MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL FAMILY, FRIENDS AND SUPPORTERS
LAT 23 46.5S
LONG 155 03.7E
ETA 0600z 28 Jan 11
COG 030 SOG 12
WEATHER WIND 180@35 SEA ROUGH 2M SWELL 180@4M CLOUD 6/8 CL BARO 998.4
It has been a wonderful Christmas on-board Gold Coast Australia and we will wait like little children for the next sked to
see if Santa has been kind to us. As Santa rides is sled across the skys, the crew aboard Gold Coast have also been wearing
our Santa hats and riding a sled surfing the 4m swells towards the coral sea and the numerous gates on the back of ex cyclone Fina.
Yesterday yet another gate was inserted into the race, funnelling the fleet towards the compulsory scoring gate just south
of PNG. These gates are a bit of a hindrance to Gold Coast as it restricts our ability to route towards the best wind and
follow our optimum route that would hopefully place us ahead of the fleet and place us in the best position possible to
enter the trade winds on the other side of the ITCZ. After a loss of a the yacht “Cork” that grounded on a reef in
Indonesia in this stage of last years race you can understand the concerns of the race committee who are no doubt bighting their fingernails this year.
While the conditions are looking good to take us up to the trade winds, Cyclone “Grant” still appears to be a little
undecided on his direction and while he may decide to stay well to the west of us, there is still some probability that he
may decide to travel east and give us a little touch up. At the speed we are currently going however there is a good
probability that we will be well to the north of him so his effects may even be positive while we traverse an area with traditionally light winds in the coral sea.
Christmas day on Gold Coast was celebrated and Santa made an appearance to give presents to his elves. Everybody onboard
got a present, and thanks to the generosity of many family and friends and our sponsor hotel the Courthouse we have about
20kg of Christmas pudding onboard (much to my disgust), a turkey, and a few legs of ham. We are defiantly eating like kings on this race!