Boat owners have less than a week to enter the 31st Sydney Short Ocean Racing Championship with online entries closing Monday 17 November at 2300hrs.
The weekend regatta, to be hosted by Middle Harbour Yacht Club on 29-30 November, will once again showcase a prestigious line up for the standalone event which is also the first in the series of lead up regattas for those yachts bound for Hobart or Coffs Harbour.
It's a chance to fine tune both boat and crew prior to the Rolex Trophy One Design and Rating Series and the two major offshore races in a spectacular six race windward/leeward format for the IRC Racer, Sydney 38 One Design and Farr 40 One Design divisions.
Two Short Ocean Passage races each day will provide a different set of challenges for the IRC and PHS Racer/Cruiser Classes and Sydney 32 One Design Class and a spectacular sight for those enjoying the Harbour and foreshore with a common start and finish inside Sydney Heads.
Last year a fleet of 64 contested the annual Championship and with the second largest fleet in a decade applying to enter the 64th Rolex Sydney Hobart, MHYC's Principal Race Officer John Hurley is expecting strong interest once again.
'It's looking like a solid field for this year's event. We will see a couple of the newer boats on the water alongside the strong performers from past years. 'Audi IRC Australian Champion Peter Sorensen in his Sydney 36CR Philosophers Club is among the high level entries in the IRC Racer class ...it remains to be seen whether there's someone out there who can provide him with some stiff competition,' said Hurley today.
Headlining the IRC Racer fleet size-wise is Championship newcomer Black Jack, owned by Queensland developer Peter Harburg, which dominated the line honours competition at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week before undergoing modifications to improve the boat's IRC handicap performance. The Reichel/Pugh 66 is being groomed for its debut Rolex Sydney Hobart and will use the SSORC to tighten up the crew work.
The IRC Racer Class will sail six races over the two days on the Manly Circle course area.
Having taken line honours in the recent Lord Howe Is Race and more recently, stealing the limelight in the Botany Bay Race, Andrew Short Marine's recently acquired ASM Shockwave 5 will be the largest entrant for the passage courses and indeed the entire regatta.
'Expect to see a colourful start as Shockwave 5 and the other 'glamours' head out of the Harbour to an offshore mark before returning for a Harbour finish. The CYCA Ocean's Pointscore fleet will join this division for the first time, an exciting addition to this year's Championship,' added Hurley.
'The grand prix one design classes usually turn out in big numbers, I would expect most of the Australian fleet of Farr 40's to be out there. With Martin Hills' Estate Master out of the line up for the weekend, current class leader Guido Belgiorno-Nettis, racing his well-campaigned Transfusion, could have an easier ride,' predicted the Regatta PRO.
The Farr 40 and Sydney 38 one designs will race six windward/leewards on the Macquarie Circle course area.
Entries can be lodged online at http://www.topyachtsoftware.com/db/aus/series_select.php?EventID=22
until 2300hrs on Monday 17 November 2008.
SSORC website www.ssorc.mhyc.com.au/