 owned by Ed Psaltis, Bob Thomas and Michael Bencsik who are former winners of the race with a previous boat.
The Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race starts on Sydney Harbour at 1pm, Saturday 27July, off Nielsen Park at Vaucluse. The course takes the fleet downthe Harbour and out through Sydney Heads, before turning left towards the finish line off Main Beach at Southport,on Queensland’s Gold Coast.
Entry can be completed online until 1700 hours on Friday 12 July by logging onto the event website.