Over the years, winners and participants in the Hardy Cup have gone on to achieve success in international match racing and also other significant yachting events, including the America's Cup, World Championships and major ocean racing events,
Amongst the twelve teams are three young helmsmen who rank in the top 30 of ISAF World Match Race Rankings - Simon MINOPRIO (NZL) at 23, Michael DUNSTAN (AUS) at 24 and Seve JARVIN (AUS) at 28. The only woman helm, Katie SPITHILL (AUS) ranks 19 on the women's Rankings.
The Hardy Cup regatta opens on 5 February with the official welcome, briefing and practice sailing, with the match racing round robins starting on 6 February and continuing through to the finals on 9 February.
Racing will be in the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron's fleet of Elliott 6s, high performance sportsboats sailed by a crew of three, over courses set with a spectacular background of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House.
Most successful helmsman over the past four Hardy Cup regattas has been DUNSTAN, heading the RSYS 1 team again this year, but this will be his last regatta under the upper age limit of 25.
He won the 2005 ISAF Grade 3 Hardy Cup in an outstanding season that also included winning the ISAF Grade 3 Australian Match Racing Championship and also crewing for Richard PERINI (AUS) in winning the Farr 40 World Championship.
DUNSTAN has also been successful in overseas match racing events and currently has a World Ranking of 24, just one below New Zealander MINOPRIO, who has had considerable international success over the past year.
MINOPRIO won the ISAF Grade 3 Warren Jones Regatta in Perth, finished third in the Hardy Cup and second in the ISAF Grade 3 Trofeo Zanoletti regatta in Italy. Another strong New Zealand contender will be Laurie JURY, another experienced young Kiwi sailor and a several times a competitor in the Hardy Cup.
DUNSTAN's major Australian opposition is expected to again come from 20 year old JARVIN, representing the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, whom he beat in a close fought final in February 2005, and RSYS 2 team skipper Mark DORLING, who has been a consistently successful young match racing sailor.
Like DUNSTAN, this will be the last Hardy Cup for DORLING. Both DUNSTAN and DORLING are graduates of the RSYS's Youth Training Scheme which has other young up and coming sailors to fill their places in under 25 match racing.
JARVIN, with a World Ranking of 28, won the 2005 ISAF Grade 3 Bavaria International Youth Match Racing Regatta in Sydney, finished second in Australian Match Racing Championship and second in the Hardy Cup and also won the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron match racing series in Auckland.
Hardy Cup Entrants
( - ISAF World Match Race Ranking)