The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia has received its first application to enter the 2003 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - from the first yacht forced to retire from last year's race.
The Club today logged in the Queensland boat Trumpcard - six months, less 13 days, before the start of the 59 annual race on Friday, 26 December 2003.
Trumpcard, a 13.3m Van de Stadt designed sloop, owned by Craig COULSEN from the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron, was knocked out of the 2002 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race just one minute before the starting gun, following a collision with the Sydney yacht Loki.
Trumpcard, a cold-moulded timber boat built in Tasmania 17 years ago, sustained serious hull damage which forced Coulsen to immediately withdraw from the tough 630 nautical mile ocean race.
Loki continued to sail, but was subsequently disqualified for not retiring as required by Rule 44.1, Taking a Penalty.
"It's great to have an entry so early for the 2003 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, and particularly pleasing to see Craig and his crew prepared to head south again despite their disappointment at the start last year,"
CYCA Sailing Manager Justine KIRKJIAN said today.
Ms Kirkjian said it was too early to predict how many boats would contest this year's Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2003, but said early indications pointed to a high international quality fleet, including the new 100-footer Wild Thing and several Volvo Ocean 60s.
She said ocean racing was on an upward trend, with a fleet of 70 boats expected for the CYCA's Sydney Gold Coast Race at the end of July.