The biggest threat to a line honours win for one of these three newcomers is Sean LANGMAN'S 65-foot skiff Grundig, first over the line in the 2001 race, sailing with a reduced crew for maximum weight advantage.
Other new boats this year include two of the three Queensland boats entered, Richard WYATT'S Beneteau 47.7 Shere Khan and Stewart LEWIS'S Mumm 30 Enigma, as well as the Sydney 38 Eye Candy chartered by South Australian yachtsman Geoff BOETTCHER, one of 14 of these One Designs racing north.
The Farr 40OD Panther, bought by well-known Etchell and 16-foot skiff sailor Stephen O'ROURKE has just arrived in Sydney off a boat from Malaysia where it has been sailing as Paloma for the past 18 months. O'Rourke's first sail on his new boat is planned for this Sunday in the BMW Sydney Winter Series, less than a fortnight out from the Gold Coast start date.
Fresh from its record-breaking circumnavigation of Australia is David PESCUD'S Lyons 52 KAZ, a regular in this mid-winter event. Four of the crew involved in the 6,500 nautical mile circumnavigation are backing up for this race, a 384 nautical miler that begins in Sydney Harbour on Saturday July 26 and finishes off Southport's Main Beach.
Many other regulars make up the entry list including Syd FISCHER'S champion Farr 50 Ragamuffin, David TAYLOR'S Farr 37 Pippin, Randal Wilson's PETERSON 51 Bright Morning Star and Martin JAMES' modified Farr 65 Infinity III, with its new keel and rudder, reconfigured sail plan and full hull re-paint.
A number of former Sydney Hobart Race overall winners are amongst the fleet including the 1995 winner Terra Firma, now being sailed by Victorian yachtsman Nicholas BARTELS, brother of the former co-owner Peter BARTELS, and another Victorian boat Stratcorp Ninety-Seven (Chris DARE), the 1993 handicap winner.
Last year's Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race overall winner and 2002-2003 IMS Blue Water Champion, Bob STEEL'S Nelson Marek 46 Quest, has also entered.
There is a strong interstate flavour to the fleet with one South Australian, three Queensland and five Victorian yachts joining the starting line-up, including David GOTZE'S Volvo 60 Indec, formerly the Sydney yacht Merit owned until recently by Ian and Andrea TRELEAVEN.
The race record for the Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race is 27 hours 35 minutes 03 seconds, set by Brindabella in 1999. Owner George SNOW hasn't entered his multiple line honours winner in this year's race, preferring to concentrate on the construction of his new boat.
This year's Gold Coast Race, the eighteenth since the inaugural race in 1986, is also expected to be the last for Sean Langman's current Grundig prior to commencing construction of a bigger and faster skiff-like maxi.
CYCA sailing manager Justine KIRKJIAN is delighted with the fleet size and in particular the interstate and one design representation within the fleet.
"The expanding Sydney 38 fleet as well as an increasing number of interstate skippers have recognised that as well as being a challenging coastal race in its own right, the Gold Coast Race is the perfect feeder to the popular Queensland regattas."
Entries closed at 17:00 local time today however the Sailing Office may accept postal entries and late entries until July 18.
Provisional List of Entries as at 1700 hrs 11th July 2003
|About Time||Julian Farren-Price||Cookson 12|
|Amante||Dennis Cooper||Sydney 36|
|AMI Jade||Peter McNamara||Sydney 38|
|Andrew Short Marine-Djuice||Andrew Short||Volvo 60|
|Anteater||Phil & Robyn Hearse||Beneteau 45|
|Austmark||Gunther Schmidt-Lindner||Lyons 46|
|Azzuro||Trevor Gosh||Bruce Clark 46|
|Balmain Experience||Tony Williams||NSX 38|
|Bashful||George Bonus||Sydney 38|
|Big Kahuna||Dean Harrigan||Beneteau 52|
|Bright Morning Star||Randal Wilson||Petersen 51|
|Broomstick||Ray Wallace/Michael Cranitch||Open 60|
|Bullistic||Andy Allsep||Bull 1200|
|Cadenza||Gunnar Tuisk||Farr 50|
|Champagne on Ice||Phil & Nada Dickinson||Beneteau 50|
|Corum||Bill Wild||Mumm 36|
|Cuckoos Nest||Nigel Holman||Sydney 38|
|De Light||Nick DeLaine||X442|
|Easy Tiger||Chris Way/Rob McWilliam||Sydney 38|
|Electra||Paul Gill||Sydney 41|
|Engima||Stewart Lewis||Mumm 30|
|Espresso Forte||Laurence Freedman||Farr 54|
|Eye Candy||Geoffrey Boettcher||Sydney38|
|Farr Horizons||Ivan Resnekov||Farr 39|
|First Priority||Chris Lancaster||Beneteau 40.7|
|Fitness First Sting||Terry Mullens||Farr 50|
|Getaway Sailing||Andrew Lygo||Sydney 38|
|Grundig||Sean Langman||MBD 66|
|Hidden Agenda||Graham Gibson||Sydney 38|
|Ichi Ban||Matt Allen||Farr 52|
|Indec||David Gotze||Volvo 60|
|Infinity III||Martin James||Farr 65|
|J Force||J Force||J35|
|Joe||Steven David||Swan 45|
|KAZ||David Pescud||Lyons 50|
|Loki||Stephen Ainsworth||Swan 48|
|Love Byte||Anthony & Alison Pickering||Sydney 38|
|Luna Park Sydney||Ludde Ingvall||Simons/Voogd 79|
|Magnavox 2UE||Gray/Zemanek/Sorensen/Hodder||Volvo 60|
|More Witchcraft||John Cameron||Dibbley 46|
|MRZ||Phillip Rowe||Jarkan 38|
|Nips-N-Tux||Howard De Torres||IMX 40|
|No Options||Tony Levett||Sydney 38|
|Occasional Coarse Language||Warwick Sherman||Cookson 12|
|Panther||Steve O'Rourke||Farr 40|
|Pendragon||Andrew Cochrane||Stewart 34|
|Peugeot Racing||Malcolm Roe||Beneteau 47.7|
|Pippin||David Taylor||Farr 37|
|Quest||Bob Steel||Nelson/Marek 49|
|Ragamuffin||Syd Fischer||Farr 50|
|Redrock Communications||Christopher Bowling||Hick 30|
|Rush||Cameron Miles / Stephen Robson||Sydney 38|
|Santana||Mike Kelaher||Swan 43|
|Sea-Change||Michael Belakhov||Sydney 36|
|Shere Kahn||Richard Wyatt||Beneteau 47.7|
|Stratcorp Ninety Seven||Chris Dare||Farr 47|
|Strewth||Geoffrey Hill||Lyons 49|
|Swish||Steven Proud/William Hutchinson||Sydney 38|
|Terra Firma||Nicholas Bartels||Murray 41|
|The Bigger Picture||John Woods||Sydney 38|
|The Business||Grant Halliday||Sydney 38|
|Tow Truck||Anthony Paterson||Mumm 30|
|True North||Howard Piggott||Beneteau 40.7|
|UBS Wild Thing||Geoff Lavis||Inglis 50|
|Wadadli||Gordon Ketelbey||Sydney 38|
|Wahoo||Brian Emerson||Frers 40|
|Witchdoctor||Maurie Cameron||Davidson 42|