The wild winds and pounding seas that have caused havoc for Queensland's southern coastal beaches in the past week have given way to light breezes, calm seas and the likelihood that George SNOW will celebrate the X anniversary of his 1994 record run.
While the boats have lengthened to super maxis and the budgets have increased accordingly, the Jutson 79 Brindabella, which was built more than a decade ago, still holds five Cruising Yacht Club of Australia records including the Sydney Mooloolaba (44 hours 01 minutes and 43 seconds) and the Sydney Gold Coast Yacht race records.
While owner George SNOW is expecting a difficult race because of the light conditions, he is looking forward to the prospect of holding out the giant Victorian super maxi Skandia for the race record, at least for this year.
Kenn BATT from the Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting E/NE winds of 10-15 knots for the start on Wednesday at 1.00pm from Sydney Harbour.
He expects this breeze will ease into the evening and be replaced by a land breeze of 5-10 knots followed by a 10-15 knot SW/SE breeze the following afternoon in the Coffs Harbour vicinity, before the predominant day sea breeze and night land breeze pattern settles in.
Navigators can also expect a south running current of 2-3 knots between Coffs Harbour and north of Seal Rocks and some rain activity late Thursday and Friday.
Geoff ROSS is also not phased by the light forecast as Yendys is optimized and configured for these conditions and a race plan is in place to accommodate light winds.
"We will just have to work harder,"
said Ross, who is lining up for his first Mooloolaba Race with his new Judel Vrolijk 52 and his regular crew including David BLANCHFIELD, Tristram ELDERSHAW and Richard ALLANSON from North Sails.
"This race has the potential to be more tactical than the Sydney Hobart Race and it can take longer to complete if the breeze fades. I just hope there isn't a big tail wind after we finish,"
he said, referring to the scenario of the smaller boats once again pipping the larger boats for the prized handicap placings, as they did last year.
There has been another withdrawal from the FKP Sydney Mooloolaba fleet, the Western Australian entry Ice Fire, which was sold in Melbourne last week. This leaves a fleet of 41 for the start on Wednesday.
Fleet positions and handicap placings will be updated continuously throughout the FKP Sydney Mooloolaba Yacht Race via the official race web site at the address below.