Only Jonathan Stone’s 34ft yacht Illusion (NSW) remains at sea this morning and her arrival will bring the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s 26th Audi Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race to a close.
Competing yachts continued to arrive in Southport throughout the night and Southport Yacht Club was full to the brim with yachties reliving the race and comparing notes on where each found the ‘parking lots’ and how many whales they counted on the way north, with congratulations thrown in to those who were successful in reaching the top of the scoreboard.
Stampede, Corinne Feldmann’s Inglis 37, and Orion Blue, Steve Capell’s Elan 37, finished the race at 2.41am and 3.45am respectively this morning. Illusion, a Davidson 34 design, is estimated to finish after 2.30pm today and is sure to get a big reception from the crews still in town. All three yachts are from NSW.
Overall and divisional winners will receive their trophies at the Southport Yacht Club prize giving at 11.00am this morning. As the overall winner, Living Doll (Michael Hiatt) has won Division 0, while Division 1 has gone to Syd Fischer’s Ragamuffin. Division 2 was won by Darryl Hodgkinson’s Victoire after trading places throughout the race with second placed Exile (Rob Reynolds).
CYCA Vice Commodore, Howard Piggott, has taken out Division 3 with Flying Cloud, while the smallest boat in the fleet, 31ft Aroona, (Anthony Paterson), won Division 4.
Ragamuffin also picked up the trophy in the ORCi division from Victoire and Nick Bartels’ Terra Firma from Melbourne. PHS - 1 went to Future Shock (Craig Ellis) and PHS – 2 was won by Wave Sweeper (Morgan Rogers). Another Challenge (Chris Lewin), with round the world sailor Jessica Watson aboard, won the Sydney 38 Division.
The Audi Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race is the penultimate event in the Audi IRC Australian Championship, and Audi Hamilton Island Race Week, from 19-27 August, will decide the winner in this close series. In IRC Class A, Hooligan (Marcus Blackmore) leads Loki (Stephen Ainsworth) by one point and race winner Living Doll (Michael Hiatt) by three points.
Class B is led by Victoire, by five points to Rob Reynolds’ Exile, with Paul Clitheroe’s Balance in third, a further four points behind. Neither Reynolds nor Clitheroe were able to make the Audi Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race, but left their yachts in the capable hands of their regular crews.
With Illusion still at sea, Class C is yet to be confirmed, but the boat to beat is the 2008 Audi IRC Australian Championship winner, Peter Sorensen’s The Philosopher’s Club.
Audi Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race results here