A record four 100-foot yachts are preparing to take on the Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race, now sponsored by The Noakes Group, on Saturday 28 July. The race currently has 54 yachts entered.
The headline of the 384-nautical-mile race, part of the Sydney Blue Water Pointscore Series, is the rematch of Wild Oats XI and Comanche, following their famous duel in last year’s Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. Fellow 100-footers Infotrack and Black Jack are also competing in the race.
The race starts on picturesque Sydney Harbour before heading north and finishing at Main Beach, Queensland.
CYCA Commodore John Markos said the event is one of the most exciting in Australian sailing.
“The Noakes Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race is one of the most anticipated events on our calendar, close behind the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race and the Sydney Noumea Yacht Race in importance,” Markos said. “The Club has had a longstanding and very positive relationship with Noakes. This additional backing Noakes has provided, to support the Noakes Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race, is much appreciated and we look forward to working with them once again.”
The start of the race, at 1pm on Saturday 28 July, will be live streamed on goldcoast.cyca.com.au.
The Noakes Group of marine companies have supported sailing in Australia for more than 30 years. Managing Director Sean Langman has a special connection with the event, having won line honours three times in his famous 60-footer Grundig and taken out the handicap prize in 2003.
“We’re very excited to have this opportunity to build on our commitment to the sport, and to the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia,” Langman said. “As a company we’ve always had a strong connection with the offshore racing community. There can’t be many owners who haven’t put their yachts in our care at some stage.
“Personally, I’ve always enjoyed competing in the Gold Coast event. It’s a great test of tactics and sailing skill. Now this partnership with the CYCA positions the Noakes Group right in the mainstream of Grand Prix yachting in Australia. It’s a terrific initiative for us.”
From its origins as a rigging provider in 1984, Noakes has grown to include the full range of maintenance and repair services for recreational and commercial boating. It operates two shipyards – at North Sydney and Nelson Bay (Port Stephens), the heritage Sydney Harbour ferries of Rosman Cruises, and has extensive interests at Port Huon in Tasmania.
The CYCA introduced the Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race in 1986 as “the great winter escape”, taking advantage of the completion of the Gold Coast Seaway.
Most of Australia's best-known ocean racing yachts, their skippers and crews have competed at some stage including Apollo, Sovereign, Ragamuffin, Midnight Rambler, Brindabella, Wild Thing, Grundig and Wild Oats XI.