TeamVodafoneSailing hove-to in Tasman Sea gale

TeamVodafoneSailing winds up in a puff hitting close to 30kts on the Waitemata

TeamVodafoneSailing is expected to arrive in Sydney tomorrow or Saturday, after an eventful crossing where they met fifty knot gales.

The boat is currently about 350 nautical miles from Sydney.

'They are okay, they were not able to run under bare poles, so they have been hove to since approximately 11pm last night, and may be for another 24 hours,' says boat manager Patrick O’Reilly.

In an email received from the crew this morning, signed off ‘the bored lads’, a crew member said, '…we had a look out the window, it sort looks like SE, looks like we will be sitting it out for another 24hrs with the helm strapped to leeward, seems to be by far the safest mode, we tried the drogue last night but it decided to part company with us after going down the face of a wave at 10knts, and nearly buried it at 3 in the morning pitch black and blowing modest 48knts. we have been in the current mode drifting toward Sydney now making good our heading all be it, slow.'

TeamVodafoneSailing needs to be in Sydney and race ready in time for a speed attempt on the Sydney to Gold Coast course, which starts at 1pm on Saturday 30 July in Sydney. It will be the first time that TeamVodafoneSailing will meet its sistership, Sean Langman’s new Orma 60 tri, named ‘Team Australia’.

Hull and Langman plan to start at a similar time to the CYCA fleet, to sail the same course and, ultimately, to set a new course benchmark. The current course record was set in 1999 by George Snow’s, 80’ Maxi, ‘Brindabella’, sailing the 384nm in 27hrs 35mins and 3 seconds.

Once in the Gold Coast, TeamVodafoneSailing will bask in the sunshine before departing for Brisbane, where it will start again with the 348nm Brisbane to Keppel Island fleet, on Friday 5 August, also as an unofficial entrant.

The tropical island race will be followed by two glamour regattas in the Whitsundays – Airlie Beach Race Week, and Hamilton Island Race Week.

The boat’s progress, including a live www.PredictWind.com GPS tracker and live photography, can be viewed on the Vodafone Play website