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GOLD MEDAL OLYMPIC SHOOTER TO FIRE GUN FOR RECORD BREAKING STRATHFIELD PITTWATER TO COFFS HARBOUR RACE

by GEORGIE BROWN on 28 Dec 2000
Dual gold medalist shooter Michael Diamond who won gold medals in the men's trap event in both the 1996 and 2000 Olympic Games will fire the starting gun for the record fleet in the Strathfield Pittwater to Coffs Harbour Race on Tuesday, January 2 at 1.00pm.

Diamond, an employee of major sponsor Strathfield Car Radios, will be changing his choice of firearms, from the specially tailored 12-guage Perazzi Shotguns to a small brass cannon.

It will be a new experience for the boy from Goulburn. A keen Marlin fisherman, Diamond is familiar with powerboats, but freely admits to never having been on a yacht.

Now in its 20th year, entries for the Strathfield Pittwater to Coffs Harbour Offshore Race have reached a record number of entries with 112 to date. The maximum number of entries is 120 boats due to berthing requirements at Coffs Harbour.

The previous record of 108 boats was reached at the 10th anniversary in 1981

The line-up includes most of the place getters from the recent Telstra Cup series including four of the first five in the Sydney 38's: The Business (1st) , Blowfly (3rd), Obsession (4th) and the Big Picture (5th). Nips ' N Tix, the hot new IMX 40, which won the Telstra Cup IMS Divisionis also participating with a good chance of another win after some fine tuning.

The race is also expected to produce some mighty clashes between the skippers of the Farr 40 One Designs who will be competing for selection for the Admiral's Cup. To facilitate the selection, the Farr 40's will start 15 minutes ahead of the main fleet.

Those include Smile, Fruit Machine, Syntegra Rapscallion, Brighton Star and Weapon.

Most skippers are hoping that the sou'westers currently in Bass Strait will head north for the Strathfield Pittwater to Coffs Harbour Race. With a sou'wester, there is a good chance the record of 21hrs 56min, 56 secs, set by Arthur Bloore's The Office in 1984 will be broken.

The five race Strathfield Pittwater Coffs Harbour Series begins on Pittwater on Friday,December 29 and 30 at 1.00pm and culminates in Coffs Harbour with the final races on Friday January 5 and 6, 2001. The Strathfield Pittwater to Coffs Harbour Race begins on Tuesday, January 2, 2001 at 1.00pm.

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