The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia has set three days of concentrated round-the-buoys racing for boats contesting the Rolex Trophy Series offshore and on the harbour next month.
The fleet will sail three races on the first two days, Saturday and Sunday, 13 and 14 December, and two on the third day, Monday, 15 December, to decide the winners of this prestigious eight race regatta.
The Notice of Race for the Rolex Trophy Series is now available on the CYCA's website at the address below.
Many of the yachts entered for the 59th Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race will use the Rolex Trophy Series as their final preparation for the bluewater classic starting on Boxing Day, 26 December.
Victorian Grant WHARINGTON has already announced that his new 98-footer, Skandia, will contest the Series and other maxi yachts are also expected to enter.
The regatta, previously called the British Trophy Series, includes handicap divisions for IMS and IRC rated boats and, for the first time a Performance Handicap (PHS) division.
Traditionally, the regatta has also attracted strong support from one-design classes such as the Farr 40s and Sydney 38s, and they are again expected to provide close racing.
"With three races set for each of the first two days, we will see some exciting racing over the short windward/leeward courses, with the emphasis being on precise tactical steering and fast sailing handling,"
CYCA Sailing Manager Justine KIRKJIAN said today.
"As a stand-alone regatta, it is a wonderful event to sharpen up crews for Hobart, and being based at the CYCA is also a great opportunity for crews to mix together and debate the day's racing back at the Rushcutters Bay clubhouse,"
Many ocean racing yachts that have done well in the lead-up regatta have maintained that form in the Sydney Hobart Race. Several handicap winners and placegetters have gone on to win the bluewater classic, including the Victorian boat Terra Firma (1996), Beau Geste from Hong Kong/China (1997) and the Sydney yacht Bumblebee 5 (2001).
In December 2002, the super maxi Alfa Romeo dominated the Line and IRC handicap results in the regatta, then won Line Honours in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race before beginning her remarkably successful overseas campaign.