Excited sailors in Sydney

EXCITMENT is building towards Boxing Day and the start of the 2010 Rolex Sydney-Harbour yacht race.

The Whitsundays will be well represented this year with eight sailors competing in Australia's premier sailing event.

Making the trek across the Tasman from the famous Sydney Harbour are Whitsunday locals Leo Rodriguez, Clay Mathews, Clay Bauman, Eric Haagh, Dave Watson and Michael Cocks onboard Merit/Stratco Racing, Ian Thomson on Brindabella and Terry Archer on Ocean Affinity.

Representing each crew Leo Rodriguez (Merit), Ian Thomson (Brindabella) and Terry Archer (Ocean Affinity) spoke to the Whitsunday Times less than a week out from the infamous ‘Blue Water Classic'.

All three of the Airlie Beach sailors said they were preparing to sail into strong winds down to Hobart.

Terry Archer

Ocean Affinity Helmsman.

First Sydney-Hobart.

Being asked as Helmsman for the boat was a bit of a compliment to me.

I've got a feeling we will finish in the top 25; we will be competitive on handicap, more so going into the breeze.

We are aiming to be there in three days.

I'm excited with an amount of trepidation [about predicted strong winds].

There has been a bit of competitive banter in Sydney between the Whitsunday locals.

Leo Rodriguez

Merit/Stratco Racing Skipper.

Hoping to win PHS division overall just like 2008.

Top 15 overall would be an excellent result.

I'm really happy with the boat after testing out our new spinnaker

In terms of the rough seas, the boat is built for rough weather; we won't be comfortable but it will make for a good result.

It is just a matter of looking after the boat; go hard when you can.

Ian Thomson

Brindabella Grinder

Second Sydney-Hobart – was on the winning crew of Too Impetuous (PHS division 2) in 2008.

Top 10 across the line is our goal.

Top five on handicap is our ultimate goal

We need hard conditions.

Forecast of 30 knots on the nose is great for Brindabella.

It's going to be wet and wild.


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