Coffs Coast skipper Andrew Johnson is beginning preparations on his yacht Overdrive for next month's 2009 Solitary Islands Series.
Coffs Coast skipper Andrew Johnson is beginning preparations on his yacht Overdrive for next month's 2009 Solitary Islands Series. Coffs Coast Advocate

Solitary Island Series fast approaching

LOCAL yachties are preparing to scrape the barnacles off their keels and put wind in the sails for the 2009 Solitary Islands Series on the Queen's Birthday long weekend.

Coffs Harbour Yacht Club expects a huge fleet of local and visiting boats to compete from June 6 to 8 with an ocean race and windward/leeward short-course events scheduled.

Owner-skipper of Overdrive Andrew Johnson said it would be the biggest event undertaken with wife Meegan since the Pittwater to Coffs Harbour warm-water classic, last December.

“We had a couple of starts in the Westlawn Twilight series but the other complication was becoming parents and that's taken the focus away from the boat,” he said.

“But now that the baby has arrived it's time to get back to sailing.”

The Johnsons will take Overdrive out of the harbour this weekend to begin training for the feature series.

“We need to get in plenty of practise and fine tuning, working with a crew again,” he said.

“There's a special knack to spinnaker racing, which is the highlight of the long weekend, and we want to be right on the ball.”

Registrations and briefings will be held from 8.00am each day with racing commencing at 11am.

The ocean race is set down for Saturday, two short course island events will be held on Sunday and a short course 'Around the Buoys' race to complete proceedings on Monday.

Best viewing positions include the Jetty for race starts and on top of Muttonbird Island when boats are outside the harbour.



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