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170 yachts to start historic 2019 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race

by Di Pearson, RSHYR media 28 Oct 2019 06:48 GMT 26 December 2019
A big fleet will take on the historic 2019 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - the 75th Sydney Hobart - starting on Boxing Day on spectacular Sydney Harbour. © ROLEX / Studio Borlenghi

Entry for the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race has closed and organisers at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia (CYCA) are thrilled to announce 170 yachts from Australia and overseas will take part in their 75th race, making it the largest fleet since the 50th in 1994, and the fourth-largest in the history of the race.

In 1994, a record 371 yachts started the race, a number that has never been reached before or since, and is not likely to.

Commenting on the quantity and quality of the fleet, CYCA Commodore Paul Billingham, said: "To receive such an incredible number of entries this year is astonishing and testimony to the enduring appeal of the Great Race.

"The range of yachts is truly impressive and the spectacle we will witness on Boxing Day will be unprecedented in the modern era of the race."

Among this year's number are five super maxis; Peter Harburg's Black Jack (Qld), Jim Cooney and Samantha Grant's record holder Comanche (NSW); Christian Beck's InfoTrack (NSW); the Oatley family's reigning line-honours champion, Wild Oats XI (NSW); and Seng Huang Lee's SHK Scallywag from Hong Kong.

International boats are representative of Great Britain, Ireland, France, China, Hungary, Poland, Hong Kong and USA - and, while NSW has predictably yielded the largest Australian numbers with 96, the other states have produced healthy numbers too.

There are also a few 'first timers', most notably the first Aboriginal crew to ever take part in the race with the Beneteau 47.7, Tribal Warrior.

There are 10 past overall winners representative of various sizes and eras, from the 2018 winner, Philip Turner's RP66, Alive; Matt Allen's TP52, Ichi Ban; Bob Steel's TP52 Quest, which also won as Paul Clitheroe's Balance seven years later; Oskana, a Cookson 50 that won as Victoire in 2013; Simon Kurts' 46-year-old classic yacht, Love & War, one of only two three-time winners in the race's history; and two-time winner, Wild Oats XI.

For more on the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race visit www.rolexsydneyhobart.com.

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