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Gold Coast Race

The second boat to cross the finish line in the Noakes Sydney to Gold Coast Race after Comanche at Southport was URM Group, the 72 foot pocket maxi skippered by Marcus Ashley-Jones, a Volvo Ocean Race competitor and seasoned 18 Foot Skiff sailor. The boat is currently on track to take out the overall IRC win on corrected time.

“It was a quick race for us and of course I’ve done this race many times on smaller boats so it’s always nice to make it in on a Monday morning,” Ashley-Jones said.

“Because the winds were so light the models were finding it hard to predict the forecast and our planning had to change very quickly. We had a lot of on-the-fly decisions to make with wind direction so together with Alice Parker (nee Tarnawski) and Steve Jarvin, we made most of the tactical decisions. We just happened to be in the right place at the right time.

URM Group set for overall victory in Noakes Sydney to Gold Coast Race © Andrea Francolini

“We were happy to arrive in good shape and beat some of those boats that are no still racing in that lighter air that is coming in later tonight.

“We’re missing Moneypenny as we usually have a close tussle with Sean Langman, so being in the ocean on our own was a bit more relaxing to be fair.

“Ultimately, we did not have that real boat for boat pressure that we normally have to manage. We thought Whisper, who has been heavily modified of late, would have been a lot closer. We managed to stay a step or two ahead of them and then the weather Gods were kinder to us and those boats further up the track. We were able to extend away closer to almost 50 nautical miles on Whisper.

URM Group set for overall victory in Noakes Sydney to Gold Coast Race - photo © Andrea Francolini
URM Group set for overall victory in Noakes Sydney to Gold Coast Race Рphoto © Andrea Francolini

The URM Group team is looking towards the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race in December and will be competing in all the Blue Water Boat Series Races in the lead up. The goal is to take out the Series and beat Moneypenny.

“Everything we’re doing is in preparation for Hobart and our goal is to take out the overall win in that race.”

by Lulu Roseman

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