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Noakes Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race update

by Noakes Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race 29 May 06:33 BST 27 July 2024
Start of the 2023 Noakes Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race © Andrea Francolini

Entries for the 38th Noakes Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race, hosted by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia (CYCA), opened one month ago.

With the entries of highly competitive yachts including a handful of mini maxis the race is shaping up to be a great battle once again. Competitors will start the challenging 384 NM offshore race on Sydney Harbour at 1 pm (AEST) on Saturday 27 July, before heading up the NSW coast to finish off Main Beach on the Gold Coast, Queensland.

Since it first launched in 1986, the Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race has continued to grow in prestige. It is a key race in Australia's offshore calendar and has become an important test bed for boats and crews in the lead-up to the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. The Noakes Sydney Gold Coast is the opening race of the 2024/25 Audi Centre Sydney Blue Water Pointscore, which features six races, culminating in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.

The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia is the race organiser, and Southport Yacht Club is the race finishing partner, while Noakes Group is the race sponsor.

The overall winner of the 2023 Noakes Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race was Anthony Johnston's Reichel/Pugh 72 URM Group, closely followed by Craig Douglas' Beneteau First 47.7 Popeye, with Michael Smith's Kernan 44 Tempo taking the last podium spot in the overall IRC rankings.

So far, 24 yachts have entered the race under IRC, with 8 more yachts joining the ranks under PHS. With just 60 days left before the race start and more entries coming in, it will be another exciting race north. Adding to the excitement is an IRC rule change, which encourages competitors to increase diversity and provide opportunities to female and youth crew.

View this year's entrants for the NSGCYR.

Last year, the CYCA moved to a single rating system (IRC) for its offshore races, this change went into effect from the 2023 Noakes Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race and applied to all races in the 2023/24 Audi Centre Sydney Blue Water Pointscore. This remains the case in this year's Pointscore.

In the Notice of Race (section 7),changes to the IRC Rules is outlined. One of these changes (section 7.e) talks to IRC rule 22.4.1 (crew number) and IRC rule 22.4.2 (crew weight).

These rules are modified when a boat's crew includes a minimum of two female crew members, two youth crew members (under the age of 23 years on the day of the start of the race), or one female and one youth crew member. When a boat satisfies at least one of these requirements, a boat may carry one person more than the crew number printed on the certificate, may carry one person more than the crew number printed on the certificate. Additionally, the crew weight shall not exceed 85kg multiplied by one more than the Crew Number printed on the certificate.

This rule change has been implemented to promote diversity and inclusivity in the fleet's crew.

View the Notice of Race here.

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