Please select your home edition
Edition
Wildwind 2016 728x90

Audi Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race fleet settles into a rhythm

by Di Pearson on 30 Jul 2011
The fleet spread out on the Harbour in the light breeze - Audi Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race 2011 © Andrea Francolini / Audi http://www.afrancolini.com
Audi Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race, organised by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, started from Sydney Harbour today, Saturday 30 July.

Even though it was only a light five knot nor-easterly wind that got the 69 yachts away at 1.00pm, the battle was no less exciting, as Anthony Bell’s Investec Loyal and Bob Oatley’s Wild Oats XI set the scene for a thrilling chase to the finish of the 384 nautical mile race.

The fleet bunched at the committee boat end of the line, with the two 100ft super-maxis the most leeward of the boats along with Loki.


Investec Loyal, with Billy Merrington at the helm, and to windward of the Mark Richards skippered Wild Oats XI, had the upper hand, but as the two 100 footers headed north, a tactical decision to sail Loyal close to South Head did not pay off in the CYCA hosted race.

Once the two were around the corner and heading north, Wild Oats XI, with Adrienne Cahalan and Grant Simmer in the afterguard, was in its comfort zone at the head of the fleet.

Just before the two turned at North Head to aim for Southport, the north-easterly picked up to approximately eight knots, but it still took the two leaders nearly half an hour to exit the Harbour.

Behind them, with just the 98ft Lahana (Peter Millard/John Honan) separating them from the super maxis, a similar stoush was taking place between three TP52’s – the Marcus Blackmore driven Hooligan chose to aim at North Head, while Syd Fischer’s Ragamuffin had her bow pointed at South Head and David Pescud’s Wot Eva chose a route between the two. As they exited the Heads, Wot Eva just trailed Hooligan, one of the race favourites.

Just after the start, Principal Race Officer Denis Thompson advised that seven yachts had prematurely started the race; Living Doll, Shogun, Loki (the reigning Audi IRC Australian champion), Balance, NSC Mahligai, UBS Wild Thing (Geoff and Pip Lavis), Wizzard (Mick Hinchey) and Merit (Leo Rodriguez), which was at the tail end of the fleet.

All eventually returned to the start line, which cost them vital time, but with a race that is predicted to be a stop-and-start affair, the seven should get their chances to fight back.

The difficulty was trying to line-up with the outgoing tide and the incoming wind to be taken into consideration – a delicate balancing act, best described the CYCA’s Vice Commodore, Howard Piggott, who commented from his Beneteau F40, Flying Cloud: 'I’m like Nelson – I’m going out with the tide.'

As the bulk of the fleet neared the Heads, the breeze dwindled away to almost nothing on the western side of the Harbour and caught out the Volvo 60, Southern Excellence (Andrew Wenham), which was almost becalmed, along with Corinne Feldmann’s Stampede, which was doing anything but!

At 1.30pm Denis Thompson reported four whales had been sighted just off North Head and asked the fleet to keep an eye out and stay clear. It is migration time and like the yachts, the whales are headed north to warmer climes.

At 3.00pm Wot Eva’s David Pescud reported: 'We’ve seen a few whales and we’re getting roughly 10 knots from the north-north-east.'

The fleet will now settle into a rhythm as the yachts wend their way up the coast and crews prepare for the cold night ahead.

The 2011 Audi IRC Australian Championship will go to air on ONE HD from Saturday 3 September at 6:00pm. This year's series will comprise of eight 30 minute episodes. The TV series is produced by Audi Australia and Fuzzy TV. Network Ten sports presenter, Rob Canning, is the host of this year's series and will be joined by expert commentators, Will Hagon and Neville Audi Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race website

Zhik Dinghy 660x82Ancasta Ker 33 660x82Mackay Boats

Related Articles

Bella Mente Racing starts 2017 season with major victory at RORC C600
Bella Mente Racing starts 2017 season off with major victory at RORC Caribbean 600 Bella Mente Racing, led by owner/driver Hap Fauth, launched its 2017 campaign season with a major victory this week, winning IRC Overall, CSA Overall and CSA 1 at the RORC Caribbean 600 in Antigua; The team took home coveted RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy for the IRC win as well as the Bella Mente Trophy, the team’s namesake award, for being first IRC yacht to finish that is wholly manually powered.
Posted today at 4:54 am
Cool drone footage of Dongfeng Race Team on the water
Dongfeng is back in the water and training is well underway for the returning Chinese campaign. Dongfeng is back in the water and training is well underway for the returning Chinese campaign. Stunning drone footage of the re-fitted Volvo Ocean 65 has been released as the team hit the water off the coast of Lisbon.
Posted today at 3:52 am
49th Transpac early entry deadline approaches on March 1st
Planning for the 49th edition of the Los Angeles-Honolulu Transpacific Yacht Race is well underway Planning for the 49th edition of the Los Angeles-Honolulu Transpacific Yacht Race presented by the Los Angeles Times and organized by the Transpacific Yacht Club is well underway, with 52 monohull and multihull entries from nine nations already signed up for this biennial 2225-mile ocean race, one of the world's oldest having first been sailed in 1905.
Posted today at 3:36 am
18ft Skiffs - JJ Giltinan Trophy - Replay coverage - Race 1
Live coverage of Race 1 of the JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiffs from Sydney harbour - sailing in the wind and rain Replay of Race 1 of the JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiffs from Sydney harbour - sailing in the wind and rain
Posted today at 3:25 am
Hat-trick all around for Phaedo^3 in this year Caribbean 600
Lloyd Thornburg and crew of Phaedo^3 have gained not only line honours each time but also three wins in their class. Lloyd Thornburg and the crew of his MOD70 Phaedo^3 for the last three editions of the RORC Caribbean 600 have gained not only line honours each time but also three wins in their class.
Posted today at 3:16 am
Vendee Globe - Conrad Colman's thoughts on his incredible performance
Colman was the first boat in the history of the race to finish using only natural energy, no fossil fuels After finishing 16th in the Vendee Globe, crossing the finish line under the jury rig which had carried him the final 720 miles of his race since he was dismasted, Conrad Colman was greeted by a hero's welcome into Les Sables d'Olone. The first New Zealander to complete the race he was also the first boat in the history of the race to finish using only natural energy, no fossil fuels.
Posted on 24 Feb
More winners announced in RORC Caribbean 600
As dawn broke on day five, crews who had finished the race were beginning to arrive back in Antigua. At Dawn on the fifth day, the leading Class40s were approaching the finish. Throughout the race, the battle in the class had been intense, with three yachts taking the lead at various points along the course.
Posted on 24 Feb
Vendee Globe - Conrad Colman finishes under jury rig
Colman constructed and stepped a remarkable jury rig which has allowed him to sail the final 740 miles of 27,440nm race New Zealander Conrad Colman wrote a new chapter in the storied history of the Vendée Globe when he crossed the finish line of the eighth edition of the non stop solo round the world race under a makeshift jury rig.
Posted on 24 Feb
Vendée Globe – Romain Attanasio takes fifteenth place
French skipper Romain Attanasio, sailing Famille Mary-Etamine du Lys, took 15th place in the solo race around the world French skipper Romain Attanasio, sailing Famille Mary-Etamine du Lys, took 15th place in the non stop solo race around the world this morning (Friday 24th February) when he crossed the finish line at 1006hrs UTC.
Posted on 24 Feb
Vendee Globe - Conrad Colman finishes under jury rig - First images
New Zealand solo sailor Conrad Colman has finished the Vendee Globe race under Jury rig. New Zealand solo sailor Conrad Colman has finished the Vendee Globe race under Jury rig. Here are the first images from the finish in Les Sables d'Olonne
Posted on 24 Feb