Paul Cayard, Roy Heiner and Australia's Grant Wharington have all booked their places in the Antarctica Cup, with another American group wishing to remain anonymous at the moment.
Paul Cayard who won the last Whitbread Round the World Race, now the Volvo Ocean Race, and has sailed in four America's Cups, faxed his Race Slot Reservation Form to the Royal Perth Yacht Club earlier this week.
He was upbeat about his decision to enter, saying, "personally I like sailing down there, in the Southern Ocean, it's just the most awesome sailing that you can do."
He added, "I think it's an innovative format, with the different legs, and accummulation of points or prize-money along the individual legs, as well as an overall winner, I think that will add a lot of excitement into the race."
Roy Heiner, from the Netherlands, is also a former Whitbread Round the World race skipper, an Olympic medallist, and has been one of the world's top match racing skippers.
He commented about the race, "I really believe it's a fantastic concept, a fantastic event, and that's the way the sport should be going, so I'm going to do my bit to get the money to compete in this thing, I think it's brilliant."
Australian Grant Wharington, who has been a regular Sydney to Hobart race competitor in a string of boats called Wild Thing, and winner of the double-handed Melbourne to Osaka race will head the first Australian team.
He said of the new race, "I think the concept has very, very carefully been thought out, and I think full credit to the team of guys that have put it together."
Entries are also anticipated in the near future from Brazil, Ireland, Japan and England, with keen interest registered from New Zealand, France, Italy, Sweden and Denmark.
Scheduled to start from Fremantle in December 2004, the Antarctica Cup is a non-stop race around the Southern Ocean, leaving the three great capes, Leeuwin, Horn and Good Hope to port.
The race will be sailed in a fleet of identical Ron Holland designed 82 foot yachts, and there will be a total prize purse of US$6.4 million.