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Sydney - Mooloolaba Yacht Race line honours battle

by Lisa Ratcliffe on 17 Apr 2000
Battle for line honours in Sunlover Holidays Sydney - Mooloolaba Yacht Race looming

A fresh southerly change, which is due to hit the Sunlover Holidays Sydney - Mooloolaba Race fleet this afternoon will close the margins between the maxis and
the tailenders, making the chase for line honours and for a handicap prizes a tactical battle to the finish.

Wild Thing (Grant Wharington) is leading Brindabella (George Snow) by nine miles but this gap could narrow depending on where they position themselves when
the change hits.

A further 21 miles behind Brindabella is the 3rd placed Open 60 A99, skippered by Olympic Star class sailor Sean Langman. He reported wind strengths of 33
knots from the NE overnight. 'In the fresh conditions, we sailed full of water [ballast] with one reef and a number 4 headsail,' said Langman as they were tacking
off Cape Byron this morning.

'With the southerly due this afternoon we are hoping to close the gap on the front guys as this yacht revels in running conditions,' he said.

The Inglis 50 Nortruss G-Wizz (Phil Gray) is the best-placed Queensland yacht, currently in 6th position in the fleet.

Fruit Machine (Neill Whiston) is still the IMS overall leader with Atara (Roger Hickman) and Brindabella holding their 2nd and 3rd positions respectively.

In PHS overall results, Bill Shield's Swarbrick 36 Galatea has replaced Berani (David Todner) as the overall leader with Nortruss G-Wizz in 3rd place.

The two Farr 40s have also been knocked off their perch by the Hick 35 Barking Mad, skippered by Martin Booker and David Armstrong.

Just one yacht out of the 42 starters has retired since the 1.00pm start in Sydney Harbour on Saturday. The Open 60 RSLCOM, skippered by round-the-world
yachtsman John Biddlecombe retired last night and is motoring to Port Stephens.

The forecast for today is for N/NE winds of 15-20 knots ahead of a 15-20 knot southerly change, which is set to increase on Tuesday to 20-25 knots, gusting up
to 35 knots.

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