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Huge Fleet for Rolex Sydney Hobart

With it’s 70-year history, its no wonder huge crowds turn out on Boxing Day to watch the fleet exit Sydney Harbour.  

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race
©2014Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Offshore racing fans are getting a special gift this Christmas, as a massive fleet of international yachts is set to campaign the annual Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. Celebrating its 70th anniversary, the annual Boxing Day (December 26) classic will see its largest fleet in well over a decade line up for the 628-mile jaunt down the east coast of Australia and across Bass Strait to Tasmania.

With 119 entries ranging from 34 feet to the requisite 100-ft super maxis, 10 entries from abroad and a new Corinthian division boasting a healthy 36 boats, this year’s Sydney-to-Hobart race has a great variety of competitors. 

With his crew riding the rail, Manouch Moshayedi skippers the spectacular RIO 100 over flat water. But if past years are any indication, the trip to Hobart will see conditions that are anything but mild.

© 2014 Andrea Francolini / Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race

Without a doubt, however, the most compelling story line of any race is the battle of the 100-ft super-maxis and nothing could be more true this year. Perennial line-honors contender Wild Oats XI is back to try to secure a record 8th line-honors victory, but to do so she’ll have to beat out a quartet of 100-footers that includes two new American entries. Making her highly-anticipated racing debut is American Jim Clark’s new VPLP-designed 100-footer Comanche. Skippered by former Volvo Ocean Race skipper Ken Read with the Bay Area’s Stan Honey navigating, this new American super-maxi is joined in the race by Manouch Moshayedi’s new fixed-keel RIO 100, which will be based in her new home of Newport Beach, CA after the Hobart race. She will attempt to claim the Barn Door in next year’s Transpac race to Hawaii. Follow the Sydney Hobart Race here.

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