The co-owner of the yacht Shipping Central, competing in the Forrester Properties Sydney to Mooloolaba Yacht Race, Ashley Reed, collapsed and died early this evening aboard the yacht off the New South Far North Coast.
The Cruising Yacht of Australia, which is conducting the race, said tonight that New South Wales Police had advised the Club that Mr Reed, aged 50, had died despite the efforts of a trained first aid person among the crew.
"It is with deep regret that the Club has been informed of the death of Mr Reed, a keen ocean racing yachting identity who has been racing Shipping Central successfully with Michael Spies," CYCA Vice Commodore Martin James said in Mooloolaba tonight.
"From reports we have received, a Coast Guard boat rendezvoused with Shipping Central off Brunswick Heads, north of Byron Bay, early this evening and an ambulance service paramedic went aboard the yacht.
"When the paramedic went aboard the boat he pronounced that Mr Reed, was deceased.
"The CYCA and Ashley's fellow Club members extend our deepest sympathy to his wife and family, and to his fellow crew members aboard Shipping Central."
Co-skipper Michael Spies told the CYCA tonight that the crew of Shipping Central had responded immediately after Ashley collapsed and had applied first aid, as well as contacting emergency authorities. Mr Spies said the emergency authority response had been outstanding.
Vice Commodore James added that Mr Reed and Mr Spies had been successful with Shipping Central in winning IMS Division B of the 57th Sydney Hobart Yacht Race and placing third overall.