Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 68th edition is being hosted by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia. For over 67 years many yachtsmen and women have foregone Christmas celebrations to prepare for the ultimate sailing test – completing a Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race – and with just one week to submit an Application for Entry to the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, time is running out for those wanting to take the race off their bucket list.
Hobart was on Warwick Shermans bucket list - Rolex Sydney Hobart 2012
And one man who is doing just that is Warwick Sherman, who has recovered well from a cancer scare. He is undertaking his first Rolex Sydney Hobart after 18 years of ocean racing, including a dozen Lord Howe Island Races, on his Ker 43 Occasional Coarse Language Too.
'The fear factor,' Sherman said is the reason he hasn’t made the journey south before now. 'I guess it’s been on my bucket list,' he added of the 628 nautical mile race.
Sherman has compiled a crew that consists of his regular CYCA buddies combined with additional crew members of the former Lake Macquarie yacht, Tow Truck, including Anthony Paterson and Brett Filby who are recognised for pushing boats hard and fast.
Also tackling the blue water classic for the first time are some of the French crew from Peugeot Surfrider. Watching the spectacular sight of the Rolex Sydney Hobart fleet exit Sydney Harbour from North Head last year, the Protect Our Playground team, led by Sebastien Guyot, made a pact to sail in the next race with the talented French professional sailor, Nicolas Lunven, as their skipper.
They have been developing their campaign over the last eight months and have entered into a boat share arrangement with Paul Clitheroe to take his Beneteau 45 south. They will sail the race to promote ocean preservation.
So far a fleet of 72 has been nominated for the 68th Rolex Sydney Hobart, however, CYCA Commodore, Howard Piggott, is anticipating a fleet of between 80 and 90 yachts will take to the start of one of the world’s toughest ocean races.
Commencing at 1pm AEDT on Boxing Day, December 26, four super maxis – three at 100ft and one 98 footer will be the major contenders for line honours. Among them are five–time line honours winner, Wild Oats XI, which won the triple in 2005. Owned by Bob Oatley, it will again compete against last year’s winner, Loyal. Syd Fischer has leased the yacht for two years, and has rebadged the yacht Ragamuffin Loyal.
The two will be joined by Grant Wharington’s Wild Thing from Queensland, which took line honours in the 2003 race as Skandia. She is currently undergoing some modifications that should benefit her boat speed. Two feet shorter than her rivals, but always in contention, Peter Millard and John Honan’s Lahana makes up the ‘Awesome Foursome’.
Smaller, regular competitors include Jim and Mary Holley’s one-off Farr 40 Aurora, Tony and Rob Fisher’s Tasmanian Adams 20 Helsal III and Victorian Bruce Taylor’s IRC 40, Chutzpah.
The many overall winners in the fleet include Simon Kurts with the 39 year-old Sparkman and Stephens 47 Love & War which has won the race three times; Bob Steel, a two tine winner, with his TP52 Quest; last year’s winner Loki (Stephen Ainsworth) and Roger Hickman with his Farr 43 Wild Rose, which won the race under IOR as Solbourne Wild Oats in 1993.
Applications for Entry close next Thursday 1 November 2012 at 1700hours AEDT, so owners need to register their intentions quickly via the online entry process on the official race website.
The final fleet for this year’s Rolex Sydney Hobart will be announced at the CYCA on the morning of Tuesday 27 November 2012.
The Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2012 Notice of Race is now online here with Applications for Entry being accepted online.
The start of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race will be broadcast live on the Seven Network throughout Australia, webcast live to a global audience on Yahoo!7 and the Australia Network throughout the Asia Pacific Region.
Line honours contenders super maxis Ragamuffin Loyal and Wild Oats XI
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race website