Cruising Yacht Club of Australia will start the 30th Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race, an event that is second only in status to the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race among long ocean races conducted by the Club.
The CYCA introduced the Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race in 1986 as 'the great winter escape', taking advantage of the completion of the Gold Coast Seaway. Extensive harbour works funded by the Queensland Government had opened up an all-weather entrance at the Southport bar to deep keel yachts, large pleasure craft and fishing trawlers.
Since then the 384 nautical mile race has attracted fleets of between 70 and 80 yachts each year, with entries coming mainly from New South Wales and Queensland, but also from Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and New Zealand. In 1997, a record fleet of 86 boats took part.
Most of Australia's best-known ocean racing yachts, their skippers and crews have competed at some stage, with names like Apollo, Hammer of Queensland, Sovereign, Brindabella, Condor of Currabubula, Sydney, Wild Thing, Grundig, Wild Oats XI on the honour roll of Line Honours winners.
The race marks the start of the Club's sixth month Blue Water program which is regarded as an important stepping-stone for owners and crew to gain vital offshore racing experience in the lead-up to competing in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.
As an offshore race, the 384 nautical mile course is very demanding, requiring experienced helming skills, first class sail handling and good tactical navigation decisions. Apart from variable winds, in direction and strength, the East Australian Current plays a significant role in decision making as the yachts sail up the NSW North Coast to the Gold Coast of Southern Queensland. At times, it is very much a "rock-hopping" race as yachts hug the coast to avoid the southerly current.
We are very honoured to be providing the CYCA with a tracking solution once again. Each competing vessel will have a YB3 tracker installed onboard. The trackers are pre set to wake up at regular intervals to collect and send data through the Iridium satellite network. With total global coverage it means that loved ones at home can always check on the progress of the fleet or just an individual vessel with a few clicks of a mouse.
For more information on this race please visit the official website.