Sydney to Hobart Attracts Cream of the Crop

The 70th anniversary of the Sydney to Hobart yacht race will boast the largest line-up in the race’s history. Toeing the starting line will be five of the biggest, fastest (and most expensive) yachts in the world.

While the number of entrants won’t come near the race record of 371, set at the 50th anniversary in 1994; the 119 boats already exceeds the numbers in recent years.

Organisers have had to install a third tier on the start line. Without it the free-for-all for position can (and has) caused catastrophic collisions.

Perpetual Loyal. Image: www.dailytelegraph.com.au

Perpetual Loyal. Image: www.dailytelegraph.com.au

Anthony Bells 100-footer, Perpetual Loyal, is said to be taking on defending line honours champion Wild Oats. Also into the mix come Ragamuffin, Rio 100, and the newly built American yacht Comache. These five will be slicing through the water the Sydney water on Boxing Day and racing seriously for Hobart.

Mark Richards, skipper of Wild Oats and winner of seven line honours, said he was thrilled with the level and amount of competition. The boats are fast, the crews well trained and the skippers wily. It should be a great race.

Also declaring its intentions is Martin Power’ Bacardi (record holder for most Sydney to Hobarts raced), the 41 year-old Love & War, and the 80 year-old Maluka – a 30-foot tub, clearly the oldest and smallest vessel in the fleet.

Entrants hail from New Zealand, the Cayman Islands, the UK, Poland, Germany and the US.

Wild Oats xi. Image: www.telegraph.co.uk

Wild Oats xi. Image: www.telegraph.co.uk

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