Final four finish Sydney to Gold Coast Yacht Race

 The 384 nautical mile Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race came to an end at 03:02:44:06 yesterday afternoon when the 11.2 metre long Mortgage Choice Rumba, crossed the Main Beach, Southport finish line to rousing applause from other finishers enjoying a relaxed afternoon at Southport Yacht Club.

The crew of the Northshore 370, owned by Robert Carr, Stephanie Cook and Kerry Burke, responded with bows and fist pumping as the yacht hit the sand on approach to the Club. They may have been tired, but all were wearing happy faces after nearly four days at sea.

Mortgage Choice Rumba, from Middle Harbour Yacht Club (MHYC), had close company at the back of the race. John Blair’s Bear Necessity (a fellow MHYC member), crossed the finish line of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s (CYCA) 384 nautical mile race 32 minutes beforehand. The two were never more than a couple of miles apart for the second half of the race.

At one point, in the early hours of the morning, in a weak changing breeze, the two could not get more than 3 knots of boat speed out of their yachts and looked likely to finish after 5pm. But then a pleasant 12 knot west/nor-westerly kicked in, slowly easing through the afternoon. It was enough to propel them to the line as the official prize giving was taking place at Southport Yacht Club.

John Blair reported from his 11.5m C&C115 design: “We’ve only been doing 3 knots of boat speed this morning, it’s been very light – a bit painful – but it’s very nice out here. We hope to make the finish by just after 5.00pm.”

It was a relief to both crews when they cut two hours from their original ETA’s.

Earlier in the day, Local Hero, the modified BH36 owned by Peter Mosely from Canberra Yacht Club, and Isabella, John Nolan’s Hanse 400 from Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, finished within five minutes of each other, shortly after 8.00am.

– Di Pearson

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