Eleven Tasmanian yachts enter 75th Sydney Hobart

Champion Hobart yacht Philosopher this week became the eleventh Tasmanian entrant for this year’s 75th Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.

It is the biggest contingent from the state since the 50th edition of the bluewater classic in 1995, with the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia announcing this week it had already received more than 100 entries.

Expectations are for a fleet of close to 150 Australian and international yachts lining up on Sydney Harbour for the 75th start on Boxing Day, 26 December.

Tasmanian entries received this past week have been Shaun Tiedemann’s Philosopher, David Aplin and Joanna Breen’s Team Runaway and Ed Psaltis’ Midnight Rambler.

Since being bought by Tiedemann, Philosopher, a modified Sydney 36CR, has won the Maria Island, Bruny Island and Launceston to Hobart ocean races and the Combined Clubs IRC championships in southern Tasmania.

Tiedemann and his young crew have also sailed Philosopher to an IRC division win at the Australian Yachting Championships on Melbourne’s Port Phillip

With the Australian Yachting Championships in Hobart in January, Tiedemann and his youthful crew, are looking for a hat-trick.

“This is the boat’s first Sydney Hobart, as it is mine,” said Tiedemann, who is manager of the Derwent Sailing Squadron. “Having spent my life working on the water (fishing, aquaculture and marine survey) it's never really be an aspiration to spend my recreation time on the water – so to speak. 

“The Philosopher thing has been about going sailing with Sam and his mates – it's fun. The crew want to go – so that means so do I…I guess.”

Tiedemann said the crew for the 75th Sydney Hobart would be much the same that have sailed with him since he got the boat.

“We will race the Hobart with nine crew. Only two of us haven't done the race. Most notably joining the crew are Andrew Smith (Willie Smith Cider) with 14 Hobarts and Andrew Davison (seven Hobarts). They will complement and bring offshore experience to the young guys who have without doubt shown they can sail the boat to its potential over short and long races.

“Our goals are simple: safely finish the race, be competitive in our division – and have fun. The Philosopher is far from a rock star boat but with a Formula 1 crew we have regularly shown we can bat above our weight,” added Tiedemann,

Fellow DSS members David Aplin and Jo Breen have recently bought Team Runaway, a Sayer 11, specifically for two-handed ocean racing, but will contest the 75th Sydney Hobart as a fully-crewed entry.

They are looking forward to 2020 when the CYCA has announced it will accept two-handed entries for the big race.

Ed Psaltis has re-located to southern Tasmania this year and, in his first local series, sailed Midnight Rambler, a Sydney 36, to victory in the Derwent Sailing Squadron’s Autumn Short-Handed Series.

The veteran of 37 Sydney Hobarts, Psaltis won the storm-swept 1998 Sydney Hobart in his smaller Hick designed boat, also named Midnight Rambler.

Other Tasmanian yachts so far entered are Oskana, Mike Pritchard’s Cookson 50; Black Sheep, Matthew Pilkington’s Beneteau First 45; 2Unlimited, Greg Prescott’s Farr 40mod; Filepro, Tim Gadsby’s Lyons 40; Magic Miles, Michael Crew’s Dynamique 62; Natelle Two, Laura Roper’s Peterson 41; Van Diemen III, Robert Vaughan’s Muir 64; Windrose, Ashok Mani’s S&S48.

Oskana, 2Unlimited and Natelle Two are contesting Hobart club’s winter races as the start of their preparations for the Rolex 75th Sydney Hobart. All three have had wins as the crews show their dedication to competing on Hobart’s chilly winter mornings.

– Peter Campbell

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