Applications for Entry for the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race close next Tuesday 1 November 2011 at 1700hours AEST.
For over 66 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 host club, the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, time is running out for those wanting to take the race off their bucket list.
So far a fleet of 80 has been nominated for the 67th Rolex Sydney Hobart, however, CYCA Commodore, Garry Linacre, is anticipating a fleet of between 90 and 100 yachts will take to the start of one of the world’s toughest ocean races. Commencing at 1pm AEDT on Boxing Day, December 26, three super maxis – two at 100ft and one of 98ft will be the major contenders for line honours. 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.
One grand old dame will be back to avenge last year’s race - Martin Power’s 1978 built Peterson 44 Bacardi. Power has spent most of the year repairing the boat after it lost the mast and the deck disintegrated off the southern NSW coast on her way to Hobart last year.
Bacardi will undertake her 27th race south vying to match the record of Phillip’s Foote Witchdoctor, a Davidson 42 owned by a syndicate of CYCA members which has held the record since 2007, when she last made the journey south.
Line honours winners amongst the nominations include reigning contender and five - time winner, Wild Oats XI, which also won the triple in 2005, owned by Bob Oatley. She will be joined by Brindabella, which still holds the record for a conventionally ballasted yacht, set in 1999 (1 day, 20 hours, 46 mins and 33 secs) and is now owned by Jim Cooney.
The many overall winners in the fleet include Andrew Saies and his Beneteau First 40 Two True and Roger Hickman with his Farr 43 Wild Rose, then known as Solbourne Wild Oats and Phillip Child’s Knee Deep, which as Yendys and owned by Geoff Ross, won in 1999. Overall winning owners include Bruce Foye (The Goat), who was a co-owner with Hickman when they won in 1993, Syd Fischer with a former Ragamuffin and the dynamic duo of Ed Psaltis and Bob Thomas, who have a brand new Ker 40 AFR Midnight Rambler with an additional partner, Michael Bencsik.
International interest in the 628 nautical mile passage is again high, with a total of four overseas yachts nominated to-date, representing the UK, USA, and New Zealand; while every Australian state is represented. Tasmania is boasting its largest entry in some years, with seven boats nominated on the Application for Entry list.
The final fleet for this year’s Rolex Sydney Hobart will be announced at the CYCA on the morning of Tuesday 22 November 2011.
The Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2011 Applications for Entry and Notice of Race is online at: http://rolexsydneyhobart.com/editorial.asp?key=1711