Among the fleet of 44 expected to line up for tomorrow’s historic Gascoigne Cup short ocean race off the coast of Sydney, are eight yachts among the 91 boats now entered for the 69th Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.
Balance Gosford Lord Howe race
The Gascoigne Cup is one of three prestigious short ocean races conducted by the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron each summer and this will be the 127th running of the event.
Sydney Hobart entrants entered for the Cup race, which is also part of the Cruising Yacht Club’s Grant Thornton Short Ocean Pointscore, are Ariel, Ron Forster’s Beneteau First 40, Balance, Paul Clitheroe’s Beneteau 45, Blackadder, Stephen Thomas’ Sigma 41, Brannew, Chris Bran’s Beneteau First 40, Midnight Rambler, the Ker 40 owned by former Sydney Hobart winners Ed Psaltis, Bob Thomas and Michael Bencsik, Tim Cox’s DK46 Minerva and Shepherd Centre, Hugh Torode’s Beneteau 40.7.
Also in the fleet are three past winners of the Gascoigne Cup, Paul Clitheroe’s Balance, Bob Steel’s Quest and Warwick Sherman’s Occasional Coarse Language. Quest is also a past Sydney Hobart winner.
The history of the magnificent Gascoigne Cup trophy is probably unique in Australian yachting, owing its origins to the British Army’s campaign in the Sudan in 1800s.
The trophy was presented to the Squadron in 1885 in honour of Captain Gascoigne, then Aide-de-Camp to Lord Carrington, Governor of New South Wales, to honour the Captain for his heroic deeds in attempting to rescue the embattled General Gordon during the infamous siege of Kartoum in 1884-1885.
Saturday’s race, over a course of 25 to 28 nautical miles, starts and finishes within Sydney Harbour but will take the fleet on a long windward/leeward leg offshore.
The Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron’s other short ocean races this summer will be the Morna Cup and the Milson Cup, with the three races counting towards the Perseverance Trophy.
The Perseverance Trophy is open to yachts that have entered the three-race series through the Squadron, with 14 boats nominated this season, including Willyama (Richard Barron), Huntress (Philip Grove0, Hell Razor (Ian MacDiarmid), Minerva (Tim Cox), Balance (Paul Clitheroe) and Shepherd Centre (Hugh Torode).