At 1300hrs today (Sydney time), TeamVodafoneSailing will line up against Sean Langman’s Team Australia in Sydney, for what could be an epic duel all the way to Southport, Queensland.
Conditions were very light, and expected to stay that way for much of the 384 nautical mile race.
The challenge is the first time that TeamVodafoneSailing has met another Orma 60 on the racecourse, and is run by the Australia New Zealand Trimaran Association, newly formed to run this event and, all going well, others like it.
The giant trimarans are starting near Rushcutters Bay in Sydney Harbour, a half mile behind the fleet that is competing in the Audi Sydney to Gold Coast Race, run by the CYCA. The current course record in this event was set in 1999 by George Snow’s, 80’ Maxi, ‘Brindabella’, sailing the 384nm in 27hrs 35mins and 3 seconds.
'For the big boats this will be a two day race,' says boat captain, Patrick O’Reilly. 'In these conditions, Wild Oats and Investec Loyal, should have water on us, but we will have a great race against Sean’s Team Australia.'
Once in the Gold Coast, TeamVodafoneSailing will bask in the sunshine before departing for Brisbane, where it will start again with the 348nm Brisbane to Keppel Island fleet, on Friday 5 August, also as an unofficial entrant.
The tropical island race will be followed by two glamour regattas in the Whitsundays – Airlie Beach Race Week, and Hamilton Island Race Week.
The boat’s progress, including a live GPS tracker, speed and wind data, and regularly updated photography, can be viewed on the Vodafone Play website www.play.vodafone.co.nz
. TeamVodafoneSailing is also supported by Line 7, Seatrade, Fusion, Harken, Fineline, B&G, Steinlager, Predictwind and Wilde Media.