SOLAS Big Boat Challenge (SBBC) winner, Wild Oats XI, will take to the water for her final Rolex Sydney Hobart limber up, joining 30 others in the two-day CYCA Trophy–Passage, starting Saturday near Shark Island at 11.00am.
Wild Oats XI will be joined by 30 others, including Caro, owned by Mark Bartlett. To be skippered by Max Klink, the Botin 65 will make her Sydney race debut in this event. The first entry ever received from the Cayman Islands for the Rolex Sydney Hobart, she has been prepared at the CYCA for the past two weeks. It is an opportunity for all to check out the year-old racer cruiser that smashed the ARC race record by over eight hours last year.
Back for his 34th attempt to win the Hobart race, Bruce Taylor returns with his Caprice 40 Chutzpah. The Melbourne dentist will be joined by fellow Victorian, Antony Walton with his RP46, Hartbreaker and Steven Richardson’s Geelong entry, Moody Buoys, a Moody 54ds design.
Two Tasmanians are entered: Anthony Lyall and his recent Maria Island Race record breakingTP52, Cougar II, and David Rees’ Whistler, which took the Maria Island race trifecta of IRC, AMS and PHS. Skipper Jory Linscott will be joined by his sister, stepfather and step uncle in the crew of nine. Linscott is confident the close-knit family can keep the MDB 36’s reputation clean.
Craig Carter’s Indian from Western Australia is back after finishing ninth in the Cabbage Tree Island Race and fourth overall in the Bird Island Race last weekend, but the feeling is we are yet to see the full potential of this Carkeek 47 from Western Australia.
Bob Cox will be back at the helm of Nine Dragons, after skippering his DK46 to victory in the Sydney Short Ocean Racing Championship at the end of November. Cox’s Middle Harbour YC competitor, Andrew Dally and his same design Khaleesi will be there too, hoping to level the score.
Among the front runners for the series are those at the top of the CYCA’s Blue Water Point Score (BWPS): Matt Allen’s Carkeek 60, Ichi Ban, the overall winner of the SBBC, Paul Clitheroe’s TP52 Balance, ADA Celestial, Sam Haynes’ Roger’s 46, reigning Rolex Sydney Hobart overall winner Darryl Hodgkinson’s Cookson 50 Victoire and St George Midnight Rambler, the Ker 40 owned by Ed Psaltis/Bob Thomas/Michael Bencsik.
Despite being damaged in the SBBC on Tuesday, Rob Hanna’s Shogun from Victoria is also set to take part. Although the TP52 is at the top of the BWPS leaderboard, she cannot win as she is not a competitor in the non-droppable Hobart race which will decide the winner.
Missing from the start line will be Patrice. Tony Kirby received the good news from McConaghy that his replacement bulb has arrived in Australia, so the Ker 46 will hopefully be back on the water next week.
The CYCA Trophy-Passage Series, combined with the Bird Island Race sailed earlier this month, and the non-droppable Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, will decide the Southern Cross Cup. Held every odd year from 1967 to 2001, it was reintroduced last year as an annual event. Teams consist of: Ichi Ban, Victoire, Wild Rose (CYCA Blue), Balance, Celestial, St George Midnight Rambler (CYCA Gold) and Ariel, Black Sheep and Occasional Coarse Language Too (CYCA White).
Racing in the annual CYCA Trophy Series, conducted under IRC, ORCi and PHS, starts from 11.00am on Saturday and Sunday. Principal Race Officer, Denis Thompson will select the courses on the day, decided by the weather. Courses range in size from 17-27 nautical miles and start from Shark Island and finish at Watsons Bay. In the case of heavy weather, Thompson will set a Harbour course.
By Di Pearson, CYCA Media