by Di Pearson
Grant Wharington has kept his super maxi Wild Thing (Qld) in the lead of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race overnight and leads the race overall.
Wild Thing leads Sydney Gold Coast 2013 fleet
At 7.00am this morning, Wild Thing was 28 nautical miles south of Tacking Point with a gap of 24 nautical miles to John Honan and Peter Millard’s Lahana (NSW) with a second Queensland entry, the V70 Black Jack (Peter Harburg) a further 4 nautical miles south.
Brindabella, the 20 year-old Jutson 80 of Jim Cooney, and Bill Wild’s Custom 55, Wedgetail (Qld), are giving chase. However it is Audi Sunshine Coast, the Welbourn 50 owned and skippered by Rod Jones (Qld) that is second overall, with Bob Cox’s DK46, Nine Dragons from Middle Harbour Yacht Club third and the Summit 35, L ‘Altra Donna (Andy Kearnan) in fourth.
Last evening, Grant Wharington said: 'We are just shy of Nobbys Beach, Newcastle in lovely conditions; bit chilly though.'
Just after 7.00am this morning, James Walker reported from the modernized 1989 built Audi Sunshine Coast, which previously represented Australia as Heaven Can Wait for Warren Johns: 'A night of snakes and ladders with great close racing between the 50 footers. Overall we are happy with how the last 12 hours unfolded.'
Queenslander Jones and his crew were struggling in a 4-6 knot north-westerly after sailing overnight in 6-10 knots 'anywhere from west-nor-west to north-east,' showing just how light and variable winds have already been in this race, as predicted by the Bureau of Meteorology pre-race.
Meanwhile, aboard Wedgetail, navigator Will Oxley said: 'Bit chilly overnight, but that was accompanied by clear skies and a star filled moonlit night.
'There were two competing breezes overnight with a light north-westerly land breeze and a stronger but further right breeze a little further offshore. We managed to find the edge of the land breeze and hang on. Just passed Seal Rocks at dawn. It’s been a long time since any of us remember seeing Seal Rocks in the daylight!'
Only one yacht has retired from the race so far; Phil and Richard Arnell’s Anger Management suffered electrical problems shortly before 5.00am this morning and were headed into Newcastle Harbour.
Today the fleet can expect variable winds again of up to 10 knots, becoming north-easterly up to 15 knots by midday. The current situation has the first yachts arriving into Southport after 8.30am tomorrow morning.
The CYCA’s proven yacht tacker system will allow family, friends and yachting enthusiasts to follow the race - and their favourite yachts - for its duration. Each yacht has been fitted with a Yellowbrick tracker that will obtain a position using the GPS satellite network, and then transmit that position back to Yellowbrick HQ using the Iridium satellite network.
Each yacht’s position is then visualised on the race yacht tracker map via http://goldcoast.cyca.com.au, or overlaid on Google Earth. In addition, the yacht tracker system also shows distance to finish line and progressive corrected time positions under the IRC, ORCi and PHS handicap divisions throughout the race.