Wild Rose and Midnight Rambler, two past winners of the Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, will compete in the Hempel 38th Gosford to Lord Howe Island Yacht Race. The small but high quality fleet will start from Broken Bay at 1300 hours (1.00pm) this coming Saturday, 29 October.
Wild Rose will be skippered to Lord Howe Island by prominent Cruising Yacht Club of Australia member Roger Hickman, who was co-owner when the Farr 43 won the 1993 Sydney Hobart on IOR handicaps.
Midnight Rambler, a little 34-footer, survived horrendous winds and seas in the Tasman Sea to be overall IRC handicap winner of the 1998 Sydney Hobart Race while the 43-footer Wild Rose, then called Wild Oats, won the IOR division in 1993.
Former dinghy and trailable yacht owner James Cameron, a member of Drummoyne Sailing Club, better known for its strong fleet of 16-foot skiffs, bought Midnight Rambler less than a year ago and this will be his first long ocean race as a skipper. Midnight Rambler is returning to racing after languishing on a mooring in Melbourne for several years.
The Hick 34 is also a past handicap winner of the Gosford to Lord Howe Island Race, taking top honours the year after she won the 1998 Sydney Hobart when owned by Ed Psaltis and Bob Thomas.
Biggest yacht in the fleet is the 21-metre Steinman-designed The Stick, (formerly Broomstick) skippered by Richard Christian from the CYCA, while the oldest and only representative of the Gosford Sailing Club is Polaris of Belmont, skippered by Chris Dawe.
Polaris, a Cole 43 was built at Gosford in the early 1970s and contested the inaugural race to Lord Howe Island in 1974. There is no exact record of how many Lord Howe Island Races she has contested over the past 37 years, but she has sailed in 26 Sydney Hobarts, scoring several division wins, as she has in the Gosford to Lord Howe Island Race.
Also in the fleet is Kym Butler’s Archambault 12 One for the Road from the Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club and Frantic, Michael Martin’s Sayer 12, from Lake Macquarie Yacht Club.
New South Wales Police Minister Mike Gallacher will officially start the Hempel 38th Gosford to Lord Howe Island Yacht Race from the police launch Nemesis in Broken Bay this Saturday, 29 October.
From the start line the fleet will sail up the Central Coast to round a mark off Terrigal before setting a north-easterly course for Lord Howe Island, 414 nautical miles across the northern Tasman Sea.
Ten minutes later a fleet of Gosford Yacht Club yachts will set sail in a short ocean race to the Terrigal mark and return and 1330 (1.30pm) will see the start of the GSC Broken Bay Regatta for inshore racing yachts, including International Etchells. Further up the coast, at Ettalong, the club has organised a regatta for off-the-beach boats, including Lasers, Fireballs and A-class catamarans.
Gosford Sailing Club website