Six days out from the 2011 Heaven Can Wait regatta, being sailed on Lake Macquarie on the Saturday of the October Long Weekend, sailors off the water, are beginning to look at the weather ahead.
Meteorologists generally consider weather models beyond five days to have limited value and it will be Tuesday before weather models like GFS and CMC provide meaningful forecasts.
However some longer range forecasts indicate a Saturday morning southerly change could deliver 25-30 knots off Newcastle which would, on past experience, translate to 18-22 knots on Lake Macquarie, Australia’s largest salt water lake.
A fleet of more than 50 boats is expected for the 11am combined start of the Heaven Can Wait One Lap Dash which is a 28.5 nautical mile circumnavigation and the iconic 24 hour race, where the top boats will sail up to 160 nautical miles in the 24 hours until midday on Sunday (NSW day light saving clocks go forward at 0200 am on Sunday morning.)
If that long range forecast comes into play then the One Lap Dash Race record, set last year by Lake Macquarie's best known sailor 2011 World Moth Champion Nathan Outteridge, could come under threat.
In spite of eleven capsizes in last year’s One Lap Dash, Outteridge smashed the existing record held by the Egan 9.5 catamaran Two Tribes, completing his personal Moth Marathon in two hours, seven minutes and 31 seconds, even after going back for his hat and having stopped for a chat with his fellow Australian sailing team member Tom Slingsby mid-race.
At the 2010 One Lap Dash presentation Outteridge said he will be aiming for a sub two hour record at his next Heaven Can Wait outing.
The south westerly change will provide the power for Outteridge and fellow Moth Squad member Scott Babbage, who will be sailing Gotta Luv it Seven, Josh McNight’s Flying Hellfish and Joel Castle’s Johnny Drama.
Babbage said ‘My aim is to keep Nathan honest. On a Moth it’s pretty much ‘on edge sailing’ and on such a long course anything can happen. It will be another exciting event.’
Once again it will be an amazing starting line. As well as the Moths, there will be everything from a 505 dingy to 16 foot skiffs, a large number of sports boats right through to 50 yachts of various sizes.
After the 11am start, the One Lap Dash boats will finish their race back at Toronto, while the 24 Hour Race yachts will continue sailing through the night, finishing at midday on Sunday October 2.
At the Friday Night welcome dinner the guest speakers will be Nathan Outteridge and Will Ryan, Australian Sailing squad 470 young prospect who is currently 10th ranked 10th in the world. Both sailors are ‘locals’ from Lake Macquarie.
The two sailors will talk about their sailing careers and there will be an informal Q&A session.
Both the Notice of race and the Sailing Instructions are online now at www.heavencanwait.com.au
Boats planning to race should enter as soon as possible.
Supporters can donate to their favourite boats and crew by going to www.heavencanwait.com.au
and clicking on the 2011 List of Entries.
Clicking on the name of their chosen boat will bring up the donations page for that boat. Boats can also be searched for by the names of skipper or crew members.
For further information please go to the HCW website at www.heavencanwait.com.au