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12 April 2007, 09:31 am
CASSIM And Lolita To Defend Great Veterans Race
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Great Veterans Race 2007
Sydney, Australia

Each autumn the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia (CYCA) pays tribute to older yachts that competed in early Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Races when it stages the Great Veterans Race on Sydney Harbour. This coming Sunday 15 April, will see some of those veteran yachts, some skippered by equally veteran yachtsmen, compete for the Windward Trophy on the day that also marks the opening of the CYCA's Audi Winter Series.
Entries close at 12:00 tomorrow, Friday, for Sunday's events, with the Great Veterans Race this year open to yachts built prior to 1970 which have competed in a Sydney Hobart.

Early nominations include last year's winner Lolita, Nick CASSIM's (AUS) classic 10.4 m timber sloop, designed by Scottish naval architect Robert CLARK and built on Lake Macquarie more than 60 years ago.

CASSIM, a member of the CYCA for 47 years, has owned Lolita for 45 years and, although long retired from ocean racing, both skipper and boat are still regular competitors in the Classic Division harbour racing with the Sydney Amateur Sailing Club and in the CYCA Great Veterans Race.

Unique History

As an ocean racer, Lolita has a somewhat unique history in her seven Sydney Hobarts, which included two retirements.

Back in 1963, Lolita was the first boat ever to be rolled 360 degrees in the Hobart Race. Although dismasted, her then skipper John FARREN-PRICE (AUS) and his crew managed to get out a radio signal and the Royal Australian Navy submarine Trump located the disabled yacht and towed her safely to Eden.

Also entered for the 2007 Great Veterans Race is Stormy Petrel, Kevin O'SHEA's (AUS) Sparkman & Stephens designed sloop that won a world One Ton Cup back in the 1970s and still races in the CYCA's Short Ocean Pointscore.

Other Entrants

French/Australian artist Catherine K is back with Sylphide, built in the mid-1960s and a competitor in four Hobarts, while other entrants so far include Chris DAWE's (AUS) Cole 43 Polaris of Belmont, a Gosford-Lord Howe Island Race winner and Divisional winner in Sydney Hobarts, along with Carl SRIBER's (AUS) Suraya and Michael KIRBY's (AUS) Roitta.

With entries also closing at 12:00 tomorrow for the Ladies Day Race for the Jill McLay Memorial Trophy, the CYCA has so far received nearly 70 entries, with 50 plus in the Spinnaker Division and 20 in the Non-Spinnaker Division.

A woman must helm the boat throughout the race, but mixed male/female crews are allowed.

The Great Veterans Race and the Ladies Day Race on Sunday will start at 12:00 with racing around fixed harbour marks. The following Sunday 22 April, will see the opening race of the Audi Winter Series with up to 200 entries expected.

Peter Campbell (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Lolita competing in the 2003 Gaffers Day at Sydney Amateur Sailing Club:© Peter Campbell
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