Although still seven months away, eight yachts have already been nominated for this year's 60th Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, including the first boats from Victoria and Tasmania.
The first Tasmanian boat in is David TAYLOR'S Farr 37, Pippin, representing the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania, while in from Victoria are Lou Abrahams' Another Challenge from Sandringham Yacht Club and Bruce Taylor's Chutzpah from the Royal Yacht Club of Victoria, both Sydney 38s.
They join New South Wales early nominations Wild Oats (Howard PIGGOTT), Ichi Ban (Matt ALLEN), Chris DAWES' Polaris of Belmont, Geoff HILL'S Strewth and Shane KEARNS' Komatus a Few Good Men.
Pippin sailed under the RYCT burgee in last year's race after the owners relocated to Hobart and this will be her 12th Sydney Hobart Race, as well as having competed in four Sydney Gold Coast and two Sydney Mooloolaba Races since being launched in 1984.
In last year's Rolex Sydney Hobart, Pippin placed seventh overall in the IMS handicap category and ninth in the IRC handicap category whilst in 1996 she placed second in the PHS category.
Pippin is expected to be the first of a larger number of Tasmanian boats entering this year's 60th Race; last year four boats contesting the ocean classic and only two the previous year. John BENNETTO is again expected to compete, in what will be his 44th race.
For Lou ABRAHAMS this year will be his 42nd race to Hobart, his fifth in his champion Sydney 38, Another Challenge, while for Bruce Taylor this will be his 23rd race, his third with the current Chutzpah. Both boats have sailed consistently well in recent Rolex Sydney Hobart Races, Another Challenge placing third in IMS in 2002 and Chutzpah third in both IMS and IRC last year.
The CYCA expects a large fleet of the Sydney 38s to contest the 60th Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, including US crews in chartered boats.