Yendys makes her debut
All eyes will be on the handicap performance of Geoff Ross’ new Reichel/Pugh 55 Yendys which will make its regatta debut tomorrow having only recently arrived into Sydney from China.
“We are really looking forward to racing tomorrow,” said Ross this afternoon. “It was a huge effort to get the boat here and now we have a chance to test it in the ‘big tank’, [the ocean]”.
Ross is not perturbed by the limited time he and his crew have spent on the boat. “The crew has done plenty of sailing together, now it’s time to test all the theoreticals.”
The prediction is for a close battle between Yendys and her slightly larger Reichel/Pugh stablemate Loki which, like Yendys, is gunning for an Overall win in the Rolex Sydney Hobart.
“With the same designer and only built a year apart, I’m expecting a good contest between the two boats, once we settle in,” added Ross.
Also racing in IRC Division 1 is Michael Hiatt’s Cookson 50 Living Doll from Melbourne. After breaking their boom on Sunday night in a fierce southerly which hit as they neared the end of their 600 nautical mile delivery, Hiatt is still awaiting the arrival of his new boom following a hold up at customs in New Zealand. The replacement boom is due late tonight however it should only be a five minute job to attach it according to Hiatt.
Racing in IRC Division 0 is three canting keelers, Bob Oatley’s Wild Oats XI, which took line honours in yesterday’s Big Boat Challenge, Steven David’s always well sailed Wild Joe and Ray Roberts Cookson 50 Quantum Racing sailing only its second regatta.
Hiatt’s Living Doll also has the ability to cant its keel but the owner has decided to keep it locked off for the purpose of these windward/leeward races, because of the handicap advantage this offers.
Leslie Green’s superb Swan 60 Ginger, Dick Cawse’s Vanguard and Geoff Morgan and Andrew Banks’ You’re Hired, which outclassed its much larger opposition to pick up a third in division in yesterday’s Big Boat Challenge on Sydney Harbour, will also sail in IRC Division 1.
In IRC Division 2, a much larger division this year, the well campaigned J/145 Jazz, skippered by UK yachtsman Chris Bull, who is currently enjoying Sydney’s full summer racing programme, is expected to put up a good fight against Syd Fischer’s Farr 50 Ragamuffin, which can never be underestimated, and Chris Dare’s Corby 49 Flirt, also from Melbourne.
Trevor Taylor’s Ausmaid, which arrived into Sydney over the weekend, will also be amongst the starting line up tomorrow.
A two time former overall winner of the Rolex Sydney Hobart under previous owners, Ausmaid is one of a number of interstate boats contesting both the Rolex Trophy Rating Series and Rolex Sydney Hobart but she has sailed the furthest - all the way from Fremantle Sailing Club in Western Australia.
The first race of the four-day regatta will start off Sydney Heads tomorrow, Thursday 14 December, at 11.00am with eight races scheduled between Thursday and Sunday 17 December.
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