It’s all about the numbers for this year’s Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, with entries in the 70th edition of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s blue water classic swelling to 50, including classic yachts such as Love & War and the high-tech flying machines like Ichi Ban.
Noel Sneddon’s Vickers 41 C.Q.R IT Inca (pronounced secure it) was the 50th entrant to be received by the CYCA. The sturdy workhorse from the ACT also serves as Sneddon’s home and spends most of her time in Airlie Beach.
C.Q.R. IT Inca last competed in the Rolex Sydney Hobart in 2012, and was the second last boat to cross the finish line, arriving just a few minutes before the 9.30pm New Year’s Eve fireworks. The crew, which includes father and son trio Ian, Michael and Nicholas Cooke, are prepared for the worst, but are hoping for a champagne run.
The 2014 fleet showcases the cream of Australian yachting and an ever growing number of international entries that will traverse the globe just to reach the Sydney Harbour start line this Boxing Day.
Yachting Australia President and Past CYCA Commodore Matt Allen worked with the Carkeek team to ensure his latest 60 foot Ichi Ban, was at the cutting edge of yacht racing design when he launched the boat just 10 months ago. Since then, Ichi Ban was declared overall winner and claimed line honours in the CYCA’s Sydney Newcastle Race and finished second at Airlie Beach Race Week.
Allen will be competing in his 25th Sydney Hobart, joining 116 yachties who have achieved this milestone, including 12 who have completed 40 plus Hobarts.
Other notable entries include Tony Kirby’s year-old Patrice, which made a big impression winning the Sydney Short Ocean Racing Championship, then reeled of second places at the Festival of Sails, Sail Port Stephens and the Audi IRC Australian Championship. In August, the Ker 46 won six from six races at Airlie Beach Race Week.
Roger Hickman’s 29 year-old Farr 43 Wild Rose, the1993 overall IOR winner and reigning Blue Water Pointscore champion always performs, and John Newbold’s Primitive Cool from Victoria is worth watching. The Reichel Pugh 51 won the 2010 race as Secret Men’s Business 3.5 for original owner, Geoff Boettcher.
Heading the classic yacht entries are: Bacardi, Victorian Martin Power’s Peterson 44, which last year sailed her 28th race to record the most Sydney Hobarts by a yacht; Maluka of Kermandie, Sean Langman’s classic gaff-rigger will be the oldest and smallest yacht to compete and Love & War, Simon Kurts’ S & S 47, one of only two yachts to win three times overall in the history of the race.
A strong contingent is building from interstate. Victorian entries are at 15, Tasmania can boast six, Western Australia has five, while Queensland numbersfour.
Two international entries have been received; Caro, Mark Bertlett’s Botin 60 from the Cayman Islands, and Passion 4 C, Stefan Lehnert’s Tripp 56 from Germany. Entries are also expected from New Zealand, Hong Kong, USA and United Kingdom.
As a nod to the race’s founding fathers, the CYCA has extended an invitation to those yachts that have competed in previous Sydney Hobarts to participate in a Parade of Sail, which will commence at 10am on 26 December.
Participants will motor-sail a short Harbour course led by the historic naval vessel HMAS Advance. Competitors from the early years of the race such as Kathleen Gillett, Archina, Wayfarer, Christina and Defiance have already signaled their intentions to be part of this historic event.
CYCA Commodore John Cameron announced the commemorative Parade of Sailwould be conducted in keeping with the Club’s ongoing tradition of celebrating key anniversaries of the Race.
“The 70th Sydney Hobart Yacht Race is a significant milestone and what better way to pay tribute to the sport of ocean racing than conducting a Parade of Sail featuring veteran yachts from the great races south to Hobart.
“We trust that the Parade of Sail will be a perfect curtain-raiser to the main event, which could see up to 120 yachts take to the start line on Boxing Day, December 26 at 1pm. Man and machine will battle the elements down the eastern seaboard for 628 nautical miles to see who will be crowned the overall winner of the Rolex Sydney Hobart.
“To win the Rolex Sydney Hobart is a dream of many yachties and to do so in an anniversary year will be a very special moment in the race’s history book for the winning owner and their yacht.”
The start of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race will be broadcast live on the Seven Network throughout Australia and webcast live to a global audience on Yahoo!7.
Entries in the Rolex Sydney Hobart 2014 close on Friday 31 October 2014 at 1700hrs AEDT.
The Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2014 Notice of Race is now online at: http://www.rolexsydneyhobart.com/competitors/online-race-entry/.
By Jennifer Crooks, CYCA Media