There's still time to join the fleet of 85 yachts set for the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race 3/11/06

The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia announced a fleet of 85 yachts entered for this year’s Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, which starts on Tuesday 26 December 2006. And entries are still open for one more week.

Last year’s Rolex Sydney Hobart, started with 85 yachts with 80 finishing the 628 nautical mile race.

Yachts ranging from nine metres up to thirty metres are entered in the 62nd prestigious race ocean race.

There’s a resurgence of classic boats in the entry list with three veteran former overall winners, Koomooloo (1968), Love & War (1974 & 1978) and Illusion (1988), and one former line honours winner of this race, Fidelis (1966), joining other well known boats from those decades – Polaris of Belmont, Impeccable, Bacardi, Phillip’s Foote Witchdoctor, Magic and BSG on Tap.

Also, two time winner Lou Abrahams is preparing for his 44th consecutive race and if successful, the seventy nine year old Victorian skipper will equal the previous record set by the late John Bennetto from Tasmania.

In for the running of the Tattersall’s Cup – IRC handicap winner, could be the DK 46 Quantum Racing, the Corby 49 Flirt, the Transpac 52 Wot Yot, the latest Reichel/Pugh designed Yendys or another Beneteau when the final results are announced.

The canting keel 30 metre maxis will once again battle it out for line honours, and are preparing for the Bass Strait assault.

Defending line honours and handicap winner, as well as race record holder, Bob Oatley’s Wild Oats XI is looking to rewrite history with a back to back line honours win, a rare feat last achieved by Astor in the early 1960s, but will have to outsail the same sized New Zealand maxi Maximus in its debut race south, and the highly experienced Melbourne skipper Grant Wharington and his former line honours winner Skandia.

New in town will be two Volvo 70s, with more details to come.

The CYCA Sailing Office will continue to process applications until Friday 10 November, the extended date for lodgement, with the final fleet size to be formally announced on Tuesday morning 14 November in Australia.