Big prize money is up for grabs in the Antarctica Cup – a circumnavigation of Antarctica using 25m Ron Holland-designed one-designs

The Antarctica Cup is a new race, with a total prize money of 6,400,000 US Dollars, organised by Antarctica Cup Management Pty Ltd in conjunction with the Royal Perth YC.

This circumnavigation of Antarctica is an 11-leg, non-stop race starting on 4 December 2004, from Fremantle to Fremantle (eastbound) taking in three of the world’s great Capes – Cape Horn, Cape Leeuwin and the Cape of Good Hope. These and other conveniently placed Southern Ocean islands, combined with electronic waypoints will create the course within a band of approximately 55 degrees south in an effort to avoid the worst of the drifting icebergs.

Using new Ron Holland-designed 25m one-design maxi yachts, crewed by nationals of the same origin, entry is open to allcomers and according to the organisers, the overall time commitment from training to prizegiving is just four months.

The organisers seem to have looked at and analysed the current trends in monohull, world circumnavigations and come up with a race that could be the ultimate ocean challenge with the boring bits taken out. The Southern Ocean and all the excitement it provides is undoubtedly one of, if not the greatest challenges of any global circumnavigation so, to have a race made up of 100 per cent excitement has got to be the true ocean racers’ dream.

The event’s new website: answers most questions including the big prize money but, as far as we can see, there is no mention of the cost of the entry fee which includes a ‘free’ yacht. We will bring you more news when we have it.