Eight weeks prior to the April 1 closing date for entries in the DaimlerChrysler North Atlantic Challenge 2003, 52 yachts have confirmed their participation in the 3,500 nautical mile offshore race from Newport to Hamburg in June.
The newest entry to the fleet set to depart Newport on June 14/21 is the classic 143-foot ketch Sylvia, owned by Jens Ehrhardt of Pullach, Germany. Built in 1925, Sylvia was refitted in 1991 and has a draft of 13 feet, a beam of 24 feet and weighs a proud 261 tons.
"She is a glamorous sight and a real star among the classic yachts that have entered,"
said event manager Henning Rocholl, vice president of Hamburgischer Verein Seefahrt and or-ganizing club Norddeutscher Regatta Verein, Hamburg. Although Sylvia is the oldest yacht entered, it is not the largest. That distinction belongs to the 152-foot Windrose, owned by Chris Gongriep of the Netherlands
While enthusiasm for the race has been strong in Germany for the past two years, offshore regatta sailors outside of Germany are quickly increasing in number. Eleven of the 51 regis-tered yachts will sail under the flags of the USA (3), United Kingdom (2), the Netherlands (2), Sweden, Canada, Antigua and the Cayman Islands.
New entries registered Three new entries are the well-known German offshore boat Saudade, a 112-foot Judel-Vrolijk sloop that was built in 1994 by Huismans in the Netherlands. Owner Albert Büll from Hamburg won the 1973 Admiral's Cup for Germany.
Just before New Year's Eve, the 66-foot steel yacht Discoverer was added to the entry list. The Challenge 67 yacht participated in the first two BT Global Challenge regattas in 1992/93 and 1996/97 and has since been taken over as a training ship by the British Ministry of De-fence. The Swan 44 Aura owned by Bill Kardash of Annapolis, Md. is the third American entry.