Thursday, January 1, 2015

Spithill Set To Smoke Pittwater to Coffs Race

Two time America's Cup winning skipper Jimmy Spithill is set to add some major buzz to the Club Marine Pittwater to Coffs Race that sets out from Broken Bay on Friday. He will be one of the helmsmen aboard Sean Langman’s giant multihull Team Australia.
Jimmy Spithill ACEA/Photo: Abner Kingman
Spithill is fresh from placing second over the line in the Rolex Sydney Hobart race onboard Jim Clark’s USA supermaxi Comanche
Comanche Photo: Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi
"I’ve been a fan of Sean’s for a long time. I love it that he takes it on. He’s going from one extreme to the other, going south on the smallest boat then jumping on the quickest boat in Australia. I’ve done a fair bit of sailing on the ORMA 60s off the coast of Brittany. I’m pumped to come off Comanche, the latest and greatest monohull design, and step on an ORMA racing out of my home club," Spithill said.
Team Australia Photo: Andrea Francolini 
"It’s cool to see the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club leading the drive to include multihulls. It’s only a matter of time before I think there will be a multihull division in a lot more races, including the Sydney to Hobart," he added.
Jimmy Spithill - Oracle Team USA ACEA/Photo: Abner Kingman
Sean Langman and son Peter raced Maluka of Kermandie, the smallest and oldest yacht in this years's Rolex Sydney Hobart fleet. On January 2 the duo will switch to Team Australia,  the 60-foot weapon that currently holds the fastest multihull course time in the Pittwater to Coffs race.
Maluka of Kermandie Photo: Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi
Sever crew members from Syd Fischer’s 100-footer Ragamuffin will join Fischer’s TP52 of the same name skippered by his grandson Brenton. In the 2014 Club Marine Pittwater to Coffs Race Ragamuffin TP52 took line honours and handicap victory in all divisions, IRC, ORCi and PHS.
Ragamuffin Photo: Rolex / Kurt Arrigo

Karl Kwok’s Botin 80 Beau Geste, from the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, is likely to keep the line honours trophy well out of the TP52’s reach, and have a shot at the longstanding record of 18hr 29min 14sec set by Wild Oats XI in 2003. A challenger would need to average 12.2 knots of boat speed over the 226 nautical mile coastal race that starts from north of Barrenjoey Headland. 
Beau Geste Photo: Rolex / Daniel Forster
Senior forecaster Michael Logan said a high pressure system sitting over the Tasman Sea and ridge extending up to the Queensland coast means crews can expect the best of the pressure off the Hunter and southern Mid North Coast and lighter breezes towards the finish at Coffs Harbour.
Team Australia Photo: Andrea Francolini 
"The forecast is showing a light southerly change moving through the Sydney area on Friday morning which will leave us with a weakening easterly before a light sea breeze starts to push in. By the start time there should be an ENE wind at 10 knots. As the fleet gets into open water they’ll find a bit more wind tending to the NE, close to the Hunter they might find 15-20 knots later in the afternoon." Logan said.
Team Australia Photo: Andrea Francolini 
"Nor-easterly winds are the pattern for the race. Weaker in the morning, especially around dawn then fresher in the afternoon. Crews may run into the odd afternoon shower but generally it’s looking dry," he added.

Lulu Roseman

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