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Back to the future.

After trialling an altered sailing calendar this year, the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia has announced that its second largest offshore event behind the Rolex Sydney Hobart, the Audi Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race, will return to its traditional winter time slot.

The CYCA's Blue Water Pointscore Series for 2007-08 will now begin with the Audi Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race, starting 28 July 2007, and finish in March/April 2008 with a second race to the Gold Coast, to be called the Audi Sydney Southport Yacht Race, to differentiate the two.

The long-running Sydney Mooloolaba Yacht Race has been removed from the Club's offshore programme for the 2006/07 season because of ongoing challenges facing the Mooloolaba Yacht Club and ongoing depth issues in the river.

The river depth prevented large boats from entering and saw 40 footers having to wait offshore at low tide after completing this year's race.

Explaining the revamp of the CYCA's sailing calendar, Sailing Committee Chairman Garry Linacre said: "Entries for this year's Sydney Mooloolaba Yacht Race in late July were well down on previous Sydney Gold Coast fleet sizes." Following the Sydney Mooloolaba Race and Hamilton Island regatta, the CYCA Sailing Office engaged in discussions with all stake holders including previous frequent entrants in the Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race who chose not to race to the new destination of Mooloolaba in July this year.

"We tried to get as much feedback as we could from both owners and crew and the vast majority of those consulted expressed a preference to race to the Gold Coast in late July. Better crew flexibility given the shorter race distance, ease of flights, easy access by water to Southport Yacht Club and the Gold Coast being a preferred holiday destination for competitors' families were also cited as positives."

Indications are that the Audi Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race scheduled to start in its traditional winter time slot will see us return to expected fleet sizes of around 70 to 80 boats, numbers we were experiencing prior to the revision of the sailing calendar.

This was also communicated by skippers and crews to our colleagues at Hamilton Island Yacht Club.

"While the changes in 2006 were made with the aim to provide a better way north for yachtsmen and women, overwhelming feedback has caused the CYCA to re think its position and cater for our stake holders by accommodating their preferred option," added Linacre.

The CYCA believes the Audi Sydney Mackay Yacht Race, which will be run in conjunction with the July Audi Sydney Gold Coast, has potential to grow substantially in numbers in the coming years.

The Club has confirmed it will continue to offer this as an option for those skippers who chose to pass through a finish line off Main Beach on the Queensland Gold Coast and continue on to Mackay, gateway to Audi Hamilton Island Race Week.

The CYCA is considering several destination options for the final race of its Blue Water Pointscore Series but at this stage the last event of the 2006-07 series will remain the Audi Sydney Southport Yacht Race, starting on 27 March 2007, as published in the Club's current sailing calendar.
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Title Annotation:Audi Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race, Cruising Yacht Club of Australia
Publication:Offshore Yachting
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Dec 1, 2006
Previous Article:Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania.
Next Article:Record "up for grabs".

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