Please select your home edition
Edition
InSunSport - International - GR

Rolex Trophy Rating Series starts tomorrow

by Di Pearson on 14 Dec 2011
HOOLIGAN, Rolex Trophy 2010 © Rolex/Daniel Forster http://www.regattanews.com
Some of the best known Australian yachts will be on display from tomorrow, as they compete for the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s Rolex Trophy Rating Series in the lead-up to the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.

Brand new boats will blend in with tried and tested grand-prix champions in what is the very last chance to test boat, equipment and crew ahead of the big 628 nautical mile race starting Boxing Day.

Windward/leeward races on offshore courses will start the series off on Thursday and Friday, with two races scheduled per day. On Saturday and Sunday more yachts, including big boats Wild Oats XI (Bob Oatley), Lahana (Peter Millard/John Honan) and Ichi Ban (Matt Allen) will join in for the Passage Series, when race officials will test the fleet with some longer offshore races.

Odds-on favourites are the 2010 Rolex Trophy runner-up, Loki, Stephen Ainsworth’s RP63 designed winner of the 2010-2011 Blue Water Pointscore Series (BWPS) champion and the reigning champion, Hooligan, owned by Marcus Blackmore. Hooligan’s many successes since include victory in the Brisbane Gladstone Yacht Race and being named Class A winner of the Audi IRC Australian Championship in August.

Although Hooligan is not headed to Hobart, it is highly regarded as the ‘TP52 to beat’. Always armed with a world-beating crew the Northern Beaches yachtsman won the CYCA’s SOLAS Big Boat Challenge on Sydney Harbour yesterday. This weekend's crew includes British navigator Adrian Stead.

Apart from the rest of a highly competitive fleet, Blackmore will sail against fellow TP52’s; Ragamuffin (Syd Fischer) and Calm (Jason Van Der Slot/John Williams) and Shogun V (Rob Hanna), both from Victoria. Hanna finished third overall in the Rolex Trophy last year, but this year, he has updated his Shogun for a newer TP52 and has made no bones that his object is to be the top TP52 here.

The former near-new Audi Azzurra successfully competed on the European circuit at the MedCup for original owner, Alberto Roemmers from Italy. Designed by Rolf Vrolijk, Shogun V makes her first competitive appearance on Australian waters in the Rolex Trophy. Hanna prudently pulled out of the SOLAS Boat Challenge in the early stages yesterday when a crew member was injured, but fortunately did not require hospital care.

Australian, Paul Westlake, a prominent sailmaker who trimmed the mainsail for Roemmers, has been smartly recruited by Hanna to continue on in the job. The showdown between the four TP52’s should be a treat. Calm’s owners have has had excellent competition from a strong Victorian grand prix fleet and have drafted 24-Hobart veteran, Barney Walker, to navigate. Syd Fischer recently added Steve McConaghy to the back of Ragamuffin and is second overall in the BWPS going into the last race of the series, the Rolex Sydney Hobart.

Robbo Robertson is making a return to serious ocean racing with a brand new Beneteau First 40, Lunchtime Legend. The Queenslander left offshore racing behind a few years back, but a delayed mid-life crises in his late 60’s has brought ‘Sir Robbo’ back to the sport he has always loved with a well-named yacht.

The current BWS leader, Darryl Hodgkinson’s much hyped Beneteau 45 Victoire, also joins the weekend’s passage racing. She will be joined by Victorian entries, Bruce Taylor’s Caprice 40 Chutzpah, Rob Date’s RP52 Scarlet Runner, and Nicholas Bartels’ Cookson 50, Terra Firma, among others.


The Rolex Trophy, which will have book makers running to calculate their odds for the Rolex Sydney Hobart, will be held from 15-18 December.

Racing is schedule to start at 11.00am each day – weather permitting. Passage races will be between 17 and 27 nautical miles and will start near Shark Island, with all finishes in Watsons Bay, making for good spectator viewing.

Rolex Trophy Rating Series list of entries here

Bakewell-White Yacht DesignWildwind 2016 660x82Naiad

Related Articles

Edgartown Race Week - Overall report
Four races were held today, in nine - twelve knots from the southwest for the IRC fleet. This is the third leg of the east coast IRC summer series. Four races were held today, in nine - twelve knots from the southwest for the IRC fleet. The three TP52’s had hard fought battles as usual.
Posted today at 6:35 am
Conch Republic Cup - More than just a race to Cuba
When relations between U.S. and Cuba were restored in 2015, Conch Republic Cup was resurrected after a 13-year hiatus. When diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba were restored in 2015, the Conch Republic Cup was resurrected after a forced 13-year hiatus.
Posted today at 6:02 am
Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup - Lone bullets for the Brits
Despite three more inshore races being held on day five France Blue leads with a similar 11.5 point margin to yesterday 2016 Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup - Despite three more inshore races being held on day five of the Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup, the Royal Ocean Racing Club's biennial flagship event for three boat teams with Corinthian crews, France Blue leads with a similar 11.5 point margin to yesterday, but Flanders North Sea is now the team that has relieved France White of second place overall.
Posted today at 2:10 am
Supermaxi Scallywag has her first outing on Sydney Harbour
Scallywag is a 100' Super Maxi Yacht (ex Ragamuffin 100) owned by a HongKong Business man. Scallywag is a 100' Super Maxi Yacht (ex Ragamuffin 100) owned by a HongKong Business man. Yesterday the boat took it first sail on Sydney Harbour in preparation for this weekend's start of the CYCA Land Rover Sydney to Gold Coast Yacht Race
Posted on 28 Jul
Extreme Sailing Series– Oman Air sneak early lead despite bump on nose
Hamburg’s River Elbe in the HafenCity area was transformed into the ultimate test in Stadium Racing today Hamburg’s River Elbe in the HafenCity area was transformed into the ultimate test in Stadium Racing today, with the narrow river, passing traffic, high walls, shifty light winds and strong currents challenging the fleet on the opening day
Posted on 28 Jul
52 Super Series – Puerto Portals Week – Quantum Racing top of the pops
Quantum Racing stand on the threshold of their third regatta win of the season after sailing to their fourth win today. The Bay of Palma lived up to its one way traffic reputation for most of the time. The risk-reward equation for those pressing for the pin end launch was high. But significantly both of today’s race winners – Quantum Racing and Bronenosec– favoured the lower risk mid line starts where they had a better chance of coming away from the gun at maximum speed by staying clear of the jousting and jostling
Posted on 28 Jul
Debriefing the 2015-16 Clipper Round The World Race with Huw Fernie
Sail-World talked with Huw Fernie of Visit Seattle to learn more about a Clipper Round The World Race skipper’s life. Skipper Huw Fernie and his Visit Seattle crew took top honors in the Den Helder Northern Seas Challenge, marking their second podium finish during the 2015/16 Clipper Round The World Race. I recently caught up with Fernie to learn more about Visit Seattle’s success in the Den Helder Northern Seas Challenge, and to learn more about the life of a Clipper Round The World Race skipper.
Posted on 28 Jul
Oman Air quick to master light airs on Day 1 of Extreme Sailing Series
Last year’s wild and gusty winds gave way to light simmering airs but the Oman Sail was quick to master the conditions. The compact River Elbe race course, bordered on all sides by cargo containers and all the handling equipment associated with one of the busiest ports in the world, was expected to be tricky for the GC32 fleet even though the race area had been expanded.
Posted on 28 Jul
Finale of Clipper Race global series starts in The Netherlands
The 198nm race to London is going to be one of the most nail-biting yet with just six points separating the top teams After a Departure Ceremony from Willemsoord Marina and a Parade of Sail in the presence of Dutch Royal Navy ship ZrMs Luymes, the fleet started the final short sprint to London off the Dutch coast.
Posted on 28 Jul
Thousands of spectators expected to welcome home Clipper Race fleet
Hurricane winds, giant waves, freezing conditions, battered boats and tragedy fail to quell fighting spirit of the crew. The tenth edition of the famous biennial race for novice sailors led by professional skippers is regarded as the most challenging on record after the event endured the most extreme conditions it has ever faced in its 20-year history.
Posted on 28 Jul