Audi Sydney Offshore Yacht Race entry deadline drawing near

Jostling for position at the start of last years race - Audi Sydney Offshore Newcastle Yacht Race
Audi Sydney Offshore Newcastle Yacht Race entries are steadily flowing in but, competitors and yacht owners now have less than 10 days to submit an entry.

The 213 nautical mile race will commence at 12 noon on Friday 8 April from Sydney Harbour, taking the fleet to a laid mark around 20 nautical miles south east of Crowdy Head before the yachts head for Newcastle and the finish in the Hunter River.

Entries close on Friday 25 March at 1700hrs with the Notice of Race and online entry available here.

One of the newest boats in the fleet will be Anthony Dunn’s Reichel/Pugh 42, Equinox II. Purchased last April, Equinox II will make her ocean racing debut, with Dunn having spent the last 12 months tweaking the boat to his liking. Dunn will sail under the burgee of the race organiser, the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, where he is also a member of the board.

Stephen Ainsworth’s Loki currently holds the race record of 15h-57m-53s, which she set in 2009. The Reichel/Pugh 63 is also the current leader of the CYCA’s Blue Water Pointscore (BWPS), which the Audi Sydney Offshore Newcastle Yacht Race is the final race of the seven-race series.

Ainsworth holds an eight point lead over Sydney plastic surgeon Darryl Hodgkinson’s Beneteau First 45 Victoire with Syd Fischer’s TP52 Ragamuffin holding onto third place a further five points adrift of Victoirein the BWPS.

The Tasman Pointscore (PHS) and Cape Byron (ORCi) series will also wrap up at the conclusion of the Audi Sydney Offshore Newcastle Yacht Race. Greg Zyner’s Radford 12, Copernicus, holds a seven point lead over Victoire in the Tasman Performance Series, with Hugh Torode’s Beneteau First 40.7 Shepherd Centre in third, a further five points behind.

Syd Fisher’s Ragamuffin holds onto a six point lead in the Cape Byron series from Colin Woods’ Cookson 50 Pretty Fly III, with Copernicus in third a further two points behind.

Other entrants for the coastal race include Dennis Cooper’s Sydney 36CR Amante, Bruce Dover’s Warwick 44 EZ Street, Rod Skellet’s Pogo 40 Krakatoa II, Tony Kirby’s X-41 Patrice Six, Andrew Wenham’s Volvo 60 Southern Excellence, Bruce McKay’s Sayer 12 Wasabi and Roger Hickman’s Farr 43 Wild Rose.

Cruising Yacht Club of Australia commodore Garry Linacre urged yacht owners to enter this fast-paced race north.

'As the CYCA’s summer offshore program comes to a close, we encourage yacht owners to enter the final event on our summer ocean racing calendar,' Commodore Linacre said.

'It’s also a great opportunity for owners to race their boats north rather than cruise, should they be participating in the Yachting NSW IRC Championship in Port Stephens, which commences at the conclusion of the Audi Sydney Offshore Newcastle Yacht Race,' he said.

The race finishing partner for the Audi Sydney Offshore Newcastle Yacht Race, Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club, is looking forward to hosting the fleet in early April 2011.

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