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8 April 2003, 09:44 am
Wet and Windy Forecast For Mooloolaba Race
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Sydney to Mooloolaba Race

The fleet starting the FKP Limited Sydney to Mooloolaba Race tomorrow at 1.00pm from Sydney Harbour has been advised by the Bureau of Meteorology to pack their wet weather gear.
At last night's official race briefing for the 469 nautical mile race that has attracted a fleet of 44 yachts, including three Queensland entries and many first timers in this event, skippers and navigators were told to expect a wet race from the start on Wednesday through to the weekend.

The Bureau is expecting fresh north-easterly breezes up the racetrack, with a low currently developing over the Hunter Valley possibly exerting some influence over this forecast later in the week.

A forecast south-easterly change due on Saturday is welcome news for the smaller boats as a quick run to the finish line should put some of them in contention for handicap placings.

"It's going to be a damp race," said Bureau forecaster Milton Steer last night. "It would have been lovely to have started a couple of days ago," he pondered.

Julie Hodder, navigator on the Volvo 60 Magnavox 2UE, was smug about her position on board the boat that will keep her largely dry for duration of the 'rock hopping' race up the New South Wales east coast to Queensland's Sunshine Coast.

"My navigation table is looking good," she said last night. "Apart from the rain, I'm pleased with the forecast because going to windward is better for the big boats - we can play follow the leader."

Julie Hodder and Olympic sailor Jamie Wilmot will form part of the 14-strong crew aboard Magnavox 2UE for its first FKP Limited Sydney to Mooloolaba Race.

Both recently returned from Malaysia where they finished at the top of the Racing Class division of the inaugural Royal Langkawi International Regatta, crewing with Australian owner Peter Ahern aboard his Pacific 50 Yo!

Other international sailors competing tomorrow include round-the-world sailors Tom Braidwood, Genevieve White and Anthony Merrington, America's Cup sailor and designer, Ian Burns, and Team New Zealand sailmaker Jeremy Smith, crewman on Matt Allen's Farr 52 Ichi Ban.

The quality of crew parallels the fleet quality with many new boat owners preparing to test their endurance in a long offshore race, and many champions of the sport vying for silverware in the long-running eight race pointscore series that finishes with this race.

Amongst the new boats is James Neill's The Cone of Silence, the brand new Sydney 38, Run to Paradise, John Stuckey's Sunfast 37, UCAN'TTAKEITWITHU, Ed Psaltis and Bob Thomas' Northshore 369, AFR Midnight Rambler, and Ichi Ban, which was launched just prior to the 2002 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.

Regulars in this event that are well-placed to finish with a Bluewater or Long Ocean Pointscore Series trophy include Hobart overall winner Quest (Bob Steel), Sting (Terry Mullens), Ragamuffin (Syd Fischer), Pippin (David Taylor) and Chris Bowling's Redrock Communications.

The quest for line honours will be hard-fought between George Snow's Brindabella, the record holder in this event, and the 60 footers including Grundig (Sean Langman), last year's line honours winner, and the two Volvo 60s Magnavox 2UE and Merit (Ian Treleaven). Brindabella's race record is 44 hours 01 minute and 43 seconds set in 1994. Given the strong upwind conditions forecast, a race record is highly unlikely this year.

The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia aims to bolster the enthusiasm for radio position reporting by the > competitors in this year's FKP Limited Sydney to Mooloolaba Race with the help of a revived award.

The Club recently announced that it would reintroduce the Golden Voice award, to be judged by Derek and Jeanine Barnard from Penta Comstat based on the performance of the operator and the performance of radio equipment during the twice-daily position reports.

Mooloolaba Yacht Club is expecting the first arrivals late Friday evening or early Saturday and they are preparing to turn on the hospitality the crews look forward to each year.

The most recent withdrawal from the race is Geoff Smith's Kictatinalong, putting the fleet size at 44 for the start tomorrow. Geoff intends to cruise north in company with the fleet.

A final weather briefing will be held at the CYCA tomorrow morning at 8.30am.

Competitors List

Sail Number Name Owner Designer
8338 AFR Midnight Rambler Bob Thomas/Ed Psaltis Northshore 369
500 Antipodes Greg Newton Beneteau 47.7
7878 Aspect David Pescud Lyons 52
5802 Austmark Gunther Schmidt-Lindner Lyons Cawse 46
5985 Balmain Experience Tony Williams NSX 38
5444 Bobsled Paul White Steinman 66
C1 Brindabella George Snow Jutson 75
8848 Broomstick Ray Wallace/Michael Cranitch Custom 66
5984 Champagne On Ice Phil & Nada Dickinson Beneteau 50
MY2 Cuckoos Nest Nigel Holman Sydney 38
6198 De Light Nick Delaine X442
6037 Eureka Robert Robertson Sydney 60
MH84 Expresso Phil Darling X362
8833 Fitness First Sting Terry Mullens Farr 50
A99 Grundig Sean Langman MBD 66
8880 Ichi Ban Matt Allen Farr 52
MH106 Impeccable John Walker Peterson 34
5474 Infinity III Martin James Farr 65
R1000 Intercall Ausmaid Alan Quick Farr 47
5950 Komatsu St Malo Shane Kearns Northshore 38
8383 Krakatoa Rod Skellet Young 31
MH888 Magnavox 2UE Peter Sorensen Volvo 60
8679 Merit Ian Treleaven Volvo 60
MH9 MRZ Phillip Rowe Jarkan 38
2999 Obsession Andrew Lygo Sydney 38
8008 Occasional Coarse Language Warwick Sherman Cookson 12
9407 P&O Nedlloyd David Beak/Michael Spies Beneteau 40.7
533 Pippin David Taylor Farr 37
AUS6606 Quest Bob Steel Nelson/Marek 46
AUS70 Ragamuffin Syd Fischer Farr 50
8333 Redrock Communications Christopher Bowling Hick 30
RQ1123 Rum Jungle Charles McCart Swarbrick S125
HI38 Run To Paradise Michael Butler Sydney 38
242 Sea Jay Scot Wheelhouse Bashford 41
5879 Sea-Change Michael Belakhov Sydney 36
6188 Strewth Geoff Hill MKL 49
6073 Swish Steven Proud Sydney 38
MH1 Tara Robert Reynolds Lyons 43
8699 The Cone of Silence James & Jenny Neill Super 30
5884 The Dreamtime John Woodruff Pacific 50
M6 Tow Truck Anthony Paterson Mumm 30
MH442 Toy Box Ian Box X442
6701 UCAN'TTAKEITWITHU John Stuckey Sunfast 37
2557 Witchdoctor Rum Consortium Davidson 42

Lisa Ratcliff
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