Entry list open

First sign-ups for the 2008 Rolex Sydney Hobart Race

Monday August 25th 2008, Author: Jennifer Crooks, Location: United Kingdom
Within hours of the release of the Rolex Sydney Hobart 2008 Notice of Race, the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia had received its first two applications for entry and this figure has now climbed to 13, surpassing the number of entries received this time last year.

CYCA Commodore Matt Allen with his Jones 70 Ichi Ban was among the first entries received. Ichi Ban is a strong line honours contender for the tough 628 nautical mile course, having finished third across the line last year and second to Wild Oats XI in 2006.

A strong international fleet is expected to participate in this year’s race with the first international entry received from the Netherlands. Owner and skipper Aste Blei will sail his Sparkman Stephens designed Pinta-M 41 with his eager crew, who were anxiously awaiting the application for entry after missing out on contesting the Rolex Fastnet 2007 due to the high number of entries.

Pinta-M will be shipped to Australia from Europe in mid-October and is due to arrive in Sydney at the beginning of December. Biel and the boat’s previous owner will greet the boat in Sydney and begin preparations for her debut race south.

“The crew will arrive in Australia approximately one week before the start of the race to finish off preparations and acclimatise,” said Biel.

Pinta-M has raced successfully offshore on the North Sea and placed fifth overall in the Rolex Fastnet Race in 2005. Like the S & S 47 Love & War, which claimed overall honours in the 2006 Rolex Sydney Hobart, Pinta-M performs exceptionally well upwind in a stiff breeze.

Commenting on the high number of applications for entry received to date, Vice Commodore and chairman of the sailing committee Garry Linacre said “It is encouraging to see the strong number of entries received thus far. We are anticipating one of the strongest fleets for a number of years.

“The level of international interest has been strong and we anticipate that they will make up ten percent of the expected 80 plus boat fleet,” said Linacre.

Applications for entry have also been received for Ragamuffin , the TP52 owned and skippered by the current CYCA Blue Water Champion Syd Fischer who will be undertaking his 40th Hobart this year; the family crewed Shortwave, a Judel Vrolijk TP 52, owned by Matthew Short; and Graeme Wood’s new JV52 Wot Now. Three Victorian entries have also been lodged including Bruce Taylor’s IRC 40 Chutzpah and Nicholas Bartels’s new Sydney 47 Terra Firma.

With the publication of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Notice of Race, those intending to enter this year’s blue water classic are now invited to submit an application to enter.

“The 628 nautical mile Rolex Sydney Hobart is renowned as one of the most significant and toughest ocean races in the world,” said CYCA Commodore Matt Allen. “It is an Australian sporting icon and each year the race throws out the gauntlet of new challenges to participants. On behalf of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, it is my pleasure to invite owners and charterers of eligible boats to participate in the 64th running of the event which will start from Sydney Harbour on Boxing Day, 26 December.”

The Rolex Sydney Hobart will be preceded by the Rolex Trophy to be conducted on the waters off Sydney Heads. The racing for the one design classes, including Farr 40s, Sydney 38s, and other one design classes will take place between 12-14 December and the IRC and Performance Handicap boats between 18 and 21 December 2008. The Notice of Race for the Rolex Trophy will be published later in the year.

Rolex has been the principal sponsor of the Rolex Sydney Hobart and Rolex Trophy since 2002.

Applications for entry for the Rolex Sydney Hobart 2008 close 3 November 2008 at 1700hrs AEST.

Official race website: www.rolexsydneyhobart.com

Notice of Race web link: http://www.cyca.com.au/sysfile/downloads/RSHYR08_NoR.pdf

Application for Entry web link: http://www.cyca.com.au/sysfile/downloads/RSHYR08_EF.pdf

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