Racing at Middle Harbour Yacht Club’s 34th Sydney Short Ocean Racing Championship (SSORC) and Seven Islands Race is set to get away on time, despite what appears to be atrocious conditions on Sydney Harbour and offshore surrounds, according Denis Thompson, the Principal Race Officer for the regatta.
From early this morning a ferocious north-easterly wind, gusting to 30 knots and blowing chains off dogs was accompanied by pelting incessant rain under grey skies.
Thompson said the SSORC Passage Race for the grand prix IRC and PHS series would start on time off Shark Island at 12.00pm and the Seven Islands Race would start from host, Middle Harbour Yacht Club (MHYC) from 12.30pm.
The Passage Race will finish in Watsons Bay after heading off the start and to a mark offshore, while the Seven Islands Race would take the fleet from the start to Shark Island, Clark Island and Fort Denison, then to Goat, Cockatoo, Snapper and Spectacle Islands with the finish back at MHYC.
'Winds are abating as we speak,' Thompson said shortly before 10.00am as he continued to monitor the Bureau of Meteorology forecast.
'Already it’s dropped to 15-18 knots and the wind is slowly clocking left, so I expect it should be out of the north-west by midday. The forecast is saying we’ll get another band of rain, then it should clear completely by afternoon – but having said that, the weather gods have not been on my side this week,' he said.
The SSORC is the opening summer season offshore regatta, and as such, has already attracted some of the country’s best racing yachts.
Full results, photos at Sydney Short Ocean Racing Championship (SSORC) website