Entries have now come to a close and the provisional entry list has been announced for the Mount Gay 40th Gosford to Lord Howe Island Yacht Race, which gets underway Saturday 5th April in Broken Bay.
For 2014, the quality of entries has held up, but unfortunately due to the lack of moorings at the finish, the fleet has been restricted to just 11 entries.
This is disappointing for the Gosford Sailing Club race committee which has worked hard to improve fleet numbers during the past two years and whilst there are 16 LHI Board moorings plus two sponsor moorings in the lagoon, seven of these are unsuitable to boats with draft deeper than 1.6 metres.
However, pleasing for the club is that all 11 entrants will be contesting the Premier IRC division and there are some very competitive boats engaged.
2013 Hobart winner Victoire, Midnight Rambler, Exile and last year’s winner Frantic would split early favoritism for an overall win according to Race Director Geoff Jollow, but he reminds followers that anything can happen in the Blue-water Classic.
'The Lord Howe is a true Cat 1 Ocean passage race and boats not only need to be sailed well, but the tacticians must pick the most out of the wind and currents' Jollow said.
When recalling the result last year, Jollow added that the race was decided based on the course and strategy sailed by the eventual winner TP52 Frantic.
'As often is the case it will be anyone’s race and I wouldn’t be surprised if the winner isn’t confirmed until the last few boats finish'.
As well as the 11 racing for the overall IRC prize, eight will also be contesting the ORCi and PHS categories and every entrant will be a chance to take home some silverware.
However, it is as much about the destination as it about the race as Lord Howe Island is arguably the most spectacular place to finish an ocean race in Australian waters and this is what entices competitors to return year after year.
And per tradition, when racing a Mount Gay regatta all competitors will be presented with a prized red cap as reward for their accomplishment when they finish. The full provisional entry list is as follows
Southern Excellence II – VO70, Andrew Wenham
Frantic – TP52, Mick Martin
Victoire – Cookson 50, Darryl Hodgkinson
Ocean Affinity – Marten 49, Stewart Lewis
Exile – DK46, Rob Reynolds
Ticket of Leave – Beneteau 40.7, Matthew Prentice
Midnight Rambler – Ker 40, Bencsik-Psaltis-Thomas
Copernicus – Radford 40, Greg Zyner
The Goat – Sydney 38, Mitchell Gordon
King Billy – King 37, Phil Bennett
Local Hero – Sydney 36, Peter Mosely
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