Two-handed crews for Sydney Hobart 2020

  • July 1, 2019

The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia will accept two-handed entrants into its key events, including the 2020 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, the club announced today.

In a move the club hopes will attract the next generation of sailors from across Australia and around the world, the CYCA’s board has unanimously passed a proposal from the club’s sailing committee to include two-handed divisions into a number of its races from 2019.

Since its inception in 1945, the Sydney Hobart Yacht Race has always been a long ocean race for fully crewed yachts, with strict rules on the minimum number and minimum age of crew.

However, in recent years there has been growing international interest around the world in short-handed sailing.

Runaway arrives at the DSS for new owners David Aplin and Jo Breen.

Two-handed entries, provided the boats are suitably set-up for short-handed racing offshore and the crew have proven experience, are already accepted by the major Tasmanian yachts clubs for their offshore races, including the Maria Island and Bruny Island Races.

The CYCA will provide a platform for two-handed yachts to participate in a four-race series – comprising two races of the 2019 Ocean Pointscore in addition to two races in a 2020 two-handed division.

The two-handed series, to conclude in April 2020, paves the way for two-handed participation in the 2020 Audi Centre Sydney Blue Water Pointscore, starting with the 2020 Noakes Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race and culminating in the 2020 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.

“We are excited to announce the inclusion of two-handed opportunities for sailors across the country and around the world,” CYCA Commodore Paul Billingham said today.

“We hope this decision attracts the next generation of sailors and boats to CYCA events – we’re looking forward to seeing new participants in the two-handed division in CYCA races from across Australia and around the world.

“Hopefully this results in 10 or 15 additional boats in the Rolex Sydney Hobart from 2020 and beyond.”

Two Tasmanians who no doubt will be delighted by the CYCA decision on a two-handed division for the Sydney Hobart are Derwent Sailing Squadron members David Aplin and Jo Breen who have just taken delivery of the Sayer 40, Runaway, purpose-built for two-handed ocean racing.

They plan to sail Runaway in the 75th Sydney Hobart, fully crewed, but then concentrate on long-distance two-handed events, including, one would expect, the 2020 Sydney Hobart
Words: CYCA/Peter Campbell
Photos: CYCA/Peter Watson
1 July 2019