Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race organising authority, the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia and Rolex SA of Geneva, race’s naming rights sponsor, have announced release of Notice of Race and now invite eligible yachts owners to enter blue water classic.
Leading the battle for line honours will be Bob Oatley’s Wild Oats XI, the race record holder, which last year claimed her second historic treble of line honours, overall win and a new race record of one day, 18 hours, 23 minutes and 12 seconds, culminating in her sixth line honours victory and second overall win.
Wild Oats XI is anticipated to line up against Syd Fischer’s Ragamuffin 100 and rumours are very strong that Anthony Bell will return with a new super maxi.
Fischer shipped his super maxi to the USA to compete in the Transpac Yacht Race and was the first monohull yacht to cross the finish line in Hawaii with an elapsed time of six days, eight hours, 17 minutes, 26 seconds.
Among Fischer’s Transpac crew is CYCA past commodore, Matt Allen, who with the bulk of the fleet will vie for the Rolex Sydney Hobart’s prized trophy, the Tattersall’s Cup (presented to the overall race winner), with a new Carkeek 60.
Due to be launched in October, Allen’s new boat will carry the same name of all his previous racing yachts, ‘Ichi Ban’, which means ‘No. one’ in Japanese. Having come so close with is former yacht, his hope this year is to win the race overall.
Questioned on his design choice, the Sydney yachtsman responded: 'There’s been a lot of evolution in the TP52 area and the Carkeek boats, but the Carkeek has moved away in terms of performance.
'We’re designing it to be a fast, powerful yacht with plenty of sail area, but also structurally sound as I intend to campaign it in major ocean races most of the time and spend about a third of the time competing in regatta-style racing.
'Our major competition for the 2013 Hobart will be the recently purchased VOR70’s Camper, owned by Victorian Jason Van der Slot, and Telefonica, owned by Queenslander Peter Harburg, now racing as Black Jack.
'Belle Mente (American Hap Fauth’s 2012 built JV72 Mini Maxi), RAN (Niklas Zennstrom’s JV72 (which finished fifth in the 2009 Hobart) and even my old Ichi Ban (the Jones 70), which was purchased earlier this year by CYCA Director Andrew Wenham are also rumoured to be coming,' Allen added.
Also in the mix is the 2012 CYCA Ocean Racer of the Year, Darryl Hodgkinson, who purchased the former canting keeled Cookson 50 Jazz from Chris Bull this year having sold his successful Beneteau 45, Victoire.
Under Bull’s ownership, Jazz finished second overall, first in IRC Division zero and first overall in the ORCi division of the 2010 Rolex Sydney Hobart and was fourth overall in 2011 and 2012.
'It’s been particularly well looked after by the former owner and I haven’t had to do much to it,' Hodgkinson said of his new Victoire. 'The new boat feels wonderful there’s lots to learn, but it’s fun and challenging.'
The CYCA is predicting an international fleet of approximately 80 yachts will make the start line on Boxing Day, December 26 at one pm AEDT, for the tough annual 628 nautical mile race to Hobart in Tasmania.
The start of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race will be broadcast live on the Seven Network throughout Australia and webcast live to a global audience on Yahoo! seven and the Australia Network throughout the Asia Pacific Region.
Entries for the Rolex Sydney Hobart 2013 close on Friday 1st November 2013 at 1700hrs AEDT.