Please select your home edition
Edition
Newport Boat Show 728x90

Audi Sydney to Gold Coast race challenge for Merit

by Ian Grant on 4 Jul 2011
’’Merit’’ - Rolex Sydney Hobart Race 2010 Howard Wright /IMAGE Professional Photography © http://www.imagephoto.com.au
Whitsunday Sailing Club Flag Officers will be in the final stages of preparation s for the annual Meridien Marinas Airlie Beach Race Week when their famed racing pennant is securely tied to the backstay of Merit Stratco Racing in Sydney.

Merit launched in 1997 to contest the Volvo around the World race and now owned and successfully raced by Whitsunday Sailing Club’s Leo Rodriguez will contest the 384 n/ml Audi Sydney to Gold Coast race starting on Saturday July 30.

Skipper Leo Rodriguez believes the now 14 year old Volvo race challenger is better suited to the longer coastal passage races and promises to become a distinct challenger for the Performance Handicap class trophy following his success in winning the prestigious trophy in the 2008 Rolex Sydney Hobart Race.

The tropical water racing crew who have proved their combined skill and seamanship over the longer Sydney-Hobart Race are hopeful of racing in a cold blast provided by the mid-winter South Westerlies.

They are aware that Merit Stratco Racing has the proven pedigree to produce her best performance in fresh and frightening spinnaker sailing winds and will need these conditions to outpace her handicap rating against their more modern rivals. As expected the crew of Whitsunday sailors are hoping for a strong wind forecast and wave surfing conditions to prevail when they set their personal escape from experiencing the Sydney chill factor.

However while life on deck will become particularly cold at night the crew will remain focused of logging the fastest passage towards the warmer climate. They will not be alone in what promises to be the most interesting race since the George Snow skippered Brindabella set the present race record of 27 hours 35 minutes three seconds in 1999.

If there is any hint of strong southerlies blowing then the Bob Oatley owned and Mark Richards’s skippered Sydney Hobart race record holder Wild Oats X1 will be chased by the Peter Millard skippered Brisbane to Gladstone race line honours champion Lahana to seriously challenge Brindabella’s 13.92 knot benchmark.

This race presents Wild Oats X1 with the first opportunity to test the recent hull modifications to upgrade her speed potential in preparation for the Sydney Hobart Race starting on Boxing Day. Interest will also focus on the pace setting performance of the Marcus Blackmore skippered TP 52 Hooligan which has dominated the results over short courses to currently lead the Audi Australian championship.

Hooligan, the former Team New Zealand Merit Cup champion and overall winner of the Brisbane to Gladstone Race over the Easter weekend, has been the star performer winning regattas in Victorian and New South Wales.

However her crew will need to repeat this form to head off the challenge from the 2010 Audi Australian champion Loki and the 2010 Meridien Marinas Airlie Beach Race Week champion Living Doll, to remain as the crew to beat when the finals are decided during the Audi Hamilton Race Week in late August.
InSunSport - NZSchaefer 2016 Ratchet Block 660x82Wildwind 2016 660x82

Related Articles

Millennium Cup- Largest fleet this century expected for 2017 regatta
A torrent of early entries to the NZ Millennium Cup 2017 signal the largest fleet may race since the turn of the century Six months out from the commencement of the NZ Millennium Cup 2017 and momentum is building faster than recent years with a series of rapid-fire early entries from Janice of Wyoming, Steinlager 2, Tawera and Antaeus. Commentators speculate this is due to unprecedented media interest in 2016’s regatta and a growing appreciation of combining racing, cruising and refit work on NZ’s shores.
Posted today at 2:48 am
CYCA Land Rover Gold Coast Race - Scallywag retires after ram explodes
The supermaxi Scallywag has retired from the 2016 Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race after a keel ram exploded David Witt, the skipper of Seng Huang Lee’s Scallywag, reported this morning the super maxi had retired from the 2016 Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race after a keel ram exploded on the super maxi as they were sailing near Smoky Cape shortly after 9am. All crew members are safe and well.
Posted today at 1:00 am
Extreme Sailing Series – Oman braced for final day epic with Alinghi
The Swiss team had an outstanding day posting six outright wins but Morgan and his Oman Air crew were never far behind. The Swiss team had an outstanding day posting six outright wins in seven races but Morgan Larson and his Oman Air crew were never far behind, finishing every single race on the podium with five second places and two thirds.
Posted on 30 Jul
British entries on podium as Clipper Race returns after 11 months
UK entries triumphed to take all three podium places in the toughest edition yet of the longest ocean race on the planet Thousands of spectators lined the River Thames and packed St Katharine Docks to welcome home over 250 crew, representing 44 different nationalities, many of whom have been at sea for eleven months racing between six continents in the only challenge of its kind for amateur sailors.
Posted on 30 Jul
CYCA Land Rover Gold Coast Race - Start video from Boatsontv
Geoff Waller of Boatsontv was on the water to capture the start of the CYCA land Rover Gold Coast Race Geoff Waller of Boatsontv was on the water to capture the start of the CYCA land Rover Gold Coast Race, which is used as a feeder for the race fleets to the popular Queensland winter regattas such as Hamilton Island Race Week. He also talks with Scallywag skipper David Witt a few days before the start of the winter classic.
Posted on 30 Jul
South Australians early casualties of Land Rover Sydney GC Yacht Race
The two entries representing South Australia in the 2016 Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race became early casualties The two entries representing South Australia in the 2016 Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race became early casualties after both sustained bow damage in separate incidents, joining a NSW yacht that was involved in one of those incidents, all three within the first half hour of the race.
Posted on 30 Jul
LMAX Exchange wins the Clipper 2015-16 Round the World Yacht Race
LMAX Exchange was confirmed last night as winner of Clipper 2015-16 Round the World Yacht Race. LMAX Exchange, skippered by Frenchman Olivier Cardin, was confirmed last night as winner of the tenth edition of the world’s longest ocean race, the Clipper 2015-16 Round the World Yacht Race.
Posted on 30 Jul
CYCA Land Rover Gold Coast Race - Images of supermaxi Scallywag
Sydney photographer Michael Chittenden filed this gallery of images from the start. The supermaxi Scallywag made her ocean racing debut in the CYCA Land Rover Gold Coast Race which got underway on Sydney harbour on Saturday afternoon. After a tight start the David Witt skippered supermaxi settled into her work and began the chase with her long standing rival, Wild Oats XI.
Posted on 30 Jul
Edgartown Race Week - Final
It was a rainy and dreary start to the day out here on Marth’s Vineyard. The racing started at 11:00. It was a rainy and dreary start to the day out here on Marth’s Vineyard. By 11:00, it became a blustery and rainy day. The racing started at 11:00 and I haven’t sailed in that much rain in a while.
Posted on 30 Jul
Nic Douglass - On the dock and on board with the 'fat bottomed girl'
Nic Douglass, caught up with the crew of the supermaxi, Comanche, after she had completed her latest mission Adventures of a Sailor Girl, Nic Douglass, caught up with the crew of the supermaxi, Comanche, after she had completed her latest mission and had chopped 27.5hrs off the trans-Atlantic Race Record for a manually powered monohull. The last time I was waiting for Comanche to arrive after achieving a goal that they had set out to achieve was a very different scene
Posted on 30 Jul