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Festival of Sails 2020 - December LEADERBOARD

Five still sailing as Noakes Sydney Gold Coast reaches finale

by Cruising Yacht Club of Australia 29 Jul 23:17 PDT 30 July 2019
The Noakes Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race finish - as well as the start - is a sight to behold. A handful of boats are still to finish the 2019 race. © Cruising Yacht Club of Australia

Five yachts are closing in on the Noakes Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race finish line at Main Beach, though the last in the fleet still has more than 100 nautical miles to sail, putting them into Southport around lunchtime, tomorrow, Wednesday 31 July based on their current speed.

Most other competitors will have left the venue for their home port, or be further north preparing for the Friday start of the inaugural Lendlease Brisbane to Hamilton Island Yacht Race.

Sailing past Yamba this morning on day four, Joanne Harpur, skipper of the Tasmanian Jenneau Sunfast 36 Spirit of Freya, passed on her congratulations to the other competitors, "We won't make the presentation, instead we are seeking wind and dodging whales."

The Taswegians are enjoying the warmer winter climate though a stronger southerly airstream due today along the NSW coast should remind them of home. Other than missing the trophy presentation, a second 'crisis' has developed. "The skipper is out of Milo, and we have rationed the Ginger Nuts, which are suddenly much more popular. There are two each left," Harpur advised.

Hoping to make it into the Gold Coast Broadwater this afternoon, before the 25-knot southerly hits the backmarkers, is the resplendent S&S 34 Komatsu Azzurro.

Always good for some late-race humour, skipper Shane Kearns didn't disappoint when contact was made at 1030hrs today: "I'm in my bunk sailing hard. The weather's beautiful with a sou'wester blowing. We've got the spinnaker and staysail up, and we are running down Chancellor, who are only six nautical miles ahead.

"There are a lot of whales - unfortunately we aren't in a TP52 so they seem twice as big. In fact, I think they think we are a whale; we are so slow moving."

On Komatsu Azzurro's attempt to score another decent corrected-time result in the Noakes Sydney Gold Coast, the opening race of the Audi Centre Sydney Blue Water Pointscore Series, which they won overall in 2015 and 2017, Kearns shared: "The first night was the killer - it was the only forecast that was 100 per cent right, and it allowed the big guys to get into a great groove. Everyone gets a turn; we've had ours."

Gerry Cantwell's Victorian Marten 49 Carrera S, from Sandringham Yacht Club, is the third and latest retirement from the original 76 Noakes Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race starters, due to time constraints.

Earlier in the race, Wild Oats X claimed line honours, with Envy Scooters taking the overall win.

goldcoast.cyca.com.au

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