Friday, 10 September 2010

RSHYR: First applications received for Rolex Sydney Hobart 2010

Matt Allen's Jones 70 Ichi Ban during the 2009 Rolex Sydney Hobart. Image copyright Daniel Forster/ROLEX.

by Jennifer Croooks

Within minutes of the release of the Rolex Sydney Hobart 2010 Notice of Race, the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia had received its first five applications for entry, and within 24 hours this figure had climbed to twelve.

Nicholas Bartels’ newly acquired Cookson 50 Terra Firma from Victoria was the first entry, closely followed by Immediate Past CYCA Commodore Matt Allen’s Jones 70 Ichi Ban.

Stepping up from his Sydney 47 of the same name, Bartels is pleased with the Cookson 50’s performance in two recent regattas.

“Since purchasing the boat earlier this year we’ve optimised her for IRC performance racing. We started to show some good form at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week, but the weather conditions didn’t really suit the smaller boats in the IRC Grand Prix division,” Bartels said

“We’re looking forward to the Rolex Sydney Hobart and the lead-up regatta, the Rolex Trophy Rating Series. We have a great crew that includes Barney Walker and we’ve already started our race preparation and crew training,” he added.

Once Terra Firma returns from the sunny Whitsundays next month, she will be based in Sydney and will compete in some of the CYCA’s Blue Water Pointscore races.

Nicholas Bartels' Cookson 50 Terra Firma. Image copyright Andrea Francolini.

Matt Allen’s Jones 70 Ichi Ban is always well campaigned in the tough 628 nautical mile race. After losing her mast on the return journey to Sydney from Hobart last year, Ichi Ban has spent most of the year on the hardstand at Azzura Marine in Newcastle.

Allen is currently awaiting the arrival of his new rig from Spain and is in the midst of getting the boat ready for this year’s race. Ichi Ban’s best results include second across the line to Wild Oats XI in 2006 and third over the line in 2007 and 2008. This will be Allen’s 22nd race to Hobart.

CYCA member Greg Zyner’s Radford 12m Copernicus was another of the early applications. “My goal for this year’s race will be to have a better start and finish than last year! We had some issues getting out of Sydney Heads and got stuck at Iron Pot for six hours,” Zyner confessed.

“We got into the Derwent River just on sunset and we could see the sun and the breeze dropping. It was a very frustrating time from 8pm until 1am with no breeze, the only things keeping us going were the hot chocolate and the 16 other boats around us at the time.

“I have a good crew again with Felicity Nelson, Jim Nixon and Bob Moore onboard – all who’ve sailed with the legendary John Walker on his boat Impeccable,” Zyner added.

Commenting on the number of applications for entry received to date, Commodore Garry Linacre said: “It’s encouraging to see the strong number of applications received so quickly. The introduction of online entry is proving popular with skippers and boat owners. Within 15 minutes of the application for entries going online we received five entries.

Copernicus’ owner Greg Zyner agreed. “The online entry system was really quick and easy to use – everything was at my fingertips which made the entry process very smooth!”

Of the expected entries, the Commodore said: “We are anticipating a strong fleet of 90-100, with competition tight from well campaigned yachts such as Stephen Ainsworth’s RP63 Loki and Ray Roberts’ new STP65 Evolution Racing in the running for the overall win. The level of interest from around Australia and overseas is strong,” the Commodore said.

Four Victorian applications have been received, including Terra Firma, which is sailing under the burgee of Sandringham Yacht Club, together with Calm, the TP52 owned by Jason Van der Slot, Graeme Ainley and John Williams; Paul Buchholz’s DK46 Extasea representing Royal Geelong Yacht Club and Andrew Lawrence’s Bakewell-White Z39 Jazz Player, representing Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron.

Applications for entry have also been received for David Cutcliffe’s Beneteau First 36.7 Crossbow from Sydney’s Balmain Sailing Club, Rob Reynolds’ DK46 Exile and Grant Dawson and Brent Lawson’s Kerr 11.3 Kerisma, both sailing under the Middle Harbour Yacht Club burgee, Rod Skellett’s Pogo 40 Krakatoa II representing the CYCA and Murray Wilkes’ Bavaria 39c Sassy representing the race finishing partner Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania.

An application for entry was received late yesterday from leading line honours contender Wild Oats XI, the 100ft super maxi owned by Robert Oatley.
“The 628 nautical mile Rolex Sydney Hobart is renowned as one of the most significant and toughest ocean races in the world,” Commodore Linacre said.

“It is an iconic Australian sporting event and each year the race throws out the gauntlet of new challenges to participants.

“On behalf of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia it’s my pleasure to invite owners and charterers of eligible boats to participate in the 66th running of the Rolex Sydney Hobart which will start from Sydney Harbour at 1pm on Boxing Day, 26 December,” the Commodore concluded.

The Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 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 40’s and Sydney 38’s will take place between 10 – 12 December and the IRC and Performance Handicap boats between 16 and 19 December 2010.

The Rolex Trophy Passage Series will take also take place on 18 and 19 December. 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 and recently renewed its sponsorship of the blue water classic and its associated regattas for a further five years, up to and including the 2015 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.

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