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26 November 2004, 02:21 pm
Youngest Crew Jump The Rolex Sydney Hobart Start
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Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race

The youngest crew in this year's Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race will jump the start by just under four weeks when they set sail for Hobart this coming Monday.

As part of their intensive preparation for what will be the first Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race for the entire crew of 10, the crew has elected to undertake a 'dry run' of the 628 nautical mile race.

Sailing aboard their Sydney 38, Another Challenge, skipper Chris LEWIN, 21, and his full crew of six other males and three females, will set off at 1.10pm this Monday, 29 November, in the vicinity of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race start line off Nielsen Park in Sydney Harbour.

The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, organisers of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, has agreed to supply a Club vessel and to provide a starting sequence for Another Challenge but this is as far as the similarities will go with the crew making an inconspicuous exit minus the roar of cannon fire, the 124-boat fleet jostling for position and the 300,000 odd spectators the Boxing Day classic attracts.

The crew of Another Challenge expects to be in Hobart by Saturday 4 December where they will spend a couple of days getting to know the Derwent River, the fickle stretch of water where Rolex Sydney Hobarts have been won and lost, before heading back to Sydney to prepare for the 'real thing' at 1.10pm on 26 December.

'This dry run means our team will have done approximately 1,500 nautical miles together during the month of the big race, ensuring our mindset on Boxing Day is centered around performance, not anticipation,' said Lewin.

'We want to be absolutely accustomed to the ocean at the beginning of the race and eliminate any transition period on Boxing Day, and to familiarise ourselves with the currents of the East Coast.

'Of course the extra practice won't hurt our chances when it comes to lining up with the rest of the Rolex Sydney Hobart fleet,' he added.

The full crew, who are all students at Melbourne University whose average age is 21, will be on board for the dry run.

And for some closer competition before the long voyage south, the Melbourne Uni crew will race in Sunday's two races of the Savills Short Ocean Racing Championship, competing against 19 other Sydney 38s in boat-for-boat round-the-buoys racing off Sydney Heads

Peter Campbell
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