Doug Coulter’s Shakti has taken full advantage of the current weather pattern to launch their boat up the NSW coast overnight and maintain the lead in the first ever Club Marine Pittwater to Southport Yacht Race.
Shakti passed Coffs Harbour at around 8:30am this morning with gusts up to 27 knots from the south setting up a cruising speed of 14 knots.
Given the current weather pattern and their boat speed, Coulter is confident the 46-footer from Lake Macquarie will reach the finish line off Southport’s Main Beach by tonight, Tuesday January 3, 2017.
“If the breeze holds and we don’t run into any problems I’d say we’ll be finishing around 8pm or 9pm tonight,” Coulter said.
“We’ve had around 20 plus knots pretty much all night,” said the skipper this morning, adding, “we had some little issues which slowed us down but we got them fixed.”
Shakti also leads the fleet on IRC and ORCi handicap.
Phil Arnall’s Anger Management is positioned 40 nautical miles behind Shakti in second place with Richard Hudson’s Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club based Pretty Woman, veteran of the Pittwater to Coffs Race, third from a fleet of 18 starters.
With the competitors racing north relatively close to shore there have been some great live updates sent to the Club Marine Pittwater to Southport social media pages.
Rachel Bower, crew member on Le Billet, decided to do a spot of fishing this morning to treat the crew. Unfortunately she only caught a fingernail sized tiddler.
“I was just sitting on the rail and looked down on my hand and there he was (the fish) looking at me. I don’t think it’s going to feed the crew,” Rachel said.
by Bronwen Hemmings