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Newcastle Bass Island Race start

by DJ Munro 12 Oct 09:22 PDT 12 October 2018
Hugh Ellis' RP51 currently leads the chasing pack after a clean start in the Newcastle Bass Island Race © Hamish Hardy

2100: Comanche has once again led the fleet out of Sydney Heads after the start of the Newcastle Bass Island Race, The third event in the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia's (CYCA) Audi Centre Sydney Blue Water Pointscore (Audi Centre Sydney BWPS) series. A clean start saw 28 yachts make for the open ocean, before heading northwards to their first mark-rounding off Stockton Beach some 64 miles beyond.

Jim Cooney & Samantha Grant's super-maxi flew to the front of the fleet, however, all yachts were underway well, with Hugh Ellis' RP51 and Matt Allen's Botin-designed TP52 Ichi Ban leading the chasing pack. Matt Donald & Chris Townsend's TP52 Gweilo, as well as Sam Haynes same-design Celestial are also well-placed, shaping up an almost-inevitable battle of the ultra-competitive TP52 class.

Further back in the pack, current Audi Centre Sydney BWPS champion Tony Kirby's Ker 46 Patrice started well and maintains a good position, holding their own against larger 52 and 51 foot yachts. Seb Bohms Rogers 46 Smuggler and the Helsal 3 Syndicate's Adams 20 are currently battling it out, a mere 0.1 nautical mile off each other's beam.

The Audi Centre Sydney BWPS is the most prestigious series organised by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia (CYCA) and is widely considered the pinnacle of blue water racing in the southern hemisphere. Starting with the Noakes Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race in June, and climaxing with the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, the 'Everest' of ocean racing, on 26 December this and every year.

You can stay up to date with this race, and every race of the series right here on the new Audi Centre Sydney Blue Water Pointscore series website. This year as well, for the first time in history, Yacht Tracker technology has been expanded throughout the series, with live results appearing roughly three hours after the start signal sounded.

With Comanche currently zooming along at 16 knots, in a recorded 15 knots of easterly wind, it will be an exciting race to watch unfold. Stay locked on the Audi Centre Sydney Blue Water Pointscore series website, use and follow #AudiCentreSydneyBWPS on social media, and join us on this Newcastle Bass Island Race journey.

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