A fleet of about 50 boats will set sail for Port Lincoln at 3pm tomorrow in the state’s premier ocean race, the Teakle Classic Adelaide to Port Lincoln Yacht Race.
The star-studded fleet, which is made up of a number of South Australia’s top sailors, will have to deal with a building southwesterly breeze that could reach up to 25 knots through the night.
Among the fleet are some top contenders, some of which have come off successful Rolex Sydney Hobart campaigns late last year.
Caillin Howard and David Oliver’s Aikin Hames Sharley will be in the mix for IRC handicap honours after a successful Hobart race where it took out the Battery Point Trophy for the first boat of less than 40-foot.
They also wiped about six hours off the small boat race record so the crew is in good knick for this year’s Adelaide to Port Lincoln campaign.
Andrew Saies’ Two True, Andrew Corletto’s Shining Sea and Victorian Phil Coombs’ Simply Fun all raced to Hobart last year and will be in with a sniff for the overall handicap honours in the Lincoln race.
While Jason Ward’s 45-foot Concubine is unable to race as it continues to recover from a broken mast, the front of the fleet will most likely be dominated by last year’s winner Secret Mens Business, skippered by Geoff Boettcher, and the Sydney-based Celestial, skippered by Sam Haynes.
But the next tier of boats over the line could well hold the handicap winner with upwind racing early in the race likely to even the fleet right out.