Slow start predicted for Audi Sydney to Gold Coast

Rob Webb, Senior Duty Forecaster, Bureau of Meteorology, announced the conditions that the fleet of 80 yachts may experience over the race period. For the start of the Audi Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race at 1pm on Saturday 26 July, light nor’westerly winds of approx 5-10 knots are forecast. The outlook for Saturday appears to be mostly fine with a maximum temperature of 18C.These winds will continue to be light into Sunday tending from the nor’west early and then NNE later in the morning. Boats may be able to pick up additional breeze offshore around the Hunter region on Sunday morning. In the evening the winds will move back to the west and possibly SW.

The unseasonable high that Sydney experienced yesterday has already moved through, with weather returning to average winter temperatures. By late Monday afternoon, an expected low will intensify and provide moderate to strong southerly winds for those boats at the back of the fleet. 

With 80 boats in the fleet, the start line will be laid from Chowder Bay to Nielsen Park a distance of 7.5 cables long, which is equivalent to ¾ mile. Racing will commence at 1pm on Saturday 25 July with Craig Cairnduff, Dealer Principal Audi Centre Sydney, firing the historic 19th century replica cannon.

For line honours contender Andrew Short’s Pricewaterhouse Coopers the race will be a dog fight between the bigger boats of the fleet. “There will be different sections of the race course that will favour each of us vying for the line honours win (Loki, Wild Oats X, Black Jack and Lahana). There will be tough beats and some interesting reaching conditions on the way up the coast,” said Andrew.

For the Wot Now team, they will be without owner Graeme Wood, but will be guided up the coast by skipper Peter Seary. Seary will be joined by watch captain Stuart Bannatyne who has just returned from successes in the Transpac race and Volvo Ocean Race onboard the winning yacht Ericsson 4, Chris Nicholson, watch captain on Puma Racing, and Mike Dunstan. “Our goal is to try for an IRC Overall win and we are in good shape to do that. The conditions are okay but we are hoping that we don’t get too much rain. Joining Stuart, Chris and Mike is our regular crew of experienced offshore racers” said Pete. “We’ll also be keeping a close eye on all the other 50 footers in the race and also our fellow Wot team members onboard Wot Yot, which is crewed largely by members from the CYCA’s Youth Sailing Academy,” concluded Pete.

Also one not to be discounted is the 50 year old Sanyo Maris, owned by Tiare Tomaszewski and Ian Kiernan. With the predicted conditions taking a similar pattern to that of the Gosford Lord Howe Island race, which Sanyo Maris won last year, a possible handicap win could be on the cards. “The team has been out practising our manoeuvres three times a week from 7am-8am for the last couple of weeks. We have a strong game plan and if we do our best and get everything right, then there may be a surprise winner on the podium in the Gold Coast!” said Ian Kiernan.

Each competing yacht has been fitted with a tracking device and can be monitored constantly via Yacht Tracker on the official race web site http://goldcoast.cyca.com.au. Line honours positions and handicap results will be updated every 10 minutes until the last boat in both races crosses the finish line.

The sites will again feature Google Earth, an interface to the planet which combines satellite imagery with a model that can be zoomed, spun and tilted. Information on how to access Google Earth can be found on the Yacht Tracker page of the race websites.

For a full list of Audi Sydney Gold Coast entries go to http://goldcoast.cyca.com.au/yachts.asp?key=26

The race can be tracked by going to: http://goldcoast.cyca.com.au

German luxury carmaker, Audi, has achieved a record result for the first six months of 2009. Up more than 10% in a market that is decreasing by 16%, this record achievement follows on from 54 straight months of growth for the brand in Australia. Audi is now the fastest-growing premium carmaker in Australia. In 2009, Audi celebrates its 100th birthday with centenary events being held around the world to mark the occasion. In Australia, Audi will celebrate its 100 years with the opening of the world’s largest showroom, the Audi Lighthouse, at Victoria Park in Sydney. Audi is also the largest sponsor of competitive yachting in Australia, and a major partner of the CYCA for key regattas including the Audi Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race, Audi Sydney Offshore Newcastle Yacht Race and the Audi Winter Series. The company is also the principal sponsor of the CYCA’s Youth Sailing Academy.

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