With predicted 20-30 knot winds from the south to southwest for the first 24 hours, skippers are revelling in the thought that there is every chance the record of just over 42 hours could be broken. Nicorette, the 80 foot maxi owned Ludde INGVALL, set the breakneck benchmark in the first Southport to Mackay Blue Water Yacht Race in 2003.
The major battle for line honours will be between Seriously Ten, formerly Djuice, a Volvo 60 Around the World Racing boat, owned by Shaun JAMES, and Michael HIATT's Living Doll, a brand new Cookson 50, which has only recently been tried in the Sydney to Gold Coast Race.
'Just love it,' said HIATT, commenting on the weather. 'Who knows how we will go, as this is only our second race. It is going to be a very good 24 hours, and we will have a great race against Seriously Ten'
'This is going to be a very quick race,' said JAMES. 'Our boat is best at reaching angles, but we are also pretty fast with the wind right behind us. The crew and the boat will revel in this, and yes, the record is do-able.'
Last year's line honours winner, Andrew SHORT is predicting a great result on handicap.
'The weather is perfect for us,' said the second time entrant. 'We are expecting a fantastic race.' His boat this year is a Farr 40 called Club Marine ASM. His major rival will be his brother Matthew on an identical Farr 40 called Short Shipped. The brothers, each with family members as crew will be intent on sailing a tactical as well as a fast race to see who can take the prize in IRC division.
After the light winds experienced during the Sydney Gold Coast race, all skippers are looking forward to a fast run up the coast through the magnificent islands of the Capricorn Coast to the lower Whitsundays and the huge Mackay Marina.
The Southport to Mackay Blue Water Yacht Race is hosted by the Mackay Yacht Club in association with the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia (CYCA).
This year the Southport to Mackay Blue Water Yacht Race is proudly supported by the Queensland Events Regional Development Program, a State Government initiative in partnership with Telstra Country Wide.