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Georgia Express - On Track for the Noakes Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race

Georgia Express - On Track for the Noakes Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race

Georgia Express - On Track for the Noakes Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race

As the 2024 Noakes Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race approaches, *Georgia Express*, skippered and owned by Sebastian Hultin, is ready to take on the challenges of the race with renewed confidence and a finely tuned approach.

This year's participation marks what Sebastian calls “part two” of the Audi Centre Sydney Blue Water Pointscore (ACSBWPS) series for the team, who are determined to build on their learnings from the previous year.

Reflecting on last year's experience, Hultin shared insights into the boat's journey and the crew's mindset. "Last year, our primary goal was to mitigate uncertainties and see if we could race safely. The boat hadn't raced offshore in a while, so we focused on ensuring everything was in order.” The Georgia Express team had a great year, however, unfortunately, had to retire from the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race due to an issue with the rig," Sebastian explained.

Addressing those uncertainties from the 2023 RSHYR has been a key focus for the team in the lead-up to this year's ACSBWPS. "During the Hobart we identified that the D2 looked really loose. Last year's Hobart was always going to be an exercise of safety and control, and we achieved that. The race was perfectly aligned with our crew priorities, and now we know we can do it," Hultin said. With that confidence, Georgia Express approaches this year's race with a different mindset.

In preparation for the ACSBWPS, the team has collaborated with Hood Sails to optimise the boat for offshore racing. "We will have a new main, which will be much flatter, so we are excited for the season to kick off. The whole Italian gang is back on the boat, and they all know each other and the boat well. We have had to make some changes to the crew, but overall, we are ready," Hultin remarked.

Discussing the expectations for the race, Hultin highlighted the potential advantages for Georgia Express. "The boat should be reasonably favoured if the conditions are light and the last years that has been the case. It will either be entirely in our favour, or we will have to fight hard. In light conditions, we need to stay focused from start to finish to adjust trim, the rig and crew weight. If the conditions are stronger, we will have to manage and compete against the bigger boats. I think we will do well, but our main goal is to have a successful race," he said.

The team's journey over the past year has been one of growth and learning. The crew flagged that they learnt a lot last year and that they are keen to see the fruits of their efforts and how they have improved even further.  "A special thanks to Hood for their continued help and improving our rating and set-up" Hultin concluded.

As Georgia Express prepares to set sail, the team is poised to tackle the challenges ahead with determination and a well-honed strategy. The Noakes Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race will undoubtedly be an exciting test of their skills and preparations.