One designs for Hobart Race
The move is expected to draw more entries from the Sydney 38, Farr 52, Farr 40 and Farr 36 One Design class fleets and boost overall entries for the annual 630 nautical mile race down the Australian East Coast between Christmas and New Year.
In line with innovative changes announced earlier last month, eligible yachts may for the first time enter both the IMS and IRC rating divisions and now also a One Design division.
CYCA Sailing Committee chairman Roger Hickman said today that the rapid growth in popularity of the Australian designed and built Sydney 38 class augured well for a strong entry from owners of these yachts, while at least two Farr 52 ODs would be racing to Hobart this year. The Club also hoped to attract entries from the Farr 40 One Design class.
"The CYCA is acting on the wishes of yacht owners in promoting one-design, boat-for-boat racing within our long ocean races while at the same time maintaining the traditional rating (handicap) divisions which cater for our yachts, old and new, small and large, to compete in the great race south," Hickman said.
"There are currently 15 Farr 40 OD boats in Australia and more than 55 Sydney 38 OD boats have been built here, although some have been exported", he added. "Both designs have proven their ability to compete in long ocean races, including the Hobart Race. The Sydney 38 has proved very popular with many of our most respected offshore sailors and a tight One Design class has developed.
"The Farr 52 OD, Hollywood Boulevard, will be joined by a second boat currently being built by FK Yachts in Malaysia for CYCA member Matt Allen, and we hope to encourage other entries from overseas in this one design class".
Significantly, the CYCA will also make it easier for owners of one-design yachts to meet the strict stability index requirements for the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, the rules currently requiring that each yacht competing must hold a current, valid IMS rating certificate.
Once one boat in a strict one-design class holds a current IMS rating certificate as proof of its stability, then entries from other one-design boats of the same class will be accepted as being eligible to compete in this Category 1 ocean race without the cost of an IMS measurement, provided they comply with their one design class rules.
The Sydney 38 has a stability index of approximately 119.2 degrees, well above the minimum of 115 degrees required for a Category 1 ocean race, with yachts such as Another Challenge, Chutzpah and Next already holding current valid IMS certificates as well as their IRC rating certificates.
"It should be noted that if a one-design yacht wishes to also compete in the IMS category, then it will have to gain a current IMS certificate to achieve its IMS handicap rating," Hickman added.
The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia has decided to continue using the IMS category to determine the overall winner of the historic Tattersalls Cup at least for this year, but is closely monitoring the popularity of the IRC category and the relationship between the IRC rule and Ocean Racing Style, which are being built both in Australia and around the globe.
"The Club, as the organising authority, realises that there are changes in the popularity of rating rules and a clear growth in one design racing offshore, and it is our wish to satisfy the wishes of the majority of yacht owners," Hickman added.
"However, with the changes we have made it will be conceivable that a rated yacht could win the major IMS, IRC and One Design trophies for the 2002 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.
"At the same time, a super fast maxi yacht such as Neville Crichton's new Shockwave, could take line honours, set a race record, and win on corrected time both the IMS and IRC divisions in the 2002 Race."
Notice of Race for the 2002 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race is expected to be available later this month