Five points of separation
The battle for the IRC Overall Winner for the Audi Sydney Offshore Newcastle Yacht Race is a tough one to call. Given the right conditions there are several yachts that could be crowned the overall winner of the race.
Syd Fischer, the current CYCA Blue Water Champion, and his crew onboard Ragamuffin have campaigned strongly throughout the summer season. Given that he is the defending champion of line honours and overall win from the inaugural Audi Sydney Offshore Newcastle Yacht Race, the spritely 81 year old will put up a strong fight for the overall win.
Stephen Ainsworth’s Loki is also another yacht to watch. Having hit the water just a week before the 2008 Rolex Sydney Hobart, Loki has performed strongly in every race she has been entered into including podium finishes in Skandia Docklands Invitational (1st) and Skandia Geelong IRC Division 1 (3rd), and Audi Sydney Harbour Regatta (3rd).
Not to be discounted are Graeme Wood’s Wot Now & Wot Yot, who have been sparring partners with Ragamuffin and Loki throughout the CYCA Summer Series 2008/09 Pointscore Series, and have put in strong performances in the Rolex Trophy, Rolex Sydney Hobart, Skandia Geelong Week and Audi Sydney Harbour Regatta.
Rob Hanna’s Cookson 50 Shogun, the lone Victorian entry, is also one yacht that should be watched with Andrew Short’s Andrew Short Marine Shockwave 5 shaping up as the line honours favourite.
There has been some movement in the Audi Sydney Offshore Newcastle Yacht Race list of entries which has resulted in Patrice Six and Krakatoa II being withdrawn from the 213 nautical mile Category 2, leaving a fleet of 24 to contest the final race of the CYCA’s 2008-09 offshore season.
Wayne Sanders, Dealer Principal, Audi Gallery Newcastle will have the honour of starting the Audi Sydney Offshore Newcastle Yacht Race, using the CYCA’s historic 19th century replica cannon, at 12 noon on Friday 27 March. A quality fleet of 24 will take to the start line just off Nielsen Park for the second race to Newcastle. The fleet will head north to a laid mark south east of Crowdy Head on the mid NSW north coast and then return back to Newcastle, finishing in the Hunter River.