RACE PLAN: Brindabella crew members Charles Kosecki, Tim Colclough and Stuart Ford wait dockside at Eden and ponder a late entry in The Pittwater to Coffs Harbour Yacht Race.
RACE PLAN: Brindabella crew members Charles Kosecki, Tim Colclough and Stuart Ford wait dockside at Eden and ponder a late entry in The Pittwater to Coffs Harbour Yacht Race.

Big names are still in the running

DUAL Sydney to Hobart-winning yacht Brindabella is tipped to be a late entry in the 30th Pittwater to Coffs Harbour Yacht Race.

A torn sail forced the 1991 and 1997 Hobart champion out of the Sydney to Hobart race on Monday when she was leading on handicap.

But after a dockside conference at Eden on the south coast where the boat had taken shelter, the motors were started for a fast trip back to home port and sails were thrown into the boots of cars for a dawn getaway.

CHYC Commodore Garry Innes said the boat and crew were rushing back to Sydney with connections indicating their intention to be ready for the starter’s gun next Sunday.

“A further four boats which dropped out of the Hobart run have made noises about late entries,” Innes said.

“Fortunately, Nikon Spirit Of The Maid has been cleared of any damage after the scrape she had on Sydney Harbour last weekend and as soon as the protest hearing is over, Mark Richards and Bob Oatley will fly back to Sydney to get ready for the trip to Coffs.”

“They’ll sail their backsides off to win the race to Coffs after all the controversy.

“Since the first entries arrived I’ve always thought Bruce Absolom would eventually win this with ‘The Maid’ but now I’m not so sure.

“If all the late arrivals get onto the water, line honours will probably come down to knowledge of the course and who’s been over it before.”

Clouding the issue again is the fluctuating ‘yes – no’ saga between Wild Oats X and Wild Oats XI.

For days the suggestion has been XI would not be back in Sydney in time for a tilt at winning her third ‘warm water classic’ and that the attempt would be made with X.

But a report from Hobart on the official website yesterday said a delivery crew was preparing to push off by midday.

Therefore the latest advice is to expect the unexpected.



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