The 2022/23 Audi Centre Sydney Blue Water Pointscore continues on Saturday 24 September, with the 88 nautical mile Flinders Islet Race.
A fleet of 39 boats will take on the sprint from Sydney Harbour down to Flinders Islet (approximately 1nm east off Port Kembla Harbour) and back.
A moderate sou’wester looks set to get the fleet on their way when the race starts at 10am on Saturday, and a mix of upwind and downwind sailing may await thanks to a fresh southerly currently forecast off the coast of Wollongong for the afternoon.
The battle for Line Honours looms as a showdown between Sean Langman’s Reichel/Pugh 69 Moneypenny – the overall winner in the 2022 Noakes Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race – and Anthony Johnston’s Reichel/Pugh 72 URM Group (skippered by Marcus Ashley-Jones).
The two boats enjoyed an exciting tussle in the 2021 Bird Island Race, with URM taking Line Honours by just five minutes from Moneypenny.
There will be strong competition amongst the TP52s - Celestial (Sam Haynes), Gweilo (Matt Donald/Chris Townsend), KOA (Andy Kearnan/Peter Wrigley), Patrice (Tony Kirby), Quest (Craig Neil) and Zen (Gordon Ketelbey).
There are seven two-handed boats: Crux (Carlos Aydos and Peter Grayson), Philosopher (David Henry and Stephen Prince), Rum Rebellion (Shane Connelly and Tony Sutton), Rumchaser (Andrew Butler and Anssi Paatero), Speedwell (Campbell Geeves and Alice Tarnawski), Sun Fast Racing (Lee Condell and Lincoln Dews), and Tumbleweed (Graham Biehl and Nigel Nattrass).
Carl Crafoord’s Cookson 12 Sail Exchange returns to the Audi Centre Sydney Blue Water Pointscore, having won IRC Division 2 and ORCi Division 2 when last competing in the pointscore in 2020/21.
Rob Aldis and Sandy Farquharson’s DK46 Khaleesi gave the 52s a challenge in the 2021 Flinders Islet Race, finishing ninth overall.
Andrew Nuttman, Anthony Kirke and their Enterprise Next Generation crew are back from Western Australia, with the GP42 staying on the east coast for the second half of the year.
Gun Runner is the smallest boat in the fleet, with Chris Connelly at the helm of the Army Sailing Club’s Jarkan 925.
The Flinders Islet Race is the second of six races in the 2022/23 Audi Centre Sydney Blue Water Pointscore.
Still to come after this race are the Tollgate Islands Race (Friday 14 October), Bird Island Race (Saturday 12 November), Cabbage Tree Island Race (Friday 2 December) and Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race (Sunday 26 December).
Ashley Horne, General Manager of series sponsor, Audi Centre Sydney, said: "Audi Centre Sydney is proud to be involved in the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s premier ocean racing series, the Audi Centre Sydney Blue Water Pointscore.
"The series is all about high performance – something we see has a clear synergy with our brand – and is one of the world’s most elite sailing series."