The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia has announced a unique regatta to honour the yachts and crews that helped establish the Sydney Hobart race as one of the world’s premier offshore events.
To be held on the weekend of 7-8 December, the regatta will signal the beginning of a month of celebrations leading up to the 75th anniversary of the 628nm race south on Boxing Day, the 2019 Rolex Sydney Hobart.
The veterans event is open to yachts built up to, and including, 1975 that have competed in a Sydney Hobart race, plus distinguished classic yachts by invitation of the organising authority.
CYCA Commodore Paul Billingham sees the regatta as fitting recognition of the Club’s heritage.
“These are the boats and sailors that made the Hobart race the great international sporting institution it is today,” Billingham said.
“We’re pleased that so many of them are still racing. It will be something truly special to see them competing against each other again on Sydney Harbour.”
The exact format of the regatta will be announced in the Notice of Race but there are likely to be two or three inshore races sailed over the weekend in a number of divisions.
Among the yachts expected to take part are such legendary names as Camille, Caprice of Huon, Anitra V, Fare Thee Well, Love & War, Mister Christian, Fidelis, Maris, Vittoria, Mark Twain and Struen Marie.
Hobart veteran Peter Shipway, one of the organisers of the regatta, expects a fleet of around 30 yachts will take part.
“We know of at least 70 pre-1975 Sydney Hobart boats that are still sailing,” Shipway said.
“Many of them race every week and I’m sure their skippers and crew will want to be part of this special celebration.”
In addition to the December regatta, the CYCA will also run a veterans’ day regatta on 4 May, a day in which the Club will also celebrate its Founders’ Day.
For more on the CYCA’s 75-year celebrations visit https://cyca.com.au/celebrating75/