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23 February 2005, 11:53 am
Australia's Fastest 50-60 Footers Line Up
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Sydney Mooloolaba Yacht Race
Sydney, Australia

The competition in the 50-60 foot range in this year's Sydney Mooloolaba Race promises to be fierce with the likes of Geoff ROSS'S recently optimised Judel Vrolijk 52 Yendys, Matt ALLEN'S champion Farr 52 Ichi Ban and Steven DAVID'S Reichel/Pugh 60 Wild Joe amongst the entries.
This will be the first Sydney Mooloolaba Race for David's Wild Joe, one of the fastest 60-footers in the world, which was forced out of the 2004 Rolex Sydney Hobart Race with electrical problems before backing up for the Strathfield Pittwater to Coffs Harbour Race in early January.

Yendys also retired from the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race and skipper Geoff ROSS is looking forward to a heavy upwind race, this time in calmer waters.

'This is one of the most interesting races on the offshore sailing calendar and it will give us a chance to sail the boat in flatter waters, unlike the last Hobart Race,' said Ross. 'The closeness between us and Ichi Ban will also add a bit of extra spice,' he added.

Giving Yendys plenty of pepper won't be the only thing on Matt ALLEN'S mind for this race. With his Farr 52 Ichi Ban, the CYCA's 2003-4 Ocean Racer of the Year is currently in contention for his first Bluewater Pointscore win on IRC and possibly PHS.

Ichi Ban is the clear leader on IRC with 23 points separating it from Gunther SCHMIDT-LINDNER'S Austmark (356) and Ed PSALTIS' AFR Midnight Rambler (328). In the Tasman Performance Series, John WOODRUFF and Eric ROBINSON'S Seriously TEN is a real threat with just 3 points separating the Volvo 60 and the Farr 52.

Making its return to ocean racing in the 469 nautical mile race which starts Wednesday March 16 will be Grant WHARINGTON'S former Wild Thing, now called Martingale. New owner David DICKER hasn't given the green-hulled 83-footer her head yet, up until now preferring to race her in the confines of Sydney Harbour.

Another entry is David CURRIE'S stately Lady Godiva from Victoria, a 60-foot sloop that was fully restored to its current glory in 1997.

CYCA sailing manager Justine KIRKJIAN is predicting a fleet of close to 40 for the annual rock hopping race north to the beautiful Queensland Sunshine Coast.

This year competitors will receive the usual warm welcome from the Mooloolaba Yacht Club, which has recently been renovated to allow a separate function area called the 'Sydney Mooloolaba Lounge' for sailors to enjoy the post-race celebrations 24hrs/day.

Entries for the Sydney Mooloolaba Yacht Race should be submitted to the CYCA Sailing Office by 2 March, 2005. The Notice of Race is available from event website via the link below.

Lisa Ratcliffe (As Amended by ISAF), Image: © Daniel Forster/Rolex
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