Wednesday, 8 September 2010

RSHYR: 66th Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Notice of Race and Application for Entry Available

Start of the 65th Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. Image copyright ROLEX/Daniel Forster.

by Jennifer Crooks

The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, the organising authority for the 66th edition of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, and Rolex SA of Geneva, the naming rights sponsor, have announced the release of the Notice of Race and now invite applications for entry.

For one of Australia’s lauded yachtsmen, Ray Roberts, one of the most valued trophies in yachting, the Tattersall’s Cup, has eluded him for two decades. This year he embarks on his 20th race to Hobart with a new boat that he hopes will deliver him the prized trophy and the overall race win.

Roberts purchased Rosebud, the overall winner of the 2007 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, earlier this year with the intention of trying to win the Rolex Sydney Hobart and other world famous yacht races. He has since renamed the 65 foot Bruce Farr-designed yacht Evolution Racing.

After she sustained hull damage and lost her rig in the Rolex Middle Sea Race last October, Roberts bought Rosebud from her original owner, American Roger Sturgeon. Since taking ownership, the Sydney businessman has undertaken repair work, made modifications and installed a new mast from Hall Spars at New England Boat Works.

“With Rosebud modified and updated, she is now more an IRC racer than her original Transpac 65 Box Rule build. We’ve utilised America’s Cup technology on the yacht which is quite different, so it’s very high tech,” Roberts said.

“I had my first test sail in late July and am very pleased. I’m looking forward to what the 2010 Rolex Sydney Hobart will bring.”

Ray Roberts STP65 Evolution Racing in action at the New York Yacht Club Race Week. Image copyright ROLEX/Daniel Forster.

Roberts will face tough competition for the Tattersall’s Cup from Niklas Zennstrom’s UK based JV72 Rán, the overall winner of the 2009 Rolex Fastnet Race.

Zennstrom will return to Australia’s famous blue water classic for the second consecutive year with a view to winning the Tattersall’s Cup.

"After winning our division last year, Rán stayed in Sydney and underwent some maintenance, taking advantage of the marine expertise available,” Zennstrom said.

“We made a few performance oriented modifications, with the most notable a reduction in the weight of the bulb to improve the light wind performance. We did it to be more competitive in the Mediterranean but it’s unlikely it will be any benefit for the Rolex Sydney Hobart.

“We know Rán has great potential so we are coming to Sydney with one objective - to win," Zennstrom added.

Niklas Zennstrom's JV72 Ran in action during the Rolex Sydney Hobart 2009. Image copyright ROLEX/Daniel Forster.

CYCA member Stephen Ainsworth’s RP63 Loki is primed for an overall victory after taking several major IRC wins throughout the year including the Audi Sydney Harbour Regatta, Audi Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race and IRC Grand Prix division of Audi Hamilton Island Race Week, the only boat to have won all three in the same year.

Other CYCA members expected to enter include Immediate Past Commodore Matt Allen with his Jones 70 Ichi Ban, Syd Fischer’s TP52 Ragamuffin and Geoff Ross’ RP55 Yendys.

The CYCA also anticipates entries from seasoned interstate Rolex Sydney Hobart campaigners such as Adelaide based Geoff Boettcher’s Reichel Pugh 51 Secret Mens Business 3.5, and Victorian based Michael Hiatt’s Farr 55 Living Doll, Nicholas Bartels’ Cookson 50 Terra Firma and Bruce Taylor’s IRC 40 Chutzpah.

After finishing second last year to Neville Crichton’s Alfa Romeo, Mark Richards, skipper of Bob Oatley’s 100ft Reichel Pugh designed Wild Oats XI, has already signaled his intentions to return to attempt to claim a fifth line honours victory.

With Alfa Romeo sold to new Russian owners, Wild Oats XI will do battle for line honours glory with Sean Langman and Anthony Bell’s modified 100 footer, Investec LOYAL, with another star-studded crew aboard, and Peter Millard and John Honan’s 98ft Bakewell-White designed Lahana, sailing under the CYCA burgee.

The CYCA is predicting an international fleet of around 90 yachts will make the start line on Boxing Day, December 26 at 1pm AEST for the annual 628 nautical mile dash to Hobart, Tasmania.

The start of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race will be broadcast live on the Seven Network throughout Australia and webcast live to a global audience on Yahoo!7.

The Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2010 Notice of Race is now online at with applications for entry being accepted online.

Applications for entry for the Rolex Sydney Hobart 2010 close on 1 November 2010 at 1700hrs AEST.

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race