On board the oldest boat in the fleet, Mike FREEBAIRN's (AUS) Queensland based MDBS Koomooloo, the crew of eight is managing to successfully combine good performance with decadence.
Tonight the current IRC Division 4 leader is enjoying a north west land breeze that is carrying them north to Cape Byron in good time. 'We have started to open up some of our refreshments,' said FREEBAIRN this evening, resigned to fact that the conditions for this year's race were tailor made for the bigger boats.
Amongst the older boats in the fleet, the 1968 built MDBS Koomooloo is performing extremely well having taken many miles out of Kevin O'SHEA's (AUS) S&S 34 Stormy Petrel, their yardstick for this race, and the 83 year old skipper John WALKER (AUS) and his Peterson 33 Impeccable.
While the handicap results will not be finalized until tomorrow morning, DAVID's Reichel/Pugh 66 Wild Joe looks set to take home the IRC Overall trophy ahead of ROBERTS' Quantum Racing and Bill WILD's (AUS) Queensland boat Wedgetail.
Given the pre-race forecast of a southerly blast up the coast and fading breezes on the mid New South Wales coast after the first 24 hours, it was always going to be a big boat race for IRC honours. The story is the same in the PHS division with CYCA Commodore Geoff LAVIS' (AUS) Inglis 50 UBS Wild Thing, one of the largest boats in the PHS fleet, the provisional overall winner of this division.
Between 2100 local time tonight and 0700 tomorrow morning, 18 yachts are expected to finish the Sydney Gold Coast Race leaving only Impeccable and Stormy Petrel to complete the race, both due around lunchtime tomorrow.
Southport Yacht Club will continue to host the end of race celebrations tonight and into tomorrow before the official trophy presentation takes place at the Club either Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday morning.