Spotlight on Race Yacht She from Southport yacht Club, competing in Sydney to Southport Yacht Race
Spotlight on Race Yacht She from Southport yacht Club, competing in Sydney to Southport Yacht Race

Using MySail to help put together her team, racing yacht ‘She,’ an Olson 40  from Southport, Queensland recently competed in the 384 nautical mile Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race.

Second only to the iconic Sydney to Hobart, the annual Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race starts at the end of July, taking competitors from Sydney harbour to the warmer waters of southern Queensland.

With only 5 crew on-board, She sailed in the Cruising division, finishing the race on August 2nd with an elapsed time of 3 days, 17 hours, 40 minutes and 36 seconds.

We sat down with She’s owner Philip to ask him some questions about the race…

What were your main criteria when putting together a crew for the 32nd Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race?

It was important to find sailors experienced in offshore racing, and who could manage the dreaded mal de mer (seasickness).

With a small crew, I wanted sailors who were versatile in a number of roles, with a good mix of youth and experience. They had to be keen to do the race and happy to do the boring stuff like sit on the rail and help with meals.

Ideally I looked for crew who have their SSSC (safety and sea survival certificate).

What aspects of the racing and delivery did your crew get involved in?

The crew participated in all aspects of the race and delivery trip, including preparation and clean up.

I found some crew were more responsive to doing the dirty (but important) jobs like cleaning up, sail management and packing.

What was your favourite part of the race?

In my view the best parts of the race were the 9 hour spinnaker run we had with a 15 knot southerly behind us, and as well as the 8 hour beam reach with a 15 – 20 knot westerly on the Tuesday.

Bashing to windward for 2 days was a bit boring, but the crew coped OK!

Did you have any uh-oh moments?

During the delivery to Sydney before the race, we lost our propeller somewhere 18 nautical miles off Port Stephens. That was a bit of a concern as at the time there was little breeze and we had no propulsion!

This happened at 1600 hours on Tuesday. Without the option of a tow, we sailed on to Sydney only to be greeted by a 35 knot westerly at the harbour entrance early Wednesday 26th July. We were unable to get a tow into the harbour so entered under sail and continued to Middle Harbour Yacht Club and where a colleague met us and shot us a line to bring us to a halt. Lucky, thanks to Mark O’Dea we had a happy ending!

Do you have any advice or tips for crew looking to join an offshore program?

If crew want to get involved in offshore racing, in my opinion the key things are:

  • Get your SSSC and first aid certificates up to speed;
  • Ensure you can manage sea sickness;
  • Be willing to get involved in all aspects of racing, including the dirty jobs as well as the good jobs;
  • Maintain an above average general level of fitness.


To find out more about She and her sailing program, you can view She’s yacht profile on MySail.

Image – She. Source – supplied.