The 50th yacht to enter is Audacious, a Sydney 38 owned by Greg Clinnick and Paul Holden. This boat was previously known as Chutzpah, when she was owned and raced by Bruce Taylor. After campaigning First Act, a Beneteau First Class 12 metre, for a number of years and winning the ORCV Winter Series and the Top of the Bay Regatta in Division 2 in 2006, Clinnick and Holden decided an upgrade was needed!
They took ownership of the Sydney 38 in September 2007 and renamed the boat Audacious after deciding this was an appropriate name to give the boat as she would be crewed by an enthusiastic skipper and crew competing against the seven other Sydney 38s that reside on Port Phillip Bay including renowned yachtsman Lou Abrahams.
“We made the decision to sail in the 2008 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race about twelve months ago whilst having a quiet beer in Constitution Dock at the end of the Melbourne to Hobart race. Having crewed on Simply Red in the 2000 Hobart, both Paul and I had long think about the satisfaction of racing our own boat in the big race and realised that Audacious was the boat capable of making this dream a reality,” said owner/skipper Greg Clinnick.
“The Audacious crew know that they will face strong competition from the other Sydney 38s in the fleet but we have a commitment to our goals and a commitment to each other that will see us sail a competitive race, and we may even surprise a few of the veterans. None of us will die wondering what we could have achieved. We will be having a red hot go,” added Greg.
“Racing against 10 or more Sydney 38’s down Sydney Harbour and all the way to Hobart in the toughest ocean race in the world is a huge challenge for us, but that’s what yacht racing is all about. Win, lose or draw, it will be the greatest sailing experience of the crew’s lives!” concluded Greg.
Commenting on the number of entries, CYCA Vice Commodore and Chairman of the Sailing Committee Garry Linacre said, “The number of applications for entry received at this time is truly encouraging - more than double the amount of entries that had been received at this time last year. We have seen strong international interest with eight yachts from the Netherlands, UK, New Zealand, New Caledonia, Russia and Germany currently applied for entry combined with new boats and some of the consistent Hobart campaigners.”
Last year’s line honours winner Wild Oats XI has applied to enter and will challenge for a record fourth successive line honours win. Skipper Mark Richards says that Wild Oats XI is undergoing special modifications aimed at making the 30 metre Reichel/Pugh designed maxi even faster. He believes Wild Oats XI could sail the 628 nautical mile race in under 24 hours if the weather conditions are right, thereby beating her own race record of 1 day 18 hours 40 minutes and 10 seconds set in 2005.
Western Australian based CYCA member Alan Brierty will be at the helm of his new Reichel/Pugh 62 Limit, currently being built by Mal Hart at Mornington, Victoria. The 62ft Limit is a carbon fibre, state-of-the-art grand prix racing yacht that is due for launch in late November. She has been designed and built specifically to compete in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race and will be a strong contender for the Tattersall’s Cup, the trophy awarded to the overall winner on corrected time. Brierty and his chief helmsman/skipper Roger Hickman, who is also Yachting NSW President, will use the Rolex Trophy Rating Series to put the new Limit through her paces before the journey south.
Other entries include Aurora, owned by husband and wife Jim and Mary Holley from Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club and the South Australian yacht Doctel Rager, with owner Garry Shanks making a return to the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race after a break of several years, and the famous Alan Payne-designed Tasman Seabird Sanyo Maris, Ian Kiernan, is also making his Rolex Sydney Hobart comeback joined by co-owners including John Green, Tiare Tomaszewki and Ben Hawke. It will be a sentimental sail south as Tiare and Ben are grandchildren of the yacht’s original owner, Jack Earl - who sailed in the first Sydney Hobart Yacht Race in 1945 onboard Kathleen Gillett - and are children of Jack’s daughter Maris, the boat’s namesake.
Applications for entry for the 64th Rolex Sydney Hobart close 3 November 2008 at 1700hrs AEST.
See the Notice of Race