Audi Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race, organised by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, starts from Sydney Harbour at 1pm on Saturday 30 July.
Brindabella’s 12 year old Audi Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race record of 27 hours 35 minutes 43 seconds, looks safe for another year after Michael Logan from the Bureau of Meteorology delivered the weather forecast to 140 competitors at the official race briefing, conducted this evening at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia.
Logan, the Bureau of Meteorology’s Manager NSW Severe Weather Services, announced the conditions that the fleet of 69 yachts may experience over the race period. For the start of the Audi Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race moderate north to north easterly winds of approximately 10-15 knots are forecast. The outlook for Saturday appears to be mostly fine with a maximum temperature of 20C.
Light to moderate northerly airs will feature throughout the race and as crews approach the NSW/Queensland border the breeze will shift to the south east. 'A highly tactical race,' was how Michael Bellingham from Loki described the forecast conditions this evening.
'It will be a case of being in the right place at the right time. The big question is whether to roll the dice and go offshore to try to find some breeze or stay inside to benefit from the land breeze,' Bellingham added.
Loki’s owner, and defending Audi IRC Australian Champion, Stephen Ainsworth also added 'We could see 0.0 knots on the wind instruments whilst we have our Code Zero up!'
CYCA Navigator of the Year for 2010 Will Oxley will step aboard Michael Hiatt’s Farr 55 Living Doll as navigator. 'It will be a lottery picking the land versus the sea breeze!'
Making her offshore racing debut onboard Howard Piggott’s Beneteau First 40 Flying Cloud, will be 19 year old Josephine Roper. She is a member of the CYCA’s Youth Sailing Academy, developing her skills through the various match racing training squads. Roper also races on a B14.
'I started sailing on Flying Cloud about six months ago with not much big boat experience. The crew have taught me a lot and I’ve also completed my First Aid and SSSC course. We’ve also trained on the boat with all the safety gear, storm sails and reefing systems.
'I’m just looking forward to getting to the start line and concentrating on making the boat go fast!' Roper said.
Roper is currently studying Civil Engineering at Sydney University and is the President of the University Sailing Club. 'The leadership and sailing experience offered to me in the YSA has undoubtedly contributed to my being able to undertake this university role,' she added. The CYCA’s Youth Sailing Academy is also sponsored by Audi Australia.
Withdrawals from the fleet since the close of entries include EZ Street and The Stick.
Racing will commence at 1pm on Saturday 30 July, from a start line at Steele Point, with Joe King, Dealer Principal Audi Centre Sydney, firing the historic 19th century replica cannon to send the fleet north. The 384 nautical mile course takes the fleet from the start in Sydney Harbour, out through Sydney Heads before turning left to head to the finish line off Main Beach at Southport, Queensland.
The CYCA’s proven yacht tacker system will allow family, friends and yachting enthusiasts to follow the race and their favourite yachts for its duration. Each yacht will be fitted with a Yellowbrick tracker that will obtain a position using the GPS satellite network, and then transmit that position back to Yellowbrick HQ using the Iridium satellite network.
Each yacht’s position is then visualised on the race yacht tracker map via the website
or overlaid on Google Earth. In addition, the yacht tracker system also shows distance to finish line and progressive corrected time positions under the IRC, ORCi and PHS handicap divisions
The 2011 Audi IRC Australian Championship will go to air on ONE HD from Saturday 3 September at 6:00pm. This year's series will comprise of eight 30 minute episodes. The TV series is produced by Audi Australia and Fuzzy TV. Network Ten sports presenter, Rob Canning, is the host of this year's series and will be joined by expert commentators, Will Hagon and Neville Wittey. Audi Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race website