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  • Noakes Sydney Gold Coast DAILY UPDATES

Noakes Sydney Gold Coast DAILY UPDATES

Noakes Sydney Gold Coast DAILY UPDATES

Noakes Sydney Gold Coast DAILY UPDATES

Saturday 29 July 1500hrs

A fleet of 57 boats enjoyed better conditions than originally forecast as the start of the 2023 Noakes Gold Coast got underway at 1300hrs this afternoon.

A light NE seabreeze of 6-11kts had the fleet chugging along & the first boats were out the Heads in just over 20 minutes.

Not surprisingly, the only 100' maxi, John Winning Jr's Andoo Comanche, was first to reach open water, followed closely by the Johnston brothers URM Group (skippered by Marcus Ashley-Jones), David Griffith’s Whisper and Seb Bohm’s Smuggler (skippered by Tim Davis). The first two-handed boat out of the heads was James Murchinson & James Francis on Avalanche.

It looks like the fleet are somewhat undecided about the next legs with some sticking close to shore whilst others have already headed outside the rhumb line to search for stronger breeze. Others have hedged their bets. It's a choice often faced in the NSGCYR & correctly assessing the benefits of better wind over adverse current a key factor in race outcomes.

Best wishes to all for a safe trip north.

Saturday 29 July 2100hrs

Nine hours into the race & the bigger boats have already put some distance on the fleet.

Andoo Comanche - Start of Noakes Sydney Gold Coast 2023. Andrea Francolini

John Winning Jr's Verdier/VPLP 100 Andoo Comanche is just shy of Port Stephens over 10NM ahead of the Johnston brothers' Maxi 72 URM Group, with David Griffith's JV62 Whisper, David Gotze's RP63 No Limit & Stephanie Kearns' Humphreys 54 Active Again in pursuit.

URM Group - Start of Noakes Sydney Gold Coast 2023. Andrea Francolini

On IRC Overall standings, the same boats feature - but with the first two places reversed.

The next pack is made up of the seven TP52s, with bragging rights currently with Mark Spring's Highly Sprung.

In PHS, David Watson & John Turnbulls' Beneteau First 45 Luna Blue (RPAYC) leads Paul O'Rourke's Sydney 40 Mako (NCYC), Kevin Whelan's Beneteau First 45F5 Reve (CYCA), Ryan Cush's X-412 Modern Lexi (CSC) & The Culprit Syndicate's Inglis/Jones 39 Mod She's the Culprit (LMYC).

IRC Two-Handed has the Sydney 36CR Philospher (David Henry & Steve Prince) leading the Hick 40 Avalanche (James Murchison & James Francis) & the Jones 42 Pac Man (Michael Bell & Mario Ruel).

Sunday 30 July 0630hrs

The fleet has progressed well overnight & Andoo Comanche is presently 40NM E off Tacking Point (Port Macquarie) with 212NM to the finish. She is doing 12.4kts & has averaged 10.4kts to date.

There has been no change to the top Line Honours standings. URM Group is 27NM further back, Whisper a further 17NM.

Smuggler has overtaken Active Again with a stream of 52s behind them.

Ausreo, Craig Douglas' Beneteau First 47.4 Popeye (RPAYC) & Michael Smith's ES44 Tempo (MHYC) are looking strong out of the smaller fully-crewed boats but the racing is closer further back in the main pack so standings are constantly changing.

The two-handers though are putting on a show. They account for four of the Top ten boats in IRC Overall. Philopsopher (TH), is atop the leaderboard currently just south of Sugar Loaf). Salt Shaker (TH) is in 3rd with Ian Creak's Beneteau 47.7 Ausreo GFS) separating them. Again, a close tussle.

Reve is leading PHS with Luna Blue & Mako in 2nd & 3rd.

Most boats are well outside the rhumbline in stronger breeze.

Sunday 30 July 1100hrs

22 hours into the race, Andoo Comanche has extended her lead over the two mini maxis URM Group & Whisper to 33NM & almost 60NM respectively.

With 160NM to go, she is 50NM SE of South Solitary Island currently doing 12kts.

No Limit & Highly Sprung follow, marginally ahead of a large group of mid-sized race boats, all with around 250NM to the finish - KOA, Celestial, Smuggler, Active Again, Frantic, Sticky, Denali and Maritimo. They are all doing between 6-8kts at the moment.

On IRC Overall, URM Group leads the standings ahead of the two-handed pairing of Chris O'Neill & Michael Johnston on the J/99 Blue Planet. Another fully-crewed J/99, Paul Beath's Verite sits in 3rd. Two two-handed Sunfast 3300s, Stacey Jackson & James Whelan on Sunfish & Graham Biel & Nigel Natrass on Tumbleweed hold down 4th & 5th.

In PHS, Reve is in 1st, with Jen Linkova's Radford 12.2 Flat White 2nd & She's the Culprit 3rd.

Sunday 30 July 1600hrs

Andoo Comanche now only has 118NM to the finish line off Main Beach & is expected in overnight. She is currently doing 12.3kts & has averaged 9.7kts over the trip.

URM Group is 34NM back, with a gap of 32NM over Whisper & there's a further 14NM to No Limit.

Active Again & Smuggler are in a tight tussle with 214Nm to go.

There's a gap back to KOA & Sticky. Geoff Hill's Santa Cruz 72 Antipodes leads the next pack & is north of Sugar Loaf.

IRC Overall Standings:

URM Group | Whisper | Alex Seja & Felicity Nelson's Sydney 36 Supernova

URM Group leads IRC 0; Calibre 12 IRC 1; Ausreo IRC 2; & Supernova IRC 3.

IRC Two-Handed:

Blue Planet | Sunfish | Philosopher


Ciao Bella | Flat White | Reve

Sunday 30 July 2200hrs

Andoo Comanche has just over 60NM to the finish on the Gold Coast. She is 30NM SE of Cape Byron currently doing 10.6kts with an average speed of 9.6kts over the race.

It is getting lighter around Tweed Heads though with a NW of between 5-7kts forecast for the early hours of Monday. It is expected to keep dropping during the day, clocking into the east in the afternoon.

URM Group is still 35NM back with a comfortable lead over Whisper with an equal gap back to No Limit.

Active Again & Smuggler, the leading TP52, are close by, ahead of Celestial, KOA, Sticky & Denali. The last of this pack have 200NM to go.

It is the two-handed entrants that are making ground on IRC standings in all divisions.

IRC Overall Standings:

URM Group | Whisper | Blue Planet (TH) | Calibre 12 | Kraken (TH)

URM Group leads IRC 0; Calibre 12 IRC 1; Mistral (TH) IRC 2; & Blue Planet (TH) IRC 3.

IRC Two-Handed:

Blue Planet (TH) | Kraken (TH) | Rum Rebellion (TH)


Flat White | She's the Culprit | Lexi

Monday 31 July 2200hrs

There has not been much to report from Southport on the third day of the NSGCYR.

So far we have had only three staggered arrivals -

Andoo Comanche finished at 0434hrs;

URM Group at 1148hrs;

Whisper, more recently, at 2115hrs.

The next boat to arrive will most likely be Smuggler, some time around midnight. The crew has less than 20NM to go & are doing 10kts.

It's too hard to call the next boats in, a further 9NM behind, as there are eight all within 5 NMs of each other (DTG).

Their current order is: Celestial, No Limit, Active Again, Highly Sprung, KOA, Maritimo, Sticky & Tempo.

IRC Overall standings will be entirely dependent on what the breeze does overnight & tomorrow. The southerlies have already kicked in. Some models suggest low single digits, others as much as 8-9kts at Tweed Heads (more outside) with less wind further south. Wednesday should then see a return of stronger breeze.

URM Group is the 'clubhouse leader'. The most likely of teh others are currently Popeye, Calibre 12 & Philospher (TH) but these four are across separate divisions & there are many factors taht coudl change this completely.

There have been two retirements - Z7 (crew illness) & Lexi (sail damage)

Tuesday 1 August 0630hrs

14 more boats have finished overnight, bringing the total to 17 that are now enjoying the hospitality of the Southport Yacht Club.

In order of arrival:

Smuggler, No Limit, Celestial, KOA, Maritimo, Active Again, Highly Sprung, Sticky, Tempo, Denali, Frantic, Antipodes, Scarlet Runner & Mayfair

Pretty Woman is on approach having rounded Point Danger (Tweed Heads). Calibre 12 & Popeye are back near Hastings Point. Mercury leads the rest & has just passed Cape Byron.

It looks like URM Group's grip on the trophy has tightened after a quieter night on the water for the chasers.

On PHS, Mako leads She's the Culprit & Reve in what has been an enthralling jostle for the podium so far.

In IRC Two-Handed, it's becoming the Battle of the Henrys with father David's Sydney 36 CR Philosopher currently leading over son's Lombard 34 Mistral. They are only 2NM apart 14NM NE of Evans Head. Peter Elkington QLD entry Pacman is 3rd.

Wednesday 2 August 0500hrs

There has been a procession of finishers over the past 24 hours which has kept the staff & volunteers at Southport Yacht Club very busy.

53 boats have now completed the 2023 race with only two entrants still on the racetrack - Reve & Flat White - who are only 2.3NM & 5.9NM out from the finish line respectively. They are currently doing 6-8kts & will be in the Clubhouse by sunrise.

Only two of the 57 staters retired from the race - Z7 & Lexi.



It has been a generally slow race since Saturday's start at 1300hrs which has placed constant demands on tacticians & back-of-boat brains trusts throughout. Some got it right; others didn't.


Overall Winner - Peter Rysdyk Memorial Trophy

URM Group

IRC Overall

1st - URM Group

2nd - Popeye

3rd - Tempo

Division 0 IRC

1st - URM Group

2nd - Smuggler

3rd - Andoo Comanche

Division 1 IRC

1st - Tempo

2nd - Calibre 12

3rd - Pretty Woman

Division 2 IRC

1st - Popeye

2nd - Mistral (TH)

3rd - Ginan

Division 3 IRC

1st - Philosopher (TH)

2nd - Verite

3rd - Rum Rebellion (TH)


1st - Mako

2nd - She’s the Culprit

3rd - Reve

Two-Handed IRC

1st - Philosopher (TH)

2nd - Mistral (TH)

3rd - Rum Rebellion (TH)

Corinthian IRC

1st - Philosopher (TH)

2nd - Calibre 12

3rd - Mistral (TH)

Corinthian PHS

1st - Calibre 12

2nd - Ausreo

3rd - Pretty Woman

Congratulations to all the winners as well as to every competitor that took part.

Thanks to everyone who made the race possible & such a success this year - the staff & volunteers at the Cruising Yacht Club Of Australia and at Southport Yacht Club, our media & production partners, SailMedia & One Two Shoot Media, commentators Gordon Bray & Rob Brown, our Blue Water Pointscore sponsor Audi Centre Sydney & especially to Sean & the whole team from Noakes Group, Major Sponsor of the Noakes Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race.

See you all again next year!