Wayne Sanders, Dealer Principal, Audi Gallery Newcastle had the honour of firing the 19th century replica cannon at 12 noon to mark the start. The fleet got off to a good, clean flying start in a strong outgoing tide.
“I have had a wonderful morning on the harbour – it was great fun watching all the yachts prepare for the start and to then fire the cannon,” said Sanders.
Stephen Ainsworth’s Loki, Rob Hanna’s Shogun and Andrew Short’s Andrew Short Marine Shockwave 5 (below) started down the pin end of the line and got off to a flyer. Syd Fischer’s Ragamuffin started near the committee boat end of the line and also got off to a strong start.
The race out of the heads was between Loki and Andrew Short Marine Shockwave 5 with Andrew Short Marine Shockwave 5 winning the battle within 15 minutes of the start time. They were closely followed by Ragamuffin and Graeme Wood’s Wot Now.
Holding strong positions behind the leading pack were Anthony Paterson’s Tow Truck, Shogun and Peter Goldsworthy’s Getaway-Sailing.com. Last out of the heads was Phil Molony’s Papillion.
The battle with Loki & Andrew Short Marine Shockwave 5 will continue into the afternoon as they make their way to the mark off Crowdy Heads. As they head up the coast both yachts are maintaining boat speed of approx. 15 knots.