Photo: ROLEX/Carlo Borlenghi

2018 Rolex Sydney Hobart winner Alive joins inaugural Australian Maxi Championship fleet

The inaugural Australian Maxi Championship will play a key role as Phil Turner’s Alive bids to reclaim her Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race crown.

The Reichel Pugh 66 won Overall honours in the 2018 Rolex Sydney Hobart and enjoyed another strong campaign in 2019, winning IRC Division 0 and ORCi honours.

Alive will compete in the Mini Maxi Division of the Australian Maxi Championship – the other two divisions being Maxi and Racer/Cruiser – which will be hosted by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia from 3-7 December 2021.

The Championship features four races including the Cabbage Tree Island Race and the SOLAS Big Boat Challenge (the latter being for Maxis and Mini Maxis only).

Veteran skipper Duncan Hine believes the series will provide ideal preparation ahead of the Rolex Sydney Hobart.

“It’s an awesome idea and I think it will be a great event out of Sydney,” he said.

“We were going to be training at that time anyway, so it works perfectly.

“It will be great to have some more competitive races.”

As with many boats around the country, the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted Alive’s winter racing plans.

But Hine is confident she will again put on a show in December.

“We always knew the boat had a chance (in the 2018 Rolex Sydney Hobart) if everything came together right,” he said.

“She’s in top condition; she’s always kept in top condition.

“We had a couple of minor glitches, but we’re on top of all of that and we’re competing very solidly.

“If COVID permits, we’ll try to get down to Sydney earlier and do the Bird Island Race.”

The Australian Maxi Championship is open to Maxis (80-100 foot), Mini Maxis (60-79 foot) and Racer Cruisers (60 foot+).

Visit the Australian Maxi Championship page to find out more and enter.

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