PUBLISHED 31 MAY 2012 16:50
On for young
Sydney to Gold Coast race attracts a broad field of entrants.
Entries for the 27th edition of the Audi Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race are open and speculation of possible winners is already building. At this point 28 owners have signed on for the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s (CYCA) annual winter pilgrimage.
The race will start on Sydney Harbour at 1pm on Saturday 28 July. The course will take the fleet out through the heads, before turning left towards the finish line off Main Beach at Southport on Queensland’s Gold Coast.
One of the youngest yachts in the fleet, and one that is attracting attention around the CYCA, is Brannew – Chris Bran’s Beneteau First 40. Launched in February, Brannew will make her offshore racing debut in the 384 nautical mile race to the Gold Coast.
Bran’s chances are bolstered thanks to an ongoing relationship with his sailmaker. “Ian Short of Ian Short Sails offered to join me to help campaign the boat, bringing with him his extensive knowledge in producing optimised sails for Beneteau yachts.
“Ian's long term crew have also joined the boat, along with a few of my own long term crew from my previous boat. We’re having a great time in the Audi Winter Series and are looking forward to campaigning the boat right through to Hobart,” Bran confirmed.
Also joining the fleet will be Love and War, Simon Kurt’s famous Sparkman and Stephens 47, launched in 1973 for his late father Peter. The experienced three-time Hobart overall winner warmed up by taking line honours in the Audi Winter Series Great Veterans Race three weeks ago and is looking to expand the trophy cabinet further.
Brindabella still holds the 13 year-old race record of 27 hours, 35 minutes and three seconds. Jim Cooney and his crew will take her north once again this year, hoping that the 19 year-old’s record is broken by nobody but themselves.