Sydney Short Ocean Racing Championship - Toybox among first entries

Sydney Short Ocean Racing Championship (SSORC) run by Middle Harbour Yacht Club.
The Notice of Race for the 35th Sydney Short Ocean Racing Championship is now online and past Middle Harbour Yacht Club Commodore Ian Box is among the first entries received. The event is set to take place 24th-25th November 2012.

Along with other big names, Box will compete in the IRC series after upgrading from his previous X42, Toybox, to the new Toybox 2, an XP44 from the drawing board of Niels Jeppesen.

His new boat is the latest in X yachts from Denmark and features non-over lapping headsails and a lot of carbon fibre; just two major differences between the new boat and his 11 year old, which Box raced with success over the years.

'The new boat arrived in Sydney on September 4th, on my wife’s birthday,' Box confirmed. 'I wanted a step up in design, and this one is specifically designed for IRC racing. It has a different hull shape and a lot of carbon; it’s the next generation,' he said.

So far, Box and his crew of regulars from his previous yacht have done a couple of club races and this weekend will take part in their second Short Ocean Pointscore (SOPs) race.

'This boat is quite different and so we’re still learning it, but we’re getting up to pace. It’s nice not having overlapping headsails and we’re getting more drive out of the main,' Box explained. 'The early signs are promising and we’re looking forward to the Sydney Short Ocean Pointscore so we can see how we shape up against the others.'

Other entries received for the SSORC, one of the major lead-ins to the Rolex Sydney Hobart, include Jack Stening’s Sydney 36, Stormaway, Neil Padden’s Beneteau 40.7, Wailea and John Anet’s Archambault 31, Neat Eng Precision.

Sydney Short Ocean Racing Championship (SSORC) run by Middle Harbour Yacht Club. Picture by Craig Greenhill/SALTWATERIMAGES
The IRC and PHS Series, along with the Beneteau First 40 Championship will all start with a passage race which will take yachts from Sydney Harbour to Lion Island and return and forms part of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s Ocean Pointscore Series, so is sure to provoke some serious competition.

Following on Sunday, the Series will continue with a short offshore race, to start in the Harbour and finish offshore, followed by a quick windward/leeward sprint. It means competitors will have a fair chance of success while enjoying a variety of races.

The Seven Islands Race will be held on Saturday November 24, and always presents a thrilling view for spectators as the yachts line up just of MHYC for the pursuit-style start, before heading to the major islands on either side of the Bridge before returning to the Club.

Middle Harbour Yacht Club Commodore, John McCuaig, said: 'The format of the SSORC has been updated and tweaked over the last few years in response to what yacht owners are seeking. SSORC 2012 has again had a revamp, to appeal to a wider audience, so that a quality line-up can thrash it out over the last weekend in November.'

MHYC members Peter Woodhead and Steve Plante were first entries in for the Seven Islands Race, with their respective boats, 2xcess, a Farr 30 and Twitcher, a Beneteau 35.5. The two will be hoping to set the pace on this fun and bendy course, with lots of sail changes as spinnakers are repeatedly hoisted and dropped.

MHYC invites all competitors to the Club after each days racing for the traditional and increasingly popular post-race beach party and live entertainment.

Entries close Friday 16th November, 2012 at 2400hrs.

To download the Notice of Race and to enter online, visit the Sydhey Short Ocean Racing Championship website.