Future Shock after her fourth placing in this year’s Pittwater to Coffs Harbour race.
Future Shock after her fourth placing in this year’s Pittwater to Coffs Harbour race.

Future Shock to try for honours

ONE of the most well known offshore racing yachts in Australia has again entered the Pittwater to Coffs Harbour race for 2011 after a gallant fourth over the line at the start of this year.

Future Shock, owned by Ron and Craig Ellis and designed by Greg Elliott, was built in New Zealand in 1988 and since then, has raced in innumerable offshore races in Australia, New Zealand and beyond.

What is different about this year’s race is that she is entered in the Short Handed Division and will sail with only three crew.

“It will be a busy and exciting time for the boys, although we have sailed many miles on the boat together it is usually with 14 or more on board,” Craig Ellis, skipper and owner of Future Shock said.

“This will be the first time the boat has been raced with a shorthanded crew and will be a learning experience for all of us.

“Added to that, this will be the first race for the boat with a brand new keel designed by Elliott.

“The new keel has increased the draft by nearly one metre but has less wetted surface and drag than the old one. We’re really looking forward to the 30th Coffs race.”

The crew for the race will consist of Ellis who has many miles under his belt including eight Coffs races and many other races up and down the East Coast.

John Murphy who has also sailed many Coffs and Sydney Hobart races and has sailed with Ellis for many years on the 50ft Wild Thing and Future Shock

Third crew member, Scott Gilbert, has sailed and skippered Future Shock for the previous owner Peter Hanson and is no stranger to shorthanded racing having won the 1995 Melbourne to Osaka double handed race on Wild Thing.

All three are good mates but the 30th Pittwater to Coffs Harbour will be a true test of their endurance and skill.

There have been quite a few modifications to the old lady in the 10 years that the Ellis’s have owned the boat.

There has been a stern extension which increased the overall length to 18.3 metres in addition to a new rudder and now a new keel. Water ballast was also fitted in 2005 for extra stability. All these modifications have had a significant effect in improving the performance of the boat.

The most obvious of all the modifications however is the un-missable bright green paint job she now wears. Future Shock has always stuck out in a crowd and now even more so.

The 226 nautical mile warm water ocean classic gets under way at Barrenjoey Headland on January 2.



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