Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race entries top 50

Secret Mens Business

Entries in the Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race have topped 50 and officials from the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia (CYCA) remind prospective competitors that entries close in 17 days’ time on Friday 8 July.

This year’s fleet comprises some of the fastest yachts on the planet, mingled with some old classics, one-designs and the latest in design. Among the more sophisticated boats are eight TP52’s – and it is anyone’s guess as to which will bear the most fruit.

Will it be Ichi Ban (Matt Allen) or Geoff Boettcher’s Secret Men’s Business from South Australia, which has been producing the goods locally, or the 2015 Rolex Sydney Hobart winner, Balance (Paul Clitheroe). Or will Celestial, owned by Sam Haynes who recently engaged Sean Kirkjian and a new look crew, shake the others up?

Brenton Fischer is keeping the family name alive by entering Ragamuffin, the TP52. If their Sydney Hobart performance is any indication, Ragamuffin, which initially finished second overall, but was demoted to 38th following a protest, should be among the front runners for overall honours.

There are newer TP52 players keen to make their mark, among them Rob Dulieu who has placed the tried and tested Sean Langman in the skipper’s role on RKO. Although new to the class, Langman’s experience, ranging from super maxis to the 9 metre Maluka and 18 foot skiffs, will hold him in good stead.

Geoff Boettcher says from the current crop, that Ichi Ban will be the class benchmark.

“Ichi Ban is the boat to beat, and Balance could make a good showing. Some of those boats or owners are unknown quantities though, so one of the others could surprise, who knows,” the South Australian yachtsman says. “We’ve had to do some modifications to our boat to be accepted into the race, so Secret Mens Business has been prepared and upgraded. By rights, we should be in front of the other TP52’s.”

Boettcher, who won the 2016 South Australian IRC Championship, Port Lincoln Race and its associated Race Week, continues, “We’ve sailed our boat a bit longer now, so we should be in front of our TP rivals and we’re interested to see how we compare with Ichi Ban.

“Outside of the TP’s, other boats such as Concubine (Jason Ward’s new Mills 45 from South Australia), the two canting Cookson 50's (Victoire and Pretty Fly III) and the V70’s (Black Jack and Giacomo) will also be in our sights. Results will very much depend on the conditions.”

Matt Allen says: “It’s a TP52 extravaganza, so there’ll be a lot of boat-on-boat action. It’s one of those races where you get great running and reaching conditions.”

Ichi Ban competed in last year’s race shortly after Allen purchased it, but it was Gordon Maguire who skippered the yacht while Allen competed in the Transpac Race on Ragamuffin.

“I’m looking forward to coming back after missing last year’s race. We’ve made a large number of small modifications to Ichi Ban to tweak it,” the Yachting Australia President finishes.

The Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race starts at 1300 hours on 30 July off Nielsen Park, Vaucluse. It is the first race of the CYCA’s Blue Water Pointscore and heralds the start of the northern circuit of races and regattas.

Spectators wishing to view the start can do so in style, as COAST will again be at the start line of the Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race. For details and bookings go to: http://goldcoast.cyca.com.au/spectators 

Online entry and Notice of Race are available at the official race website: http://goldcoast.cyca.com.au/competitors/online-race-entry/

– Di Pearson, CYCA media

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