Line honours contenders in the shape of Peter Harburg’s Black Jack and Anthony Bell’s Perpetual Loyal have joined a growing list of entries for the 2015 Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race which re-boots the offshore racing calendar and northern circuit regattas each year.
Black Jack, the Juan Kouyoumdjian designed V70 formerly known as Telefonica, will not only be out to beat Bell’s 100 footer, also designed by ‘Juan K’, but will again aim to win the elusive overall trophy in this 30th edition of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s race.
Black Jack’s skipper says there are a number of reasons the Queensland boat and her crew keep coming back for the 384 nautical mile race.
“It’s part of the circuit and the numbers are always good, so good competition is always on the cards,” Bradford said today. “The race has become part of the furniture and we wouldn’t miss it.”
If conditions suit, the Queensland North Sails head says he is feeling confident they will have a good showing for line and handicap honours, having finished third on line for the past two years and second overall in 2014. Harburg’s previous Black Jack, an RP66, finished second on line and second overall in 2012.
“In last year’s Hobart, Loyal was just five miles ahead of us when she retired. We are continually updating Black Jack, so we feel we are getting closer to the 100 footer,” Bradford said.
“Light air will favour us, but you have to remember we are 70 feet and they are 100. Having said that, we’re always working to improve our light air performance, something we are doing again right now.
“We’re constantly updating the boat in every way; new sails etc., so we are closing the gap. We’re looking forward to the race; it’s a rare opportunity to check ourselves out against the 100 footers and other big boats – and the main overall contenders,” Bradford finishes.
Perpetual Loyal will be the only 100 footer on the start line this year, as the open race record holder, Wild Oats XI, and Syd Fischer’s Ragamuffin 100 are preparing to contest the USA’s Transpac Race in July.
To-date, 36 entries have been received for the Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race, representing NSW, Queensland and South Australia. Among them is last year’s overall winner, Sam Haynes with his newly purchased TP52, Celestial.
Noted sports boat sailor, Pierre Gal, has entered his modified Inglis 47, Dolce, while She, the Olson 40 now owned by Queenslander Philip Bell, will represent the race finisher, Southport Yacht Club. Rolex Sydney Hobart winner and 2014 Ocean Racer of the Year, Roger Hickman, has also entered his 30 year-old Wild Rose.
The Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race starts at 1300 hours on July 25 from Nielsen Park on Sydney Harbour and finishes at Main Beach, Southport.
Online entry and Notice of Race for the Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race are available via the official race website: goldcoast.cyca.com.au/
– Di Pearson, CYCA media