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Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2015- the countdown
KLC Bengal returns after finishing the race 12th overall in 2012 - 2015 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race© Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2015

The official launch of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2015 will take place on Tuesday, 24 November 2015, at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, Darling Point in Sydney. The launch will mark just over one month until the Boxing Day start of one of the world’s most famous yacht races.

An exceptional fleet of 110 yachts is expected to line up for this year’s race and details will be officially announced by CYCA Commodore John Cameron. A panel of skippers and crew contesting the 71st Rolex Sydney Hobart will be present at the launch.

The most scintillating line honours battle in years will take place between defending line honour champion Wild Oats XI (Bob Oatley), Perpetual Loyal (Anthony Bell), Ragamuffin 100 (Syd Fischer), and US entrants, Comanche (Jim Clark and Kristy Hinze-Clark) and Rambler 88.

Ten year-old Wild Oats XI has undergone drastic modifications in the past two months in the Oatley family’s efforts to keep her in step with the newest and most sophisticated big boats in the fleet; Comanche and Rambler 88. Although 12 feet shorter than her 100 foot rivals, Rambler 88 has already made a name for herself on the international circuit and cannot be discounted.

Comanche and Rambler 88 are each one year old. Designed and built to push the boundaries of technology, with the ultimate goal of winning prestigious yacht races and breaking race records, both have already ticked those boxes.

Reigning Rolex Sydney Hobart champions, Roger Hickman and his 30 year-old Farr 43, Wild Rose, are back to defend their title and the Tattersall’s Cup, awarded to the overall winner. Against one of the hottest fleets ever, it will be no easy task. The fleet is well represented in size and age across the board.

Big boats Lupa of London, Maserati, Rambler 88 and Chinese Whisper are the most talked about. In the mid-size range, 2013 Rolex Sydney Hobart winner Victoire is in good form, as are Patrice, Balance, Indian and a record 10 TP52’s. Among the smaller boats, Chutzpah, Quikpoint Azzurro and 2015 Rolex Fastnet winner, Leon, are all in winning form. There are new boats, including Avalanche.

This 71st edition of the race boasts 110 entries – numbers that have been only twice exceeded this century – by the 60th (116 entries) and 70th (117) editions of the race, including a history making 28 international boats (the next largest was 24 in a fleet of the record 371 boats in the 50th edition race), vying for line and overall victories in the 628 nautical mile race.

by Stacey French

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