Please select your home edition
Edition
Ancasta Botin Fast40

Sydney to Gold Coast race weather will challenge crews

by Di Pearson on 30 Jul 2011
Scene at the CYCA prior to the start today. CYCA . http://www.cyca.com.au
Slow and steady will win the Audi Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race Tacticians and navigators taking part in the 2011 Audi Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race will need to keep their humour well intact if they are to survive the weather conditions that were dished up to them by the Bureau of Meteorology’s Michael Logan this morning.

At the race briefing, held at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, which hosts the event, the groans from crews were heard as Logan told those assembled: 'You will be looking at a weak breeze for the start – it won’t be more than 5 knots.'

Weather for the 384 nautical mile race, which gets underway at 1.00pm off Steele Point on Sydney Harbour today, was described by one navigator as 'most unusual.' 'It’s bizarre,' said race veteran Bruce Taylor, who owns the yacht, Chutzpah. 'I don’t think anyone really has a handle on the weather yet.

In previous years we’ve mostly had good solid breeze,' he said Sense of humour well and truly in place, Taylor added: 'We’ve brought the wrong toy with us – it’s like choosing the wrong dress. This will be your typical ‘blame game’ race. It’s going to be very light the whole way with breeze changes - so if it goes bad, we’ll be blaming our tactician and navigator – and I suspect a few others will do the same!'

The Victorian owns two yachts; a Sydney 38 and the one he will sail in this race, a Caprice 40, which is less suited to the conditions. According to the pundits, the race will go to one of the smaller boats in the fleet, such as the Archambault 31 Aroona (Anthony Paterson) or to one of the slippery TP52’s, such as Marcus Blackmore’s Hooligan or Syd Fischer’s Ragamuffin.

Renowned international navigator, Will Oxley, will be guiding another Victorian yacht, Living Doll to the Gold Coast. It is a Farr 55 owned by Michael Hiatt and some say it is one of the bigger yachts that excel in light airs, but Oxley was non-committal. 'It’s going to be a bit of a lottery and a rock-hopper,' Oxley said. 'You’ll have to know your draft well to finish this race,' added the Australian yachtsman, as a tongue-in cheek warning to all not to go to close to shore. Oxley said the race would be won or lost on Sunday night or the early hours of Monday morning: 'You’ll either being in the parking lot watching others sail through you, or you’ll be the one waving to those stuck in the lot,' he said.

Phil Eadie, a navigator of vast experience said they expect the wind to swing from west to a light nor’ easter by the start. 'We’ll be lucky to get 5 knots, but it’ll really grunt in by the late afternoon – we might even get 10 or 12 knots from the north-west,' he said laughing. 'It’s meant to be only 6 or 7 degrees tonight and the only good thing about the race for the navigator on this boat (the Beneteau 45, Victoire) is I can do my job from the warmth of a bunk!'

Victoire’s owner, Darryl Hodgkinson, said the race 'will be a bit of a squeeze. We’re hoping to squeeze into a top three place like we did in the Audi race to Newcastle in April.' According to forecaster Michael Logan, the 69-boat fleet will suffer light winds throughout the race, and even the bigger yachts, such as the Mark Richards skippered Wild Oats XI, won’t be immune. 'We’ll be rock-hopping all the way. The race could go to a bigger boat like us, or it will favour the very small boats in the fleet,' Richards said.

Whatever the case, Bob Oatley’s super maxi is armed with some of the best in the business; speed queen Adrienne Cahalan navigating and calling tactics will be Grant Simmer, who helped Alinghi to her win of the 32nd America’s Cup. 'We’ll have to wait and see. It might be a case of getting out the fishing line and doing a bit of trawling,' he added with a smile.

All eyes will be on one of the smallest boats in the fleet when round the world sailor Jessica Watson steps up to the wheel of the Sydney 38, Another Challenge. Entered in the Audi Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race by her usual skipper, Chris Lewin, Watson will share duties with him during the race. 'There are five of my young crew and the rest are Chris’ usual crew. We’ll be racing using the ‘buddy system’, so that one of his guys pairs up with one of mine.

That way, we all get better at our jobs,' she said at the CYCA this morning. Of her chances in the race, Watson said: 'This is the first time we’ve sailed together as a crew, so we’ll just be doing our best.'

For full race results visit the official race website http://goldcoast.cyca.com.au or follow on Twitter http://twitter.com/asgcyr
Insun - AC ProgramRS Sailing 660x82Naiad

Related Articles

Audi Sailing Week - TP52 Super Series – Day 3 images by Max Ranchi
Photographer Max Ranchi has provided this gallery of images from races four and five Photographer Max Ranchi has provided this gallery of images from races four and five
Posted today at 3:44 pm
KZ Racefurlers make mark on Volvo Ocean Race, GC32's, TP52's and more
KZ Racefurlers has had a busy first half of the year in 2017. KZ Racefurlers has once again been selected as the Furler of choice for the Volvo Ocean Race 2017/18. This news builds on our longstanding relationship with the Volvo Ocean Race, and we look forward to working with the Boatyard and the teams again to ensure that they have the best furling gear available to race around the world with the confidence in a strong and reliable product.
Posted today at 2:07 pm
Extreme Sailing Series™ returns to the beautiful Madeira Islands
12 two-man teams will compete in the first stage of their 2017 season, which will continue throughout the year. Alongside the main GC32 Stadium Racing action, for the first time in the Series' history, the Flying Phantom Series will take flight as part of the on-water line-up, promising a festival of foiling for locals and tourists that is not to be missed.
Posted today at 1:08 pm
A Few Rays – Moisturising, Anti-Aging Action …
Consistent moisturising sun protection has an anti-aging action Consistent moisturising sun protection has an anti-aging action Out on a boat, sailors are exposed to extreme conditions for their skin. There are UV rays from the sun, hopefully some wind if you are a sailor, and the drying effects from wet and dry cycles during the course of your day
Posted today at 9:39 am
Kiel Week - What a difference a day makes
After opening day was blessed with gorgeous sunshine and breeze, albeit shifty, Thursday was a massive contrast. After the opening day of the 2017 Para World Sailing Championships was blessed with gorgeous sunshine and a seven - nine knot breeze, albeit shifty, Thursday was a massive contrast.
Posted today at 3:37 am
Highlights from the 'Racing Forward' forum
The highlights from the 'Racing Forward' forum at the Hamilton Princess brought to you by PwC Bermuda and America's Cup The highlights from the 'Racing Forward' forum at the Hamilton Princess, Bermuda on Tuesday 20 June, brought to you by PwC Bermuda and the America's Cup. The panel featured two fantastic sailors, who also happen to be women and part of the core group from The Magenta Project, Abby Ehler and Libby Greenhalgh. I was lucky enough to be the moderator for the panel,
Posted today at 2:31 am
Audi Sailing Week - 52 Super Series – It's a difficult day for Azzurra
Winners of the day’s races were Quantum and Ran, who is currently at the lead of the event’s provisional scoreboard The Swedish team aboard Ran again showed their excellent boat speed sailing downwind and got to the first gate head to head with Azzurra. Ran managed to inch past and take the lead. Azzurra was right behind, then at the final top mark chose to split off with a gybe set.
Posted on 22 Jun
Para World Sailing Championships – What a difference a day makes
Only the Open 2.4 Norlin OD, One Person Keelboat, managed to sail, and they completed one race in variable 5-16 knot The day had a bit of everything. There were grey skies, heavy showers and no breeze in the morning. Moving into the afternoon, a sudden sunny spell was coupled with a heavy breeze, gusting up to 25 knots. The breeze declined as the afternoon played out before dropping off completely and bringing another rain shower to put an end to the day.
Posted on 22 Jun
Interviews from final day of the Red Bull Youth America's Cup
Pretty incredible racing, with the final results decided in the final race, on the final leg to the finish! Pretty incredible racing, with the final results decided in the final race, on the final leg to the finish!
Posted on 22 Jun
Rán Racing on top of 52 Super Series Roller Coaster
On day one the defending 2016 champions Quantum Racing finished rock bottom of the leaderboard, counting maximum points Today, in perfect conditions it was the turn of the world champions Platoon to have an unfortunate taste of life down in the nether regions of the fleet.
Posted on 22 Jun