What was promisingly looking like a fast run up the coast in tomorrow’s Brisbane to Keppel Tropical Yacht Race has been scratched by a high pressure system hovering over the race course.
Principal Race Officer Denis Thompson forecasts a light wind race from Moreton Bay to Keppel Bay on the Queensland Capricorn Coast and suggests the 29 crews lining up for the start at 1100hrs on Thursday July 30, 2015 take extra food and water in case they are at sea longer than anticipated.
“We expect a gentle start then light south-easterlies,” said Thompson. “If the high moves away it could let new breeze in… the conditions are very similar to the last few years; it’s typical for winter and crews should provision adequately.”
After the 1100hrs start the fleet can expect favourable tide for a few hours to assist them out of Moreton Bay, and then the slow grind begins. Conditions may pick up around Fraser Island.
Sydney based skipper Bruce Foye is this afternoon still recovering from a slow Sydney Gold Coast race, including being marooned off Port Macquarie for eight hours with his newest boat called The Goat, this time a Rogers 46 he purchased with Sebastien Bohm. “I was just starting to think about the weather for the next race, I’m still getting over the last one!” said Foye on the road to Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron to meet his boat and delivery crew.
For his maiden Brisbane to Keppel race Foye says the light air will suit what was Sam Haynes’ former Celestial, as long as it’s steady. “We’ll go well as long as there aren’t holes in the wind and we stay out of any current. It sounds like a spinnaker run up to Keppel; we’ll go light-handed with only seven or eight crew.”
Foye was in the Sydney 38 one design class for eons, but now he’s had a little time to get his head around upsizing he says he loves the bigger boat. “It’s a great machine, and it’s already shrunk in size!”
The Goat will compete against Sam Haynes’ new Celestial, a JV designed TP52, for the handicap spoils.
The 348 nautical mile tussle in mostly sheltered waters is predicted to take the likely frontrunner Black Jack around 34 hours averaging 10 knots, putting the 70-footer and its Queensland crew at the finish in Keppel Bay, south of Yeppoon, close to 9pm on Friday evening, July 31. “We’ll finish after the sun’s gone down,” said skipper Mark Bradford today.
Based on the gentle forecast the larger boats in the mixed fleet will complete the course during the early hours of Saturday morning, August 1, 2015 and the remainder throughout the day.
This evening there is a mandatory race briefing at 1830hrs at RQYS.
Matt Percy’s Beneteau First 44 Alacrity now won’t make the start line due to engine problems, leaving the New South Wales and Queensland entry list at 29.
Each yacht will carry a Yellow Brick tracking device and can be followed throughout via the official tracking page, as well as on devices once the app called YB Races is downloaded.
– Lisa Ratcliff