The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, the organising authority for the 65th edition of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, and Rolex SA of Geneva, the race's naming rights sponsor, have announced the release of the Notice of Race and invite applications for entry.
Following the CYCA's decision to extend the overall length limit (LOA) from 98 to 100ft, or 30 to 30.48 metres, the club anticipates entries from four 100 foot maxi yachts including Neville Crichton's Reichel Pugh designed 100ft Alfa Romeo, Mike Slade's UK based ICAP Leopard and Robert Oatley's Reichel Pugh designed Wild Oats XI, which is currently undergoing modifications to extend her LOA to 100ft. CYCA member Sean Langman plans to charter and lengthen the Greg Elliott designed New Zealand based Maximus.
Grant Wharington's Victorian registered Wild Thing and Peter Millard and John Honan's Bakewell -White designed Lahana, representing the CYCA, both at 30m will round out the maxi fleet.
The impending line honours tousle is shaping up as the toughest ever but the battle for the Tattersall's Cup, presented to the IRC overall winner, will be equally hard fought with a number of highly competitive yachts vying for this prestigious honour.
Returning to defend his IRC Overall win, CYCA member Bob Steel's TP52 Quest will go head to head with fellow CYCA members and other strongly campaigned TP52s including Syd Fischer's Ragamuffin, Graeme Wood's Wot Now (JV52) and Wot Yot, in a bid to secure a third IRC Overall win. Additional competition may come from the recently launched Scarlett Runner, skippered by Victorian yachtsman Robert Date, flying the Sandringham Yacht Club‘s burgee.
The CYCA also anticipates entries from seasoned interstate Rolex Sydney Hobart campaigners such as Adelaide based Geoff Boettcher's Reichel Pugh 47 Secret Mens Business III, and Victorian based Nicholas Bartels' Sydney 47 Terra Firma and Bruce Taylor's IRC 40 Chutzpah.
CYCA members also expected to enter include Commodore Matt Allen's Jones 70 Ichi Ban, Andrew Short's Reichel Pugh 80 Pricewaterhouse Coopers, Stephen Ainsworth's Reichel Pugh 63 Loki, Alan Brierty's Reichel Pugh 62 Limit, Geoff Ross' Reichel Pugh 55 Yendys, and Ray Roberts' Cookson 50 Evolution Racing.
The CYCA is predicting an international fleet of around 90 yachts will make the start line on Boxing Day, December 26, with the biggest display of maxi muscle ever seen in Sydney leading the charge out of the harbour for the annual 628 nautical mile dash to Hobart, Tasmania.
The Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2009 Notice of Race is now online at http://rolexsydneyhobart.com/editorial.asp?key=1711 .
Applications for entry for the Rolex Sydney Hobart 2009 close on 2 November 2009 at 1700hrs AEST.
By Jennifer Crooks