A record 31 international entries are among the 110 yachts that will line up on Sydney Harbour for the start of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race on December 26.
Among the many points of interest is confirmation that the Oatley family will have two starters: the 100-foot Wild Oats XI and the 66-foot Wild Oats X. Interestingly, while Wild Oats XI has the potential to claim both line and handicap honours, Wild Oats X will most certainly be a contender for a win on handicap.
Wild Oats XI will be one of four supermaxis in the race, the others being Comanche (chartered by New Zealander, Neville Crichton), Black Jack (Peter Harburg) and InfoTrack (Christian Beck).
InfoTrack, formerly named Perpetual Loyal, set a new course record time in 2016 of one day, 13 hours, 31 minutes and 20 seconds for the 628 nautical mile race.
Last year’s winner on corrected time, the V70 Giacomo, owned by Kiwi Jim Delegat, has been sold to the American brothers, David and Peter Askew. The yacht will compete under the new name, Wizard, and have prominent American sailor, Chris Larson, leading the crew.
The fleet also includes two classic entries of note: the American designed and built 23-metre long yawl, Kialoa 2, now owned by Sydney-sider Patrick Broughton, and the 87-year-old American yawl, Dorade (Matt Brooks and Pam Rourke Levy). Dorade is billed as the most successful yacht in the history of international ocean yacht racing.
(Image – Carlo Borlenghi/Rolex)