The Rolex Trophy Series is a stand-alone regatta and will be used as a lead-up regatta to the Sydney Hobart

The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s annual lead-up regatta to the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race will be called the Rolex Trophy Series, further extending the support of Rolex for yachting in Australia.

The Rolex Trophy Series 2003 (previously known as the British Trophy Series) will be sailed off Sydney Heads and on Sydney Harbour on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, 13, 14 and 15 December, as a stand-alone regatta.

With divisions for IMS, IRC and One Design yachts, many entrants in this year’s Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race will use the event as their final preparation for the long ocean race to Tasmania starting on Boxing Day, 26 December.

CYCA Commodore John Messenger, in announcing the sponsorship by Rolex of the Rolex Trophy Series, said: “The CYCA first introduced this regatta to provide a competitive series in the even years between the biennial teams racing for the Southern Cross Cup, but it became so popular we made it an annual stand-alone series for individual yachts.”

Last year’s event for the 2002 British Trophy Series saw Syd Fischer’s Farr 50, Ragamuffin, take out the IMS Division while the IRC Division went to Neville Crichton’s super maxi, the Reichel/Pugh 90, Alfa Romeo. American yachtsman Jim Richardson won the Farr 40 One Design division for the NSW Championship with Barking Dog.