Ever since the release of the Notice of Race for the 68th edition of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, applications for entry for Australia’s blue water classic have been rolling in from all over the globe and as of today, number 30.
For the first time in the race's history, Lithuania will be
represented by Ambersail, a Volvo 60 that will be
skippered by Simonas Steponavičius.
With her all-Lithuanian crew, Ambersail has competed in
many major offshore regattas, including the Sevenstar Round Britain
and Ireland, RORC Caribbean 600, Transatlantic, Rolex Fastnet and
Rolex Middle Sea Races.
"This is a legendary yacht race - we have wanted to compete in
this event for some time.
We decided that this was the year to leave the beaten track of the
Europe-Carribbean circle and head down under," Steponavicius
Ambersail is currently being trekked across the Pacific
and will stop in Auckland for maintenance in the beginning of
December before making her way to Sydney.
Japan will be represented by Bengal7, a Humphreys 54
that was launched in 2010 for owner Yoshihiko Murase, and will be
skippered by Yoichi Ito. Bengal7 is the first Japanese
entry in the race since 1997, when Eiichiro Tatsui's Summer
Boy, representing Kansai Yacht Club, crossed the finish line
in 18th place.
Geoff Hill is bringing his Dubois 90 Genuine Risk, the
line honours winner of the 2012 Rolex China Sea Race, from Hong
Kong; and Rikki, a Reichel Pugh 42 owned by Ray Haslar,
will fly the Kiwi flag.
Leading the line honours charge again will be Bob Oatley's super
maxi Wild Oats XI,
with skipper Mark Richards at the helm, vying for a sixth line
"We'll be on the pace the whole way to Hobart - racing the clock
in the hope we can beat our own race record time," Richards
promised. "Plus we'll be doing our best to beat the fleet on
corrected time too," he added.
After winning last year's race overall, Stephen Ainsworth
declared he would bring his super sleek Reichel/Pugh 63
Loki back to defend her title, whilst Simon Kurts is
bringing his 30 year old Sparkman and Stephens 47, Love and
War, a three time overall winner of the Rolex Sydney Hobart,
back to the start line.
A new boat to keep an eye out for will be Steven Proud's ES44
Swish that has been launched recently and is currently on
its way to Australia from the US. This replaces his Sydney 38 of
the same moniker and ends an 18 month search for a suitable
The bulk of the current applications received to date are from
Australia, with all states and the ACT being represented.
Tasmanian entrant Dump Truck, owned by Justin Wells and Edward
Fader, second in IRC
Division 2 in last year's race, was the first entry to be received
by the CYCA. The Ker 11.3 is representing Royal Yacht Club of
Tasmania, which has a rich history with the famous 628 nautical
mile race it finishes each year.
The CYCA is predicting an international fleet of around 90
yachts will make the start line on Boxing Day, December 26 at 1pm
The start of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race will be
broadcast live on the Seven Network throughout Australia, webcast
live to a global audience on Yahoo!7 and the Australia Network
throughout the Asia Pacific Region.
Applications for Entry in the Rolex Sydney Hobart 2012 close on
Thursday 1 November 2012 at 1700hrs AEDT.
The Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2012 Notice of Race is now
online at: http://rolexsydneyhobart.com/editorial.asp?key=1711 with
Applications for Entry being accepted online.
By Jennifer Crooks, CYCA Media
Image: ROLEX/Daniel Forster
2011 Rolex Sydney Hobart fleet at South Head before exiting Sydney Harbour