• News
  • 2022
  • UPDATES | 2022 Bird Island Race

UPDATES | 2022 Bird Island Race

UPDATES | 2022 Bird Island Race

UPDATES | 2022 Bird Island Race

Follow updates during the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s Bird Island Race, the fourth race of the 2022/23 Audi Centre Sydney Blue Water Pointscore.

Live tracker



The Start

The fleet of 55 boats set of at 1000hrs in brilliant sunshine & a 6-10kt NE with incoming tide for the 83NM return trip rounding Bird Island off Budgewoi, north of Norah Head on the NSW Central Coast.

Sean Langman’s Moneypenny ran the line towards the pin & had the best of the start whilst the two 100s, Andoo Comanche & Black Jack, were caught up in the pack. Many of the TP52s chose to skirt Bradleys Head whilst other boats seemed undecided on which side of the racetrack looked to offer the most assistance. Black Jack soon found breeze & got the jump on Andoo Comanche who joined the four mini maxis in a tactical battle past Shark Island. Those boats that chose the eastern shore were advantaged early whilst Caro made good use of the outgoing tide.

For the smaller boats, it became quite a battle to make headway with many finding themselves bounced around at under 1kt of boat speed.


Saturday 1300hrs

After three hours, Peter Harburg’s maxi Black Jack has stretched her lead & is currently just north of Warriewood doing 6kts. With the retirement of Andoo Comanche earlier due to a broken hydraulic hose, she is unlikely to be challenged for Line Honours victory.

The mini maxis are 2.7NM back near Collaroy with Moneypenny slightly ahead of URM Group & Whisper.

Caro is having a great race & is not far astern. In the TP52 battle, Quest is being pursued by Gweilo, Zen & Celestial but you could throw a blanket over them near North Curl Curl. They are only doing 2-3kts.

The rest of the fleet is staggered around North Head & Manly with the back-of-fleeters off The Gap & South Head struggling against the tide.

The breeze is light & inconsistent & competitors are employing a range of different tactics to maintain boat speed & move northward. It looks like a long afternoon ahead.


Saturday 1600hrs

Black Jack has just passed Norah Head & will round Bird Island shortly. She is reaching at 10.5kts in 8-10kt E which is starting to swing north. She leads all standings (LH/IRC/ORCi/PHS).

Anthony Johnston’s URM Group & Sean Langman’s Moneypenny are in a close tussle just under 10NM back near Forresters Beach with David Griffith’s Whisper a further 2 miles astern. Justin Ferris’ Caro is near Avoca & most of the TP52 pack around the corner near Copacabana along with David Gotze’s No Limit, KOA & Patrice a few miles back.

Anthony Kirke’s Enterprise Next Generation is crossing the entrance to Pittwater, the rest of the fleet still on Sydney’s Northern Beaches.


Saturday 1900hrs

It’s a tight battle between the TP52s as they round Bird Island.

Sam Hayne’s Celestial & Gordon Ketelbey’s Zen are already heading south with Gweilo, Quest & Smuggler in pursuit.

Black Jack is currently off Curl Curl with only 4.5NM to go to the finish. URM Group is almost 25NM behind, with a small lead over Moneypenny & Whisper with a further 5 miles back to Caro & No Limit who are eyeballing each other for the run home.

Breeze off Long Reef is currently 5-7 kts ESE but looking to drop over the next few hours then swing into the west.


Saturday 2200hrs

Black Jack finished the race at 1937hrs & the next boats expected to finish are URM Group & Moneypenny who currently off Broken Bay & have around 17NM to go. There is less than a mile separating the two mini maxis & it should be an enthralling finish. Whisper is a further 4NM astern.

All seven TP52s are within 4NM of each other 5-9NM south of Norah Head

Seven boats have retired due to time restraints: Caro, Kaizen, Khaleesi, Luna Blue, No Limit, Windhover & Z7. They may not be the last.


Sunday 0230hrs

It has been a slow night for many of the competitors & looks likely to continue with breeze at Palm Beach currently 2kts out of the west.

Once again, it is a close finish for the 52s who are just coming around the corner in a bit more breeze but the rest of the fleet is still off the Central Coast with over 20NM to the finish.

Four boats have finished – Black Jack & the three remaining minis – & they are atop the leaderboards.


IRC: Black Jack | Moneypenny | URM Group

ORCi & PHS: Black Jack | URM Group Moneypenny

TH IRC: Transcendence Crento | Rum Rebellion | Speedwell

Less than a minute separates the first Two-Handers with the third only 12 minutes further back on current corrected time. Stay tuned!


Sunday 0830hrs

12 boats have now finished with the most recent, the Botin Carkeek GP42 Enterprise Next Generation having recently crossed the line at 0714hrs.

Richard Hudson & David Beak’s Pretty Woman should be the next home followed by Ian Box’ Toybox & Carl Crafoord’s Sail Exchange.

It is still light, currently 3-5kts NW all the way up to Long Reef.

The current standings are unlikely to be challenged now with only Currawong (TH) & Gun Runner still in (unlikely) contention to shake the podiums.

The Two-Handed handicap honours are much more open with many changes in the standings overnight & still a long distance to go in tricky conditions. Rum Rebellion currently leads Transcendence Crento & Rumchaser.

Nine boats have now retired due to time constraints – Llama 2 & Philosopher being the latest.


Sunday 1130hrs

Since the last update, Pretty Woman, Sail Exchange, Toybox & White Noise have finished; Minerva is on approach.

Never a Dull Moment & XS Momemnt BNMH are close by as is Avalanche (TH), the first of the two-handed entrants alongside Gunshot 3NM NE off North Head with a group of boats behind including the THs Transcendence Crento & Rum Runner. They are doing 2-4kts.

Much stronger wind is expected this afternoon with 14-17kts predicted, swinging more northerly & with more pressure & a building swell later.

Five more boats have retired citing time restraints – Allegria Republic, Gun Runner, King Billy, Patrice 6 & Sun Fast Racing – bringing the total retirees to 14.