Fifty entries have been received to-date for the Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race, some of which are novices to the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s annual 384 nautical mile pilgrimage north.
Rupert Henry sold his TP52 Fomo to defending race champion Sam Haynes (now Celestial) and has entered the Judel/Vrolijk 62, Jethou, which he recently purchased from Europe and renamed ‘Chinese Whispers’.
Built by the prominent Green Marine in the UK, the yacht has come out of the racing season in Europe where as Jethou, scored victories at Copa del Rey, Les Voiles de St. Tropez, the Maxi Rolex World Championship and Giraglia Rolex Cup. With a fully optimized race rigging package and an ultra-light carbon fibre hull built purely for speed, big things are expected from this boat.
Black Jack’s skipper, Mark Bradford, says Chinese Whispers is the boat to watch. “If Rupert and the crew have had time to sail the boat before the race, it should be the boat to beat. Boats coming out of a racing season in Europe are about as up to speed as you get.”
Meanwhile, Rob Curtis has bought into Glen Tailby’s Kerazy, having sold his Secret Mens Business #1 to a Western Australian owner. Tailby had the Ker 11.3 shipped to Australia from the UK, and if she is anything like sisterships Tow Truck and Kerisma, Kerazy should be a winner.
Previously known as ‘I-Site’, Curtis said: “The design has shown they are fast. Glenn had it refurbished and has sailed it a bit at Pittwater. We’re out to give the race a good go. I think we have a slightly better platform than Secret Mens Business, which you had to sail to the max the whole race to live up to its handicap.”
However, Curtis will be lacking the young blood he usually has along for the ride. “Nina (his 2012 Olympic match racing silver medallist daughter) and Dean (his son who has joined Oracle Team as a rigger) don’t have time to sail with their dad anymore, nor do some of the others from our Academy, so it’s us older blokes and one lady this race, ” ended the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club member.
Among the last handful of entries received by the CYCA is Mark and Greg Tobin’s modified Farr 40, After Midnight, which the brothers purchased last year and shortly thereafter contested the 2014 Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race. They finished 22nd overall, a far cry from the fourth overall and divisional second they claimed in the 2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart.
The Tobins have had a lot more experience with the former Midnight Rambler and Primitive Cool. And although their expectations may not meet their Hobart result, they are confident of beating their previous Gold Coast result as long as the conditions play ball.
“Let’s face it, it will be hard to beat our Hobart fourth – we were very pleased with that result. We were in contention to win, but were hit by that big squall on the Derwent. It sent us backwards and cost us a lot of time,” Mark Tobin said.
“We’ve had a bit more time on the boat now and we’re improving. At the moment we’re sailing in the Land Rover Winter Series – getting our crew work up to scratch,” he ended.
The annual race starts at 1300 hours on July 25 from Nielsen Park on Sydney Harbour and finishes at Main Beach, Southport.
Spectators wishing to view the start of the Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race can do so in style from the comfort of COAST, where there will be no better view than from its top deck. For details and bookings go to: http://goldcoast.cyca.com.au/spectators/
Entries for the Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race close on July 10 at 1700 hours, prompting officials to urge prospective owners to sign on now via the official race website: http://goldcoast.cyca.com.au/
– Di Pearson, CYCA media