Home » Sailing » Sydney Gold Coast Race: five races in one

Sydney Gold Coast Race: five races in one

  •  (Photo by Windward pub)
Sydney Gold Coast Race: five races in one

Rod Jones and his Audi Sunshine Coast team very clearly set out to win and that is what his team has achieved, taking out the prestigious Division 1 IRC and ORCi in the tough 384 nautical mile Sydney Gold Coast Race.

Finishing in the early hours of yesterday morning Jones said he had his fellow challengers within sight throughout the race and “often within metres”.

It was a slow race for the 47-boat blue water fleet. The top boats took just over two and a half days to complete the coastal hop, but it was a delighted and tired Jones at the finish line.

“Mission accomplished and a result of great effort from the team aboard. There were a few breakages and some evil wind gods notwithstanding. The race was maybe the hardest I’ve done physically and mentally, at least for a few score years. Sunday night was particularly evil conditions, ” Jones said.

Buddina’s David Turton was navigator on the line honours winner, the 100-foot Wild Thing. He described the 384 nautical mile race as testing for everyone.

“We had five races in one race. We had five starts. We smashed it out of the harbour leaving them all behind. By the first morning we were 30 odd miles clear. Then we had to sit so they could come up and we could start another race with them. Then we got away from them, but then we had to sit and wait for them to catch up again so we could start another race with them. Then we had to wait at Byron and then again at Point Danger.

“It was a bit of stop and starting. It was very trying in terms of where you wanted to go and how you wanted to position yourself because you just knew you were going to get flogged. You just had to wait until something happened before you got moving again,” Turton said.

It wasn’t until Wild Thing had finished the race and was about five miles north of Southport, on their way towards their home-base in Brisbane, that they caught the wind ridge and finally got 16 knots of easterly for a sweet sail home.

By Tracey Johnstone