Races to Flinders Islet and to Port Hacking will replace the annual Wollongong Weekend as the second last race of the CYCA’s Bluewater Pointscore, following the cancellation of a festival organised around the fleet’s arrival in the harbour.
The prohibitive cost of public liability insurance forced organisers to abandon the yachting and seafood festival. The Blue Water Pointscore fleet will now sail the 90 nautical mile course to Flinders Islet off Wollongong and return, starting from Sydney Harbour on Friday at 8pm. The Ocean Poinstcore division will race to Port Hacking, starting from the Harbour on Saturday at 10am.
Syd Fischer's Farr 50 Ragamuffin currently holds a narrow lead over Graham Gibson's Farr 46, Ninety Seven, in the IMS division from which the 2001-2002 IMS Bluewater Champion will be decided.
Fischer, already a six-time Bluewater Champion, is also leading the IRC division of the Blue Water Pointscore, for the Cape Byron Trophy.
Ed Psaltis and Bob Thomas' Hick 35, AFR Midnight Rambler, overall winner of the stormy 1998 Sydney to Hobart Race, has also relegated Ninety Seven to second place in the Tasman Performance Series PHS division, but the difference is just two points.
In the Ocean Pointscore Series, Warwick Sherman's Farr 39. Occasional Coarse Language, is leading both IMS and IRC divisions while Colin Wilson's Miss G Fuss Moment is the current PHS leader by just five points.
Also expected on the starting line on Friday evening is Sean Langman's Grundig, fresh from her line honours win in the Pittwater to Coffs Harbour Race last month, and George Snow's Jutson 80-footer Brindabella. The deciding race for the Bluewater Pointscore series is the Sydney to Mooloolaba Race beginning on Saturday, March 23.