Seven Tasmanian yachts enter Sydney Hobart
Entries for the 75th Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race have already exceeded 60 boats from throughout Australia and overseas, included seven Tasmanians.
This is the largest Tasmanian contingent for the 628 nautical mile ocean classic in years, and there may be more. With months to go the close of entries, the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia is expecting 140 to 150 boats to contest this historic race.
Tasmania’s fastest yacht, Mike Pritchard’s canting keel Cookson 50 Oskana, was first yacht to enter. She is a past overall winner, when Sydney-based and named Victoire.
Pritchard raced Oskana in the 2017 Sydney Hobart but last year elected to contest, and take line honours, the Melbourne to Hobart Westcoaster. Oskana is racing as a DSS entrant.
The veteran ocean racer Natelle Two will be skippered by Laura Roper, daughter of owner Glenn Roper, a longtime RYCT member. Natelle Two has had a new lease of life in last season’s Summer Pennant races.
Biggest Tasmanian entry is the beautiful cruiser/racer Van Diemen III, a Robert Muir-designed 64-footer owned by RYCT member Robert Vaughan.
Van Diemen III returned to Hobart late last year after cruising across the Pacific, racing at Hamilton Island on the way back.
Greg Prescott is having another crack at the Sydney Hobart with his modified Farr 40, 2Unlimited, after being forced to return with damage from the 2018 event. 2Unlimited has been entered as an RYCT/DSS registered boat.
Also back again after last year’s race is Black Sheep, to be skippered by Matthew Pilkington. Black Sheep is Philippe Briand-designed Beneteau First 45 and is also an RYCT entry.
Also sailing under the RYCT burgee will be Whistler, David Aplin’s much-sailed and successful ocean racer, Whistler, a MBD36 designed by Andy Dovell. Last year she won all handicap categories of the Melbourne to Hobart race.
Owner David Aplin doesn’t steer the boat, he is the bowman, a position he has filled on Whistler for more than a decade.
An intriguing Tasmanian-listed entry is Windrose, a rather famous former American yacht owned by Launceston-based Ashok Mani.
Windrose is a Sparkman & Stephens-designed 48-foot yawl which twice represented the US in the Admiral’s Cup, including the winning team of 1961, the first time the Cup had left UK shores.
More information to come about Windrose and which club she will represent in the Rolex 75th Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.
Words: Peter Campbell
Photos: Peter Watson
14 May 2019