Pittwater to Coffs Harbour fleet start an upwind journey
THE weather is going to be enjoyable but don't expect any Pittwater to Coffs Harbour race records to be broken.
The cannon has just fired to send the 28-strong fleet on it's way from Barrenjoey Headland but in the at this morning's mandatory weather briefing at the host club, the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club at Newport on Sydney's northern beaches, any hopes of a 226 nautical mile drag race up the coast were dashed quickly.
Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Michael Logan said north and out to sea the fleet can expect to run into the dominant north-easterly sea breeze.
With little background swell and current, the degree of strength and how north of NE the pressure swings are the questions navigators can ponder for the first race of the Australian yachting calendar's new year.
"There are no records on offer," said Sean Langman, skipper of the ORMA 60 Team Australia that has one of the most famous names in yachting, James Spithill, on board.
"Still, it requires the same discipline, you can't treat it like a cruise."
Team Australia is starting 15 minutes after the monohull fleet and Langman's aim is to catch then cover Beau Geste, Karl Kwok's Botin 80, the largest yacht in the fleet.
The monohull course benchmark of 18hr 29min 14sec was set in 2003 by Bob Oatley/Mark Richards with Wild Oats IX.
Last January Team Australia set the multihull record of 17hrs 3min 5sec.