This week the level of activity around the waterfront switched gears with interstate yachts leaving their home ports, entries arriving from overseas and others in the fleet having final nips and tucks.
Geoff ROSS's (AUS) Yendys, a serious challenger for the Tattersalls Cup (trophy for the overall winner) and the first grand prix boat to be built in China, arrived into Sydney by ship from Hong Kong last Saturday and is currently being assembled.
Trevor TAYLOR's (AUS) two-time former overall winner Ausmaid left Fremantle Yacht Club in Western Australia on Tuesday for the delivery trip to Sydney, Sean LANGMAN's (AUS) Maluka is being launched this Saturday at Woolwich Dock, Grant WHARINGTON's (AUS) Skandia is preparing to leave Melbourne and in the next two weeks, Maximus and ABN AMRO will arrive by ship from Malta to challenge the local boats for line honours.
A heavy schedule of international and interstate arrivals into Sydney mixed with the commencement of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia's December racing programme next week will, for the 62nd year, set the Rushcutters Bay yacht club abuzz.
From the original 87 boats nominated by the close of applications, four have withdrawn - Peter MOSELY's (AUS) Local Hero from Sydney, Phil CHISHOLM's (NZL) Compass Point, Michael CRANITCH's (AUS) Broomstick from Sydney and Michael GRAHAM and Darren COONEY's (AUS) Inner Circle from Lake Macquarie.
LANGMAN is still to confirm his second race entry, for the modified 66 footer Xena he is hoping to charter out, and details for Adrian DUNPHY's (AUS) Dodo are still to be finalized.
The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia's summer of sail in Sydney will begin with the prestigious Rolex Trophy One Design Series for one design classes including Farr 40s, Sydney 38s, Sydney 32s and Mumm 30s. Starting at 11:00 each day, up to nine windward-leeward races are scheduled off Sydney Heads over the three-day series.
The CYCA's Big Boat Challenge is a unique opportunity for the public to see some of the world's biggest and fastest maxis racing around a spectacular course on Sydney Harbour. The CYCA has invited eligible yachts ranging from 16 metres up to 30 metres to compete in the event, the first and for some the only opportunity the Rolex Sydney Hobart line honours contenders will have to meet on a start line pre-Boxing Day.
Starting at 12:30 off Steele Point, an option of two courses will take the fleet between North Head and Fort Denison, finishing in Farm Cove near the Opera House. Results and photographs will be available at www.cyca.com.au
After a three-day break in the Rolex Trophy, the IRC and PHS rated classes, (including many large and small entrants for the Rolex Sydney Hobart) will race over four days in the Rolex Trophy Rating Series, with eight windward-leeward races scheduled off Sydney Heads starting at 11:00 each day from 14-17 December. While the Rolex Trophy is a regatta for individual yachts, the IRC category will have added significance as the first part of the Rolex Challenge, an individual point score series which also includes the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race
The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia's 2006 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race will start in Sydney Harbour on Tuesday 26 December at 13:00 from two start lines off Nielsen Park.For all the news on the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race CLICK HERE.