The move is expected to draw more entries from the Sydney 38, Farr 52 , Farr 40 and Farr 36 One Design class fleets and boost overall entries for the 630 nautical mile race down the Australian East Coast between Christmas and New Year.
The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia has made the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race more attractive and competitive for yacht owners with the announcement today that there will be divisions for one design yachts within the traditional handicap rating concept of the blue water classic.
In line with innovative changes announced earlier last month, eligible yachts may for the first time enter both the IMS (International Measurement System) and IRC (International Rule Club) rating (handicap) divisions and now also a One Design division.
CYCA Sailing Committee chairman Roger Hickman said today that the rapid growth in popularity of the Australian designed and built Sydney 38 class augured well for a strong entry from owners of these yachts, while at least two Farr 52 OD's would be racing to Hobart this year. The Club also hoped to attract entries from the Farr 40 One Design class.
"The CYCA is acting on the wishes of yacht owners in promoting one-design, boat-for-boat racing within our long ocean races while at the same time maintaining the traditional rating (handicap) divisions which cater for our yachts, old and new, small and large, to compete in the great race south," Hickman said.
"There are currently 15 Farr 40 OD boats in Australia and more than 55 Sydney 38 OD boats have been built here, although some have been exported," he added. "Both designs have proven their ability to compete in long ocean races, including the Hobart Race. The Sydney 38 has proved very popular with many of our most respected offshore sailors and a tight One Design class has developed.
"The Farr 52 OD, Hollywood Boulevard, will be joined by a second boat currently being built by FK Yachts in Malaysia for CYCA member Matt Allen, and we hope to encourage other entries from overseas in this one design class."
Significantly, the CYCA will also make it easier for owners of one-design yachts to meet the strict stability index requirements for the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, the rules currently requiring that each yacht competing must hold a current, valid IMS rating certificate.
Once one boat in a strict one-design class holds a current IMS rating certificate as proof of its stability, then entries from other one-design boats of the same class will be accepted as being eligible to compete in this Category 1 ocean race without the cost of an IMS measurement, provided they comply with their one design class rules.