Published: Thursday, 01 December 2016

The 72nd edition of Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race will start on Dec 26 at 13:00 (AEDT) in Austalia. The race has received 93 entries so far, from countries including China, Japan, New Zealand, Germany, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States. For the first time, the race welcomes an entry from Korea in the shape of the TP52 Sonic.

93 Boats Registers For Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 1

(Photos: Stefano Gattini / Rolex Press Room - Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2015)

The current fleet consists of four 100-ft maxis, nine former race winners and a host of Corinthian entrants, including the smallest and also the oldest yacht in the fleet, Sean Langman's 30-ft, 1935 build Maluka of Kermandie.

Completing the line-up of 100-footers is the Hong Kong entrant Scallywag, the former Ragamuffin. If conditions prove favourable, the frontrunners will be keen to break the existing race record of 1 day, 18 hours, 23 minutes and 12 seconds set by Wild Oats XI in 2012.

93 Boats Registers For Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race

Having claimed line honours in eight editions since 2005, maxi yacht Wild Oats XI has taken the triple crown – line honours, race record and overall victory on handicap – on two occasions. 2016 edition will be her first participation since the passing of her original Owner Bob Oatley.

While American yacht Comanche claimed the line honours last year, Anthony Bell’s Perpetual LOYAL won that in 2011 and was frequently among frontrunners ever since. Finnish sailor Ludde Ingvall, who won line honours in 2000 and 2004 with yacht named Nicorette, owns the recently launched CQS, which is a radical transformation of the 2004 Nicorette, which was extended from 90 to 100ft with new design technology. Its features include the reverse (or Dreadnought) bow, an outsized bowsprit, ‘wings’ that spread the shroud base and a wider cockpit area.

She also features the technically sophisticated Dynamic Stability Systems (DSS). DSS is a patent system that utilises retractable foils to reduce heel angle and provide progressive dynamic lift, increasing power and reducing drag.

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The nine former winners of the event, including Wild Oats XI, will all be striving to reclaim the event’s most coveted prize, the Tattersall’s Cup and a specially engraved Rolex Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master 40 timepiece awarded for victory on corrected time.

First held in 1945, the Rolex Sydney Hobart is organised by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia (CYCA) with the cooperation of the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania, and has run every year since that inaugural race which saw nine yachts set sail from Sydney on Dec 26.

Rolex has been title sponsor of the regatta since 2002. This year-end regatta is one of the five major offshore races to feature in the portfolio of yachting partnerships. Others are the Rolex Fastnet Race, Rolex Middle Sea Race, Rolex China Sea Race and RORC Caribbean 600.

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“Rolex’s involvement in yachting stretches back over 50 years. It is a sport with which we hold a close affinity and relationship,” explains Rolex Director of Communication & Image Arnaud Boetsch. “The Rolex Sydney Hobart is one of the world’s most renowned yacht races and a treasured part of our yachting portfolio. It is one of the toughest examinations of seamanship and a genuine test of human endeavour. It embodies what we value – rich traditions, pioneering feats and the courageous spirit of adventure among those who participate.”