A record fleet of 69 boats is expected to take on the Audi Centre Sydney Blue Water Pointscore’s Cabbage Tree Island Race on Friday 3 December.
The 172 nautical mile race will provide an early preview for the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. It will serve as a qualifying passage for much of the Sydney Hobart fleet.
Three 100-foot super maxis will challenge for Fully-Crewed Line Honours, with an exciting showdown set between Peter Harburg’s Reichel/Pugh 100 Black Jack (skippered by Mark Bradford), Christian Beck’s Juan-K 100 LawConnect and Seng Huang Lee’s Dovell 100 SHK Scallywag 100 (skippered by David Witt).
Philip Turner’s Reichel/Pugh 66 Alive (skippered by Australian Offshore Sailor of the Year, Duncan Hine) – the overall winner in the 2018 Sydney Hobart – is part of a strong contingent of 60-80 foot boats.
David Griffith’s JV62 Whisper will look to continue her strong form after winning Fully-Crewed Line and Overall honours in the Flinders Islet Race, as will Anthony Johnston’s Reichel/Pugh 72 URM – the Fully-Crewed Line Honours winner from the Bird Island Race.
Mark Richards – nine-times Sydney Hobart Line Honours winner as skipper of Wild Oats XI – will be at the helm of the Oatley family’s Reichel/Pugh 66 Wild Oats X.
Seven TP52s will challenge for Fully-Crewed Overall honours, in a prelude to the battle for the Tattersall Cup, including Matt Allen’s Ichi Ban, Sam Haynes’ Celestial, Damien Parkes’ Denali, Matt Donald & Chris Townsend’s Gweilo, Craig Neil’s Quest, Seb Bohm’s Smuggler, and Gordon Ketelbey’s Zen.
Sandy Farquharson and Rob Aldis’ DK 46 Khaleesi, Steve Capell’s Swan 65 Eve, Will Vicars’ Hoek TC78 Oroton Drumfire, Ian Edwards’ Dehler 46 Wings, Mark Spring’s Beneteau First 45 Highly Sprung and David Elliott’s DK46 Old School Racing will be among those pushing the TP52s on handicap.
Jules Hall’s J/99 Disko Trooper_Contender Sailcloth heads in as favourite in the Two-Handed Division, following back-to-back overall wins to open the Audi Centre Sydney Blue Water Pointscore.
Nine two-handed crews will gain more valuable ocean racing experience ahead of the inaugural Two-Handed Division in the 2021 Sydney Hobart: Crux (Carlos Aydos and Peter Grayson), Disko Trooper (Jules Hall and Jan Scholten), Flat White (Jen Linkova and Brenden Savage), Kayimai (Michael Bell and Matt Bell), Local Hero (Mark Ayto and Anto Sweetapple), Min River (Jiang Lin and Jean-Charles Ledun), Rum Rebellion (Shane Connelly and Graeme Dunlop), Salt Shaker (Peter Franki and Drew Jones), and Speedwell (Campbell Geeves and Wendy Tuck).
The Cabbage Tree Island Race is the third of four races in the 2021/22 Audi Centre Sydney Blue Water Pointscore, which culminates in the Sydney Hobart.
Matt Allen’s Ichi Ban leads the way in the Fully-Crewed Pointscore after winning the Bird Island Race overall and finishing second overall in the Flinders Islet Race. David Griffith’s Whisper is in second place, while the defending Audi Centre Sydney Blue Water Pointscore champions on Gweilo are third.
Disko Trooper_Contender Sailcloth leads the Two-Handed Division, ahead of Rum Rebellion and Salt Shaker in joint second.
Friday’s race also features as the opener of the Income Asset Management Australian Maxi Championship.
The inaugural regatta will see two divisions, Maxi and Mini Maxi, taking on up to four races from 3-7 December:
- Cabbage Tree Island Race – Friday 3 December
- Up to two passage races – Monday 6 December
- SOLAS Big Boat Challenge – Tuesday 7 December
The winners of each division will be determined by a pointscore across those races.
The three super maxis – Black Jack, LawConnect and SHK Scallywag 100 – make up the Maxi Division, while there are seven entrants in the Mini Maxi Division: Alive, Moneypenny, No Limit, URM, Whisper, Wild Oats X and Willow.