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The Class of 2017.

ABRACADABRA

SAIL NO: 5612

LOA: 14.3m

CLASS: PHS/Corinthian

DESIGNER: Bill Tripp (USA)

YEAR BUILT: 1991

TYPE: Tripp 47

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 8

OWNER: James Murchison

CLUB: Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, NSW

CREW: J Murchison (10)--Skipper/Navigator, M Formosa (23), J Francis (8), P Loxton (4), P Craig (3), B Paton (2), A Beasley (1), C Greenhalgh (1), M Croak (1), D Garnett (1), S Darx (5)

Finished PHS eighth overall and sixth in Division 2 of last year's RSHYR, but Abracadabra scored her best result in 2015 when James Murchison skippered his PHS Division 2 boat to overall PHS victory, defeating all Division 1 boats in the process. The Tripp 47 finished seventh overall in 1996, and all her other RSHYR were sailed under PHS for 13th in 2006, 18th in 2008, 14th in 2010, seventh in 2012 and 10th in 2014. Recently finished PHS sixth overall in the 2017 Sydney Gold Coast race. Abracadabra has also contested the Melbourne to Osaka Double-Handed Yacht Race among others.

ALLEGRO

SAIL NO: 6723

LOA: 20.3m

CLASS: PHS

DESIGNER: Warwick Yacht Design (NZL)

YEAR BUILT: 2006

TYPE: Warwick 67

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 3

OWNER: Adrian Lewis

CLUB: Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, NSW

CREW: Adrian Lewis (7)--Skipper, P Whybird (5), M Shepherd (2), S Lewis (2), T Humphris (7), G Scheen (4), P Young, G Carr

Adrian Lewis' Allegro finished 13th PHS overall for fourth in Division 1 last year, moving up from PHS 14th in 2015. As Geomatic Allegro, this boat limped over the 2014 finish with sail and rig damage, finishing PHS 19th. Recently finished PHS 12th in the Sydney Gold Coast race and was PHS ninth in the 2016 Auckland Fiji race and won PHS in the 2015 Melbourne to King Island race. Lewis and Glenn Scheen are gearing up for the two-handed Osaka Cup, a 5500nm race from Melbourne to Japan. Allegro is a combination of luxury and carbon fibre, a comfortable boat for the longstanding crew of family and friends. With his previous Geomatic, a Hanse 495, Lewis was PHS sixth overall in the RSHYR 2013 after finishing PHS 10th in 2012. Sarah Lewis will be sailing again this year.

ANOTHER PAINKILLER

SAIL NO: 7447

LOA: 13.4m

CLASS: IRC

DESIGNER: Farr Yacht Design (USA)

YEAR BUILT: 2004

TYPE: Beneteau First 44.7

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 5

OWNER: Rod West

CLUB: Southport Yacht Club, QLD

CREW: R West (5)--Skipper, C Mazur (2), G Costello, G Hellwig, R Pratt, C Jones, B Berg, P Coupe, R Brooks, N West

Another Painkiller is a sneaky Beneteau 44.7 sailed by a bunch of scurvy misfits from Southport Yacht Club who may need a few painkillers on celebrating finishing a race. Best known as Alacrity, the boat last went to Hobart in 2011 with Matt Percy at the helm, but retired with rig damage. Previous RSHYR results with Percy include 20th overall for third in Division D in 2007 and 16th overall for third in Division D in 2006. Before that, the boat was Prime Time, launched for David Mason in 2004 and scored good results but ran aground before Percy bought and rebuilt it. Mason retired it from the tough RSHYR 2004, but skippered it to 31st overall in 2005.

ARCHRIVAL

SAIL NO: 415

LOA: 12.0m

CLASS: ORCi

DESIGNER: Inglis/Jones (AUS)

YEAR BUILT: 1995

TYPE: Inglis/Jones 39

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 0

OWNER: Steve Connors

CLUB: Drummoyne Sailing Club, NSW

CREW: S Connors--Skipper, L Connors Navigator, S Matthews, M Paton, J Low, A King, D King, B Matthews, A Byrne (6), T Laing-Peach, M. Tilden (4), WR King, M McKenzie

Arch Rival is one from the last century, a 1994 design by Inglis and optimised by Don Jones. Was last seen here in 2005 when she contested the Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race as Rouseabout III with original owner, Victorian John Rouse, finishing 18th overall. Now owned by Steve Connors, Arch Rival regularly competes out of Drummoyne Sailing Club and does the CYCA's Land Rover Winter Series. Also ventures north to Sail Port Stephens on occasions. Sailing in ORCi, finished 22nd overall in the Sydney Gold Coast race, 13th in the Flinders Islet race, but retired from the Newcastle Bass Island Yacht Race in October.

ARIEL

SAIL NO: A140

LOA: 12.6m

CLASS: IRC/ORCi

DESIGNER: Farr Yacht Design (USA)

YEAR BUILT: 2010

TYPE: Beneteau First 40

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 4

OWNER: Ron Forster

CLUB: Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, NSW

CREW: R Forster (5)--Skipper/Navigator, P Damp (4), C Dagger, E Kerin, J Naylor (8), J Forster, J Buis

Ariel finished 21st overall and third in Division 3 last year and went on to finish third overall, second in Division 3 and third overall in ORCi in the 2017 Sydney Gold Coast race. She missed the RSHYR 2015, making this her fifth race south. Ron Forster and Phil Damp were thrilled to finish third overall in the RSHYR 2014 after finishing 29th in 2013 and 28th in 2012. Forster sailed his first RSHYR 36 years ago, and is currently doing the Blue Water Pointscore Series in preparation. Ariel will be a strong contender if the weather favours the smaller boats.

BANQUE DE NOUVELLE-CALEDONIE

SAIL NO: FRA39337

LOA: 10.8m

CLASS: IRC/ORCi

DESIGNER: Jacques Valer (FRA)

YEAR BUILT: 2014

TYPE: Valer/JPK 10.80

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 1

OWNER: Michel Quintin

CLUB: Cercle Nautique Caledonien, NEW CALEDONIA

CREW: M Quintin (1)--Skipper, A Loison (1) Navigator, J-C Fossey, C Bouchet, J-M Dauris, J Picot, Y Rigal, M Landrieu

Michel Quintin skippered this two-year-old to second overall to win Division 4 in the RSHYR 2015 as Courrier Leon for owner Gery Trentesaux, who was aboard. They pipped the S&S 34 Komatsu Azzurro to second by a tad over six minutes. Led by New Caledonia's Michel Quintin, it also finished first in ORCi in the 2016 Groupama Race around New Caledonia. Quintin, the 1987 and 1990 Windsurfer world champ, campaigned for the Olympics in the Mistral sailboard until 1996 with some winning results and is Head of the Territorial Olympic and Sports Committee. If it's a small boat race, no doubt Banque De Nouvelle-Caledonie would have to be a hot favourite.

BEAU GESTE

SAIL NO: HKG1997

LOA: 24.0m

CLASS: IRC

DESIGNER: Botin Partners (ESP)

YEAR BUILT: 2013

TYPE: Botin 80

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 2

OWNER: Karl Kwok

CLUB: Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, HK

CREW: K Kwok (2)--Skipper, C Ward (9)--Navigator, G Brady (12), WEndean, R Houston, M Chan, W Mackenzie (1), D Petersen, S Dodson, D Brooke 13), S Loxton (1), D Swete (1), M Kelway 13), M Humphries (1), R Salthouse (12), W Lo, M Cheung

This year will be 20 years since Karl Kwok won the RSHYR 1997 with his new Farr 49 Beau Geste. The Hong Kong businessman is keen to repeat the experience, especially after missing last year when he left this Beau Geste in Gavin Brady's hands. They finished fifth on line and eighth overall. Kwok last raced to Hobart in 2013 after buying this canting Botin 80 for the classic offshore races, and finished fifth on line behind three supermaxis and a V70, leaving a fourth supermaxi and the rest in his wake.

The retail giant has won many of the major offshore events around the world with various Beau Gestes. With this latest, he won the 2016 Groupama Race around New Caledonia after finishing second on line to Scallywag. An all-carbon canting yacht, it has similar foils to a V70, with daggarboards, and features a distinctive black hull and dragon on the mainsail. Team Beau Geste. Karl Kwok's TP52, won the Australian IRC Championship for a fourth consecutive time (2014-17). Kwok's recently bought MOD70 Mod Beau Geste was second on line in the Coastal Classic from Auckland to the Bay of Islands, speaking volumes about the polished crew.

BLACK JACK

SAIL NO: 525100

LOA: 30.0m

CLASS: IRC

DESIGNER: Reichel/Pugh (USA)

YEAR BUILT: 2005

TYPE: 100-ft supermaxi

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 2

OWNER: Peter Harburg

SKIPPER: Mark Bradford

CLUB: Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron, OLD

CREW: M Bradford (10)--Skipper, T Addis (5)--Navigator, P Harburg (6), B Butterworth (1), M Chew (2), V Prentice (9), D Hutchison (10), B Clark (25), B Hilliar (6), A Nossiter (16), S Dunne, A Nolan (6), J Flannery (14), S Daubney, D Phipps, C Anderson (6), L Woulfe (3), S Beavis (7)

This year Peter Harburg purchased the RSHYR 2009 line honours winner, Alfa Romeo, which was next raced as Esimit Europa. Following modifications, she was relaunched as Black Jack just in time for the light-air Sydney Gold Coast race and gave Wild Oats XI a run for her money, finishing just 3 mins 31 secs behind--the closest finish in 15 years. It was on again in the 180nm Cabbage Tree Island Race that Black Jack led out of the heads in light breeze and took line honours--both Wild Oats retired. This 100-footer claimed 145-plus line honours wins in Australia, the US and Europe, including breaking the 2009 Transpac Race record when owned by Neville Crichton, one of the most successful yachts in the sport. Led by skipper Mark 'Squark' Bradford, she will be a formidable opponent should conditions suit.

This will be one of the most watched supermaxi battles for years. All four have taken line honours and two broke the race record. Interestingly, crew Bruce Clark was aboard the yacht in 2005 and 2009, while Bradford was aboard in 2005 with Tom Addis and Anthony 'Nocka' Nossiter in 2009.

With his VOR 70 of the same name, Peter Harburg was fourth on line and 11th overall last year, after leading sister ship and eventual overall winner Giacomo for two thirds of the race. Took its fourth consecutive line honours in the 2017 Brisbane Gladstone race for second overall. Before 2013, Harburg enjoyed considerable success with his RP 66 now sailing as Alive.

BLACK SHEEP

SAIL NO: 33345

LOA: 13.7m

CLASS: IRC/ORCi

DESIGNER: Philippe Briand (FRA)

YEAR BUILT: 2008

TYPE: Beneteau 45

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 4

OWNER: Derek and Martin Sheppard

CLUB: Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, NSW

CREW: D Sheppard (10)--Skipper, M Sheppard (9), Y Heritage (2), M Ivaneza (7), K Bennett (2), D Morris (16), J White (6), A Scott (12), S Garrie (2), L Noye (1), E Noye, M Jones, M Bakewell, T Curry

Black Sheep placed 19th overall, second in Division 3 and second in ORCi Division 3 in last year's Rolex Sydney Hobart and carried on to finish fifth overall in the 2017 Sydney Gold Coast race and third overall in October's Newcastle Bass Island Race, which she won last year. Kept up good results with fifth in the Cabbage Tree Island Race to be second by two points in the BWPS. The Beneteau 45 was 15th overall and third in Division 3 in the RSHYR 2015, after her 40th overall the previous year, not reflective of the good results Derek and Martin Sheppard otherwise enjoy. Had success in the 2016 Blue Water Pointscore Series, including second in the Cabbage Tree Island Race. The Sheppards bought the former Honeysuckle specifically for ocean racing.

BLINK

SAIL NO: NZ110011

LOA: 12.0m

CLASS: IRC/ORCi

DESIGNER: Robert Shaw (NZL)

YEAR BUILT: 2013

TYPE: Shaw 12

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 0

OWNER: Tony Wells

CLUB: Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club, NZL

CREW: T Wells--Skipper, C Shearer (1) Navigator, M Stechmann, L O'Connell, V Wells, K Gottard, M Gottard, G McDougall

Tony Wells' Shaw 12 is 40 foot of fast, fully carbon offshore boat that has the capacity to sleep a full crew. It is a versatile boat set up for high-performance racing either short handed or fully crewed, in and offshore. Blink was built with the infamous Cook Strait in mind, with robust construction and systems, foam core, and options chosen with the wisdom that 'to win you must first finish' in mind. She has twin rudders, twin hydraulic rams, and dual hydraulic canting keel power sources--both electric and engine pumps. Blink comes from the design board of Rob Shaw, best known for high-performance sports boats and smaller keelboats.

BLUNDERBUSS

SAIL NO: H4000

LOA: 12.0m

CLASS: IRC

DESIGNER: Farr Yacht Design, USA

YEAR BUILT: 2011

TYPE: Beneteau First 40

NO. OF RSHYR: 1

OWNER: Eric Marsh

CLUB: Hobsons Bay Yacht Club, VIC

CREW: E Marsh--Skipper, J Owens Navigator, D Hutcheson, K Girdler (1), A Weekes, B Tyrell, K Pascoe, S Czapp

Blunderbuss competed in the RSHYR 2012, finishing 27th overall and sixth from 16 in Division 3 against a hot field of seven other Beneteau 40s, including the 2009 overall winner and runner-up. True Blue and Wicked. And that was in a race that favoured the big boats--Wild Oats XI took her second treble. Previously owned by Tony Kinsman of Queensland, who sailed Blunderbuss with his three sons who campaigned her offshore, including the 2012 Brisbane Noumea race. According to Kinsman, her name represents what she is--a short-barrelled, large-bored gun with a flared muzzle used at short range! Now Victorian Eric Marsh will fire her up.

CALIBRE

SAIL NO: 7777

LOA: 11.8m

CLASS: IRC/ORCi

DESIGNER: Murray Burns Dovell (AUS)

YEAR BUILT: 2001

TYPE: Sydney 38

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 1

OWNER: Richard Williams

CLUB: Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, NSW

CREW: R Williams (2)--Skipper, B Bennison (1)--Navigator, K Stroinovsky (1), A Brady, G Richmond-Coggan, B Robertson (2), C Gundy (1), N Black (1), S Addison (2)

Richard Williams sailed Calibre in the RSHYR 2015, finishing 16th overall. Before that, she sailed in three Sydney Gold Coast races, finishing sixth overall and third in Division 3 in 2015, 39th overall and third in Division 3 in 2016 and seventh overall, fourth in Division 3 in 2017. The Sydney 38 recently finished 12th overall in the Flinders Islet and Newcastle Bass Island races, both of which were dominated by the bigger boats. Calibre was previously campaigned by Williams and former co-owner Geoff Bonus, who concentrated on Sydney 38 One-Design events for seven seasons and also competed in the CYCA Trophy and the SSORC. Was chartered by a Noumea crew for the inaugural Sydney 38 OD International Regatta in March, finishing second overall.

CELESTIAL

SAIL NO: 6952

LOA: 15.9m

CLASS: IRC/ORCi

DESIGNER: Judel/Vrolijk (GER)

YEAR BUILT: 2007

TYPE: TP52

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 6

OWNER: Sam Haynes

CLUB: Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, NSW

CREW: S Haynes (7)--Skipper, D Rutherford (5)--Navigator, S Kirkjian (20), J Smith, T Grafton (17), W Howard (1), C Cecil (1), W Haynes (1), S Francis (1), K Groves (1), C Janes (13), L Hornsby, N Holder (6), D Meincke (9), LEasey

Sam Haynes' Celestial (formerly Wot Now/Shogun IV/Fomo) placed 16th overall and third in Division 1 last year, then was third overall in the 2017 Adelaide Port Lincoln race, 12th overall for second in Division 1 in the Sydney Gold Coast race, and won the Brisbane Keppel race. She placed third overall in the Flinders Islet race, finishing inside record time, then second overall to the new Ichi Ban in the Newcastle Bass Island Race. Was the BWPS leader going into the Cabbage Tree Island Race, but it was dominated by the 40 footers, so dropped to third place, but there was little in it. Up to the RSHYR, has been skippered by Sean Kirkjian as Haynes recovered from a cycling accident. In the RSHYR 2015, Celestial was 29th overall and third in Division 1 (her first RSHYR with Haynes). As Wot Now, she was third overall in the RSHYR 2008, then as Shogun IV, was third in 2010, 15th in 2011, and ninth in 2012.

With his previous Celestial, a Rogers 46 that has since raced as The Goat and Smuggler, Haynes was second in the 2012 BWPS and took the trifecta of IRC, ORCi and PHS crowns in the 2014 BWPS--one of the closest on record, including winning the 2014 Sydney Gold Coast race and ending with 11th overall and second in Division 2 of the RSHYR 2014, following on from third overall in the 2013 race.

CHANCELLOR

SAIL NO: 8824

LOA: 14.8m

CLASS: IRC/ORCi

DESIGNER: Farr Yacht Design (USA)

YEAR BUILT: 2004

TYPE: Beneteau First 47.7

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 7

OWNER: Edward Tooher

CLUB: Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, NSW

CREW: E Tooher (9)--Skipper/Navigator, M Ward (8), B Eagle (1), S Dawson (3), G Smith (1), M Karaca, S Lipman (3), R Theedam (2), M Kahugu, E Gatios, A Tooher, B Sweeney

Ted Tooher's fourth Beneteau named Chancellor (former Pretty Fly II) was 62nd overall and 17th in the Corinthian division last year, falling down on her RSHYR 2015 result of 42nd overall. She retired from the 2014 race due to a rule infraction, but finished the previous RSHYR 57th overall. Recently placed 19th overall in the Sydney Gold Coast race and 17th in the Flinders Islet Race. As Pretty Fly II. retired from RSHYR 2004, was 42nd in 2005 and 26th in 2007. Tooher says his motto remains 'Never dare; never do."

CHARLIE'S DREAM

SAIL NO: RQ1920

LOA: 13.6m

CLASS: Cruising

DESIGNER: Holland/Cole/Lowe (IRE)

YEAR BUILT: 2008

TYPE: Bluewater 450

NO. OF RSHYR: 5

OWNER: Peter Lewis

CLUB: Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron,

CREW: P Lewis (51- Skipper, G Boyd (3) Skipper, K Kaiser (3)--Navigator, R Dawson (4), N Everson (3), P Kirby, Y Beard

Following a hiatus, Charlie's Dream returns having finished the RSHYR 2014 13th overall in PHS. Designed for comfortable cruising, the Bluewater 450 was named in memory of Peter Lewis' father-in-law, and is mainly used for cruising. Lewis has contested four other RSHYR, finishing second in Cruising Division in 2008, PHS ninth in 2009, 48th overall in 2010, and PHS 15th in 2012. He has also contested two each of the Gosford Lord Howe Island, Brisbane Gladstone and Brisbane Keppel Island races. He circumnavigated Australia in 2011-2012, undertook a passage from Brisbane to New Zealand in 2016, and circumnavigated Van Diemen's Land in 2017. The late Peter Luke's (co-founder of the CYCA) son-in-law Graeme Boyd is aboard again, while wife Lindy (Luke's daughter) stays ashore.

CHECKMATE OF HOLLYWOOD

SAIL NO: US57961

LOA: 15.5m

CLASS: IRC/ORCi

DESIGNER: Doug Peterson (USA)

YEAR BUILT: 1978

TYPE: Peterson 50

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 0

OWNER: Brad Avery

SKIPPER: Ray Roberts

CLUB: Orange Coast College Sailing Association, USA

CREW: R Roberts (22)--Skipper, B Avery, M Spies (40), N Davis, D Hawkins (2), P Sheldrick (25), D McPhee, D Chapman (2)

It will be a change of pace for Ray 'Hollywood' Roberts, who is bringing this Peterson 50 Checkmate to Sydney Built in San Diego by the famous Carl Eichenlaub but updated in 2000, she is a fast, comfortable boat. Roberts sailed Hollywood Boulevard, his Farr 55, to 36th overall for fifth in Division 1 in the RSHYR last year, then placed fourth overall in the Brisbane Gladstone race. In July he won seven from eight races to claim IRC 1 honours at Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek, and has won every major regatta in Asia in the past few years. In October, he sailed a Beneteau 40.7 to fourth in a hot fleet of 24 at the China Cup in Shenzhen.

Roberts says Checkmate is a special, one of the last cold-moulded wooden boats. "It's a showpiece, and with her age allowance, we could be in with half a chance." He has booked space for a brokerage and sail training school at the Superyacht Marina at Rozelle, where Checkmate will feature after the race. Michael Spies, a 40-RSHYR veteran, joins Roberts again. American owner Brad Avery has skippered OCCA's boats on long voyages through Europe, the Caribbean, Mexico, and others for 30 years, but this is his first Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.

CHINA EASYWAY

SAIL NO: 4527

LOA: 12.7m

CLASS: IRC/ORCi

DESIGNER: John King (AUS)

YEAR BUILT: 1988

TYPE: Jarkan 12.5

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 8

OWNER: Travis Read/Tim Wilson

CLUB: Port Hacking Open Sailing Club, NSW

CREW: T Read (7)- Skipper, A Lawrence (12) --Navigator, J Whitfield (17), S Grellis (26), J Linnegar (2), W H Pan (2), J Liu (1), G Gleeson (1), XZ Huang, F Read

China Easyway was 22nd overall and fifth in Division 4 last year. She is the former She's Apples II, which original owner David Strong won the 1991 race overall under IMS (in conjunction with IOR winner, Atara), then finished 26th overall in 1992, but retired in 1993. In 1994, rebadged AFS Freight, Strong finished 71st overall. The boat was sold to Max Prentice who retired from the 1997 race, but was one of the few finishers of the tragic 1998 race in 21st overall. Travis Read and Tim Wilson purchased and renamed the boat China Easyway, and retained the original sail number. They retired from the RSHYR 2015 with sail damage. Read's previously campaigned Illusion (which won the 1988 race under original owner, Gino Knezic) finished 23rd overall and fourth in Division 4 with co-owner Kim Jaggar in the RSHYR 2012, then placed 21st overall and second in Division 2 in 2013.

CHRISTOPHER DRAGON

SAIL NO: USA4304

LOA: 13.1m

CLASS: IRC/ORCi

DESIGNER: Jason Ker(UK)

YEAR BUILT: 2014

TYPE: Sydney 43 Modified

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 0

OWNER: Andrew and Linda Weiss

CLUB: Storm Trysail Club/Larchmont Yacht Club, USA

CREW: A Weiss--Skipper, L Fox--Navigator, C Weiss, R Lyall, J McShane, D Lynn, L Cutler, A Loory, G Girai, B LaMotte III

Andrew and Linda Weiss's Sydney 43 Christopher Dragon enjoyed a stand-out 2015 season on the USA's east coast. She won two distance races, finishing first in her IRC class at the NYYC's annual regatta (she won all four races and led at every mark in all), second in IRC 1 in the Marblehead to Halifax Ocean Race and first in IRC 2 at Block Island Race Week, with five wins and six seconds--only supermaxi Comanche toppled her for the overall win. Now Weiss is coming to tackle the Rolex Sydney Hobart for the first time, where they will face Comanche again. Weiss is an experienced yachtsman and can count 22 Block Island Race Weeks among his other races, but all aboard are Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race novices.

CHUTZPAH

SAIL NO: R33

LOA: 12.3m

CLASS: IRC/ORCi

DESIGNER: Reichel/Pugh (USA)

YEAR BUILT: 2007

TYPE: Caprice 40

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 10

OWNER: Bruce Taylor

CLUB: Royal Yacht Club of Victoria, VIC

CREW: B Taylor (36)--Skipper, K Piesse (34) Navigator, G Gourley (30), P Fletcher (30), A Taylor (25), B Anderson (6), I Taylor (16), P Sandles (16), J Permezel (24), O Boote

Bruce Taylor sailed Chutzpah to 24th overall and second in Division 2 in 2016 after placing 18th overall, fifth in Division 3 and third in ORCi Division 2 in the RSHYR 2015 after a heartbreaking second overall to Wild Rose by a little under 39 minutes in 2014--but he did win Division 2. The Caprice 40's other best RSHYR results were fourth in 2007 and fifth in 2013. With previous Chutzpahs, Taylor's best results were: second in IMS Division 3 in 1994 (371 boats raced); sixth overall in 2001; fifth in 2002; third IRC and fourth IMS in 2003; plus a host of divisional wins and places.

From 1980 to 1984, the Victorian sailed the RSHYR as crew for other owners. He missed 1985, but from 1986 has owned six yachts named Chutzpah, and has not missed a single Rolex Sydney Hobart since--that's 31 straight. Taylor and son Drew are the only father/son pair in history to sail 25 RSHYR together, and the relatively small crew can boast over 200 RSHYR between them! Sailing on Drew and Joachim Isler's Ambush, the Taylors finished second to Mascalzone Latino in October's Hong Kong Vietnam race. We'd love to see Chutzpah win.

CLIMATE ACTION NOW

SAIL NO: N11

LOA: 15.3m

CLASS: IRC/ORCi

DESIGNER: Robert Hick (AUS)

YEAR BUILT: 2003

TYPE: Hick Open 50

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 2

OWNER: Lisa Blair

CLUB: Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, NSW

CREW: L Blair (1)--Skipper, L Greenhalgh Navigator, E Shaw, E Draper.

Lisa Blair sailed in the 2011-12 Clipper Round the World, then took on the ITL Solo Tasman Challenge from New Zealand to Australia. She placed PHS 13th overall in her first RSHYR in 2015. At the time, her next goal was to be the first woman to circumnavigate Antarctica, solo, non-stop and unassisted, but Climate Action's mast broke in April, forcing her into Cape Town to repair. But she finished the task, achieving first woman to circumnavigate Antarctica solo, crossing the Albany, WA, finish at the end of July. She embarked on her epic journey as the recipient of the 2017 Australian Geographic Society Nancy Bird Walton Sponsorship, which supports groundbreaking projects led by women. She will race to Hobart with an all-female crew, including well-regarded British meteorologist Libby Greenhalgh who navigated SCA in the last edition of the VOR.

Blair named her boat Climate Action Now to raise awareness of the environmental climate. It is the former Funnel-Web, originally owned by Ivan MacFadyen and Sibby Ilzhofer who contested the tough RSHYR 2004 with it and finished 48th overall in a race where 59 finished and 57 retired. Blair purchased it in September 2015.

CLIPPER VENTURES 10

SAIL NO: GBR9359T

LOA: 20.7m

CLASS: IRC

DESIGNER: Ed Dubois (UK

YEAR BUILT: 2005

TYPE: Clipper 68

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 3

OWNER: Clipper Ventures

CLUB: Portsmouth Yacht Club, UK

CREW: No crew list supplied

The former Derry-Londonderry last ventured south in 2015 as CV 10, finishing 37th overall and sixth in Division 2 after placing 79th overall when she represented the UK under the guidance of Clipper skipper. Piers Dudin, who also skippered her in 2015. The previous year she was skippered by James Dobie (also a Clipper skipper) to 49th overall. With four circumnavigations and more than 140,000 miles under her hull, Clipper Ventures 10 is a tried and tested yacht.

CLIPPER VENTURES 5

SAIL NO: GBR9354T

LOA: 20.7m

CLASS: IRC

DESIGNER: Ed Dubois (UK)

YEAR BUILT: 2005

TYPE: Clipper 68

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 3

OWNER: Clipper Ventures

SKIPPER:

CLUB: Portsmouth Yacht Club, UK

CREW: No crew list supplied.

In last year's RSHYR, Clipper Ventures 5 finished 64th overall and 13th in Division 2. It is the former Gold Coast Australia, winner of 12 from 15 legs in the 2011-12 Clipper Round the World Race under Tasmanian skipper Richard Hewson. Prior to that, she competed in the previous three Clipper races as Team Finland (second), Jamaica (10th) and Jersey (ninth). Drew Hulton-Smith, a watch captain on Clipper Ventures 70 in the RSHYR 2014, skippered this boat to 40th overall in the RSHYR 2015. Before him. Piers Dudin skippered her to 56th in 2013. This and other 68s are utilised for Clipper race crew training and development for participation in local sailing events.

LDV COMANCHE

SAIL NO: 12358

LOA: 30.0m

CLASS: IRC

DESIGNER: Verdier Yacht Design and VPLP (FRA)

YEAR BUILT: 2014

TYPE: 100ft Super Maxi

NO OF HOBARTS: 2

OWNER: Jim Clark/Neville Crichton

SKIPPER: Neville Crichton

CLUB: New York Yacht Club, USA

CREW: N Crichton (2)--Skipper, S Honey (5)--Navigator, J Spithill (3), D De Ridder (1), J von Schwarz (2), K Harrap (2), L Sinclair (2), N Burridge (2), R Godfrey (11), S Falcone (1), W Fleury (2), T Rae (1), J Slattery (1), K Keeley (2), J Cressant (1), C Smith (11), D Rolfe (13)

Jim Clark and Neville Crichton have joined forces, with Crichton skippering LDV Comanche in this year's race. He will be crewed by familiar faces from the 2014 and 2015 campaigns. Will face Wild Oats XI and Black Jack (former Alfa Romeo), the yacht Crichton sailed to line honours from WOXI in the 2009 race. He also took line honours in 2002 with a 90ft Alfa Romeo. Comanche contested the Hobart brand new in 2014, finishing 49 mins behind WOXI, and 2015 when she took line honours from Ragamuffin 100--WOXI had retired. Now the downwind flyer is back--heaven help us if it is a downhill race--we've witnessed what she is capable of. In July 2017, with the Ken Read/Stan Honey combo, the yacht smashed the 2225 Transpac monohull record, half a day faster than the 2009 record of Crichton's ex Alfa Romeo. This after taking 24 hours off Marie Cha IV's Transatlantic record, sailing 2880nm at an average of 21.44 knots. In May 2015, she took the record/line/overall treble in the Block Island Race, then on July 12,2015, set a new 24 hour monohull speed record in the Transatlantic Race, covering 618.01 nautical miles (25.75 knot average). To put it in perspective, that's just 10nm less than the Sydney Hobart. In August she won line honours in the fluky, light Rolex Fastnet Race by four and a half minutes after a race-long battle, with Rambler 88, then took line honours in all four races at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup.

CONCUBINE

SAIL NO: YC45

LOA: 13.7m

CLASS: IRC/ORCi

DESIGNER: Mark Mills (IRE)

YEAR BUILT: 2015

TYPE: Mills 45

NO OF RSHYR: 1

OWNER: Jason Ward

CLUB: Cruising Yacht Club of South Australia

CREW: Jason Ward (3)--Skipper, S Kemp (20)--Navigator, J Clark (6), S Nolan (15), N Partridge (20), J Freeman (28), J Paterson (8), A Mitton (7), J Mitton (3), L Stephens (2), M Pernini (2), A Cole

Launched late in 2015, Concubine finished the RSHYR 39th overall, following with second to Secret Men's Business at 2016 Port Lincoln Race Week, but retired from the 2016 Sydney Gold Coast race after a collision after the start. Bad luck continued when the Mills 45's rig broke in an Adelaide race, forcing Jason Ward to withdraw her from last year's RSHYR. Back on track, Concubine finished 33rd overall in the 2017 Sydney Gold Coast race and fourth overall in the Flinders Islet Race, retiring from the Newcastle Bass Island Race. In 2014, following many years of one-design racing, Ward contested his first Rolex Sydney Hobart with wife Shevaun Bruland aboard their former Concubine, a Beneteau First 40 (now racing as Bravo) and finished 43rd overall.

DAREDEVIL

SAIL NO: RF5095

LOA: 14.3m

CLASS: IRC/ORCi

DESIGNER: Farr Yacht Design (USA)

YEAR BUILT: 2000

TYPE: Farr/Cookson 47

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 3

OWNER: Sibby Ilzhofer

CLUB: Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club, NSW

CREW: S Ilzhofer (4)--Skipper, R Smith Navigator, S Tallis, M Read, D Elliott, R Browne, K Foster, N Hunt, G Parker

Sibby Ilzhofer was disappointed having to retire Dare Dew/from the past two RSHYR with rudder damage, this after having especially checked the rudder last year. She suffered an injury on the way home, but returns undaunted, Ilzhofer won the Jane Tate Memorial Trophy as the top placed female skipper in 2014 after finishing 52nd overall. She finished 34th overall in the Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race 2017 and has also entered her yacht in the 2018 Melbourne to Osaka Double-Handed Yacht Race. Launched as Sea Hawk for the 2000/2001 Kenwood Cup and campaigned by Naohiko Sera and Roy Davies, with two team mates they won the cup. WA yachtie Tony Mitchell bought and re-christened her Sled before Ilzhofer bought and renamed her.

DARE TO LEAD

SAIL NO: GBR725X

LOA: 21.3m

CLASS: IRC/CUPPER

DESIGNER: Tony Castro (UK)

YEAR BUILT: 2013

TYPE: Clipper 70

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 2

OWNER: Clipper Ventures

SKIPPER: Dale Smyth

CLUB: Royal Ocean Racing Club, UK

CREW: D Smyth--Skipper, L Baker, E Bultje, S Carter, D Clifton, S Davies, D Davis, C Domscheit, D Ferguson, C Garratt, S Harper, N Harvey, J Heiner, M Husband, C Palmer, M Shepherd, I Taylor, A Williams, H Xu, P Hayes (2)

As Da Nang--Viet Nam, and skippered by CYCA member and veteran of 10 RSHYR Wendy Tuck, it was the top-placed Clipper 70 in the 2015 Rolex Sydney Hobart and finished 44th overall and ninth in Division 2. In 2013, the boat was Invest Africa and finished 69th overall, 17th in Division 1, and 11th in the Clipper division. Dale Smyth from South Africa is skippering the rebadged Dare To Lead and aboard are two Australians, including Queensland's Daniel Clifton. Joining him is South African Shona Davies who is promoting awareness of mental health. Brit Patrick Hayes is also aboard after taking part in the 2015 edition aboard PSP Logistics. Smyth skippered her to second in Leg 2.

DARK AND STORMY

SAIL NO: SM69

LOA: 11.4m

CLASS: IRC/ORCi

DESIGNER: lain Murray (AUS)

YEAR BUILT: 1993

TYPE: lain Murray Custom 37

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 1

OWNER: Terry Kourtis/Stuart Mellington

CLUB: Sandringham Yacht Club, VIC

CREW: S Mellington (1)--Skipper, T Kourtis (1)--Navigator, T Foote (1), M Mellington (2), T Buxton, R Tatti, B Waters, P Moore (1)

Terry Kourtis and Stuart Mellington sailed Dark and Stormy to 60th overall and 16th in Division 3 in their first Rolex Sydney Hobart together last year, so the crew have set their sights on another challenge by doing the race again. A custom-built lain Murray 37, she was bought from Bruce Staples In late 2011 and raced out of Sandringham Yacht Club for the last six years with success, winning the Winter, Summer and Around the Stick series. She also finished on the podium in the 2016 Melbourne to Stanley race. Her owners say she is a fast yacht and always throws the crew a challenge. Stuart Mellington s son Michael joins them for their second RSHYR together, while son-in-law to be Tom Buxton gets his first dose. Wise Warriors Environmental has helped put Dark and Stormy to sea again this year.

DERUCCI

SAIL NO: 2382

LOA: 15.2m

CLASS: IRC/ORCi

DESIGNER: Farr Yacht Design (USA)

YEAR BUILT: 2006

TYPE: TP52

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 2

OWNER: Noahs Group

SKIPPER: Dong Qing

CLUB: Noahs Sailing Club, CHINA

CREW: D Qing (2)--Skipper, Z Hong (1), Y Xiaobin (1), L Songmin (1), Z Minhang (1), C Zhongqiu (1), Y Longshen (1), S Fenghai (1), Z Bao [1), Y Shuai (1), X Xiao (1), C Fulin (1)

This is the yacht we know as Ark323, which became mainland China's first ever entry in the Rolex Sydney Hobart in 2015. Among the earliest entries, it comes with a name change to reflect Chinese bedding company, Derucci. The dream of finishing the race in 2015 was shattered when the boat's transom was badly damaged by Ragamuffin 52 soon after the start. Last year she placed 65th overall, despite suffering mainsail damage at sea. The crew carried on under reduced sail, and still beat boats to the finish. Let's hope this year will be a case of third time lucky. Best known as Sled and Warpath, Derucci and her keen crew arrived in town early and contested November's 180nm Cabbage Tree Island Race, finishing 21st overall.

DORADE

SAIL NO: 16

LOA: 16.0m

CLASS: IRC/ORCi

DESIGNER: Sparkman & Stephens (USA)

YEAR BUILT: 1930

TYPE: S&S 52 Yawl

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 0

OWNER: Matt Brooks

CLUB: Newport Yacht Club, USA

CREW: K Miller--Skipper, A Cahalan (25) Navigator, M Wachowicz--Navigator, M Brooks, M Giles, J Hayes, E Chownoski

Famous American classic wooden boat Dorade is a revolutionary S&S, designed by the then 21-year-old Olin Stephens and built under younger brother Rod's (20) supervision. Features a deep keel with external ballast, very narrow beam and a generous sail plan. The yawl took the yachting world by storm and made headlines around the world after scoring an upset victory in the 1931 Transatlantic Race, competing against much larger boats. In the next 10 years. Dorade scored overall victories in the 1931 and 1933 Fastnet races and the 1936 TransPac race. Adrienne Cahalan, the first woman to sail 25 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Races, is navigating.

Matt Brooks and his partner Pam Rorke Levy purchased Dorade in 2010 and spent a year restoring her with the aim of competing in all the major races she had won. She has since beaten her Transatlantic, Newport Bermuda, Fastnet and TransPac times of the 1930s and made the podium of all, winning the 2013 TransPac overall into the bargain. Arriving in Australia this year, she placed third overall in the Brisbane Keppel race and 14th in the recent Newcastle Bass Island Race. The oldest boat in the fleet at 87, this is her and Brooks' first Hobart.

DUENDE

SAIL NO: ESP6100

LOA: 15.4m

CLASS: PHS

DESIGNER: Judel/Vrolijk (GER)

YEAR BUILT: 2003

TYPE: Judel/Vrolijk 52

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 6

OWNER: Damien Parkes

CLUB: Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, NSW

CREW: D Parkes (29)--Skipper, C Dagger (7)--Navigator, V Song Kun (1), R MacMillan (4), B McMaster(1), SF Yen, Y Hsu (1), M Cassidy (7), J Pealing, V Nordberg, T Beaver, R Midya

Duende was PHS 12th overall and third in Division 1 in the RSHYR 2016. This will be her seventh consecutive race, while Parkes will notch up his 30th. Missing in action is Rolex Sydney Hobart record holder Tony Cable, who will be away. Duende finished PHS seventh overall and third in Division 1 in the RSHYR 2015, PHS 11th overall and fourth in Division 1 in 2014, PHS ninth in 2013, 54th overall in IRC in 2012, and retired in 2011 with engine problems heading into Bass Strait. On board is Vicky Song Kun, who in 2014 became the first Chinese woman to sail around the world--via the Clipper Race. Yun Hsu is a Taiwanese woman who sailed her first RSHYR with Parkes last year. Fu Yen joins the crew for the first time after being awarded the best sailing instructor in Taiwan in 2016. Duende is the former Tau Ceramics/Lacoste, and raced in Europe before Parkes bought and adapted her.

ENCHANTRESS

SAIL NO: SA346

LOA: 11.0m

CLASS: IRC

DESIGNER: John Muirhead (AUS)

YEAR BUILT: 1983

TYPE: Muirhead 11

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 4

OWNER: John Muirhead

CLUB: Royal South Australian Yacht Squadron, SA

CREW: J Willoughby (5)--Skipper, N Swan (5), R Large (1), A Berlot, I Sebban, M Mead, M Hinter, P Craig

Each time she competes, Enchantress crew sail her from South Australia to Sydney before heading to Hobart--a great way to test the boat and put some ocean miles away. In 2016 she finished 20th overall, scoring fourth in Division 4 and in the Corinthian division. In 2015 she was 23rd overall, and in 2014, 19th overall for fourth in Division 4, third in the Veterans 30 Year and fourth in the Veterans 20 Year. In 2012, her first Rolex Sydney Hobart, she was 19th for third in Division 4 and has also done 21 Adelaide Port Lincoln races, placing 11th overall this year. The Muirhead 11 has also won the 2010 Melbourne to Hobart under IRC, PHS and AMS. John Muirhead designed and built the red timber hulled Enchantress to be fast downwind.

ENIGMA

SAIL NO: GBR5790

LOA: 14.9m

CLASS: IRC/ORCi

DESIGNER: Farr Yacht Design (USA)

YEAR BUILT: 2004

TYPE: Beneteau First 47.7

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 1

OWNER: Jason Bond

CLUB: Manly Yacht Club, NSW

CREW: J Bond (1)--Skipper, R Bamham (1), S McKeogh, V Deskov, N Farquharson, G Evans, T Kilman, K Bromwich

Jason Bond suffered huge disappointment in 2016. Forced to withdraw Enigma from the Rolex Sydney Hobart on Boxing Day when the Beneteau 47.7 suffered engine problems. He is hoping for better luck this time. The boat was formerly known as Just Do It 3 and sailed to Australia from Glasgow in Scotland via Antigua. Under Ian Darby's ownership, the distinctive dark blue yacht finished the 2008 Rolex Sydney Hobart 50th overall.

ENVY SCOOTERS BEACH BALL 52

SAIL NO: RQ0052

LOA: 15.9m

CLASS: IRC/ORCi

DESIGNER: Judel/Vrolijk (GER)

YEAR BUILT: 2011

TYPE: TP52

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 1

OWNER: Barry Cuneo

CLUB: Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron

CREW: B Cuneo (2)--Skipper, P Elkington (12) --Navigator, I Barr (3), T Anderson (3), C Skinner (5), T Rowell (1), S Dunne (1), G Van Lunteren (5), J Chilman (2), J Warlow (2), P Hermann (7), R O'Sullivan, A Deeks, B Moloney, R Trujillo (2)

Barry Cuneo purchased the former Audi Azzura/Shogun V/Ichi Ban from Matt Allen in October and renamed it Envy Scooters Beach Ball 52. Allen added a new keel fin and mast and dominated Division 1 at 2015 Airlie Beach Race Week, won every race in Division 1 at the 2016 Sydney Harbour Regatta, and ditto for the 2016 NSW IRC Championship. Further mods for offshore racing and the TP52 notably won the 2016 Sydney Gold Coast race by nearly six hours, then finished second to Beau Geste at the 2016 Australian IRC Championship. Sat in the winner's seat of the RSHYR 2016 for the best part, but ultimately placed fifth overall, second in Division 1, after a classic Derwent shutdown, ahead of winning the 2017 Brisbane Gladstone race.

While this will be his first Rolex Sydney Hobart as a boat owner. Cuneo has a solid sailing background, including with a Beneteau 40.7 that finished eighth overall in the 2017 Brisbane Keppel race. With a 50% youth crew from ROYS (he is Vice Commodore), they were crowned 2015 Melges 32 Australian champions after contesting the Worlds earlier in Miami. Cuneo competes regularly and has travelled to Sydney for Farr 40 events, finishing with podium places. The former sea pilot also has a penchant for fast cars, contesting the Targa High Country 2016, the same event that he spectacularly crashed out of this year. Has imported 'Big Raffa' Trujillo, the Spanish four-time Finn Olympian with Silver from Athens and VOR crew in last edition.

EUPHORIA II

SAIL NO: E2

LOA: 12.9m

CLASS: IRC/ORCi

DESIGNER: Farr Yacht Design (USA)

YEAR BUILT: 1982

TYPE: Beneteau First 42

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 0

OWNER: Marc Stuart

CLUB: Moreton Bay Boat Club, QLD

CREW: M Stuart (4)--Skipper, J Jarvis, K Appleton (1), L Linton (1), C Salter (1), G Doolan, C Baker, R Combrink (3)

Purchased in Mexico in 2009, this classic cruising yacht was sailed across the Pacific to her new home in Brisbane and has since competed in several Brisbane to Gladstone races, a club championship at MBBC. She has won the 2014 Kingfisher Night Series, won the 2015 MBBC Fairway Challenge, and is a previous PHS winner and Short-Handed winner in the Brisbane to Noumea race. She has "lots of go-fast gear," says her owner tongue in cheek, including a wind generator, bimini, windvane steering, gas BBQ and headsail furler. If the going gets tough, the crew will be comfortable.

EVE

SAIL NO: 8565

LOA: 20.0m

CLASS: IRC/ORCi

DESIGNER: Sparkman & Stephens (USA)

YEAR BUILT: 1981

TYPE: Swan 65

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 1

OWNER: Steve Capell

CLUB: Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, NSW

CREW: S Capell (1)--Skipper, R Buchanan (7) --Navigator, O Hirstwood, I McDonald, L Hobba, B Gross, M Skaalum, T Brooke, J Stariwat (1), B Feeney, D Elliott (4), H Sexton, S Bartle, J Smith (4)

Pretty as a picture, Steve Capell raced this Swan 65 in the RSHYR 2015 as Ugg Australia and finished 31st overall. She is a classic S&S Swan 65; the 35th of 40 yachts built by Nautor in the 1970s and early 1980s. Originally launched in 1981 as UK-registered Cheetah of Hamble, and then as Italian-registered Kenta from 2000, she was imported to Australia and has taken up residence in Sydney as Eve and enjoys northern regattas.

EXTASEA

SAIL NO: G4646R

LOA: 14.0m

CLASS: IRC/ORCi

DESIGNER: Mark Mills (IRE)

YEAR BUILT: 2004

TYPE: DK46

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 3

OWNER: Paul Buchholz

CLUB: Royal Geelong Yacht Club, VIC

CREW: P Buchholz (6)--Skipper, G Durran (7), T Holzer (1), B Mann (1), S Hunter (2), J Tozer, B Miethke (3), A Burggraaff (2), P Hardiman (1), P Kirman, A Marlow (1), I Johnson (17), B Nelson (1)

In 2016 Extasea finished 47th overall and eighth in Division 2, skippered by Bryan Kennett in Paul Buchholz's absence. Prior to that, she last headed south in 2014, finishing 29th overall and 17th in 2010. The DK46 made her Sydney Gold Coast debut in late July and finished 38th overall. These seasoned yachties have won every local offshore race over the past 12 years, culminating in winning the ORCV Offshore Championship four times. In 2015, Extasea took line honours in the Melbourne Hobart race for the fourth time (between 2011 and 2015), excluding 2014, when Buchholz contested the Rolex Sydney Hobart and finished 29th overall.

FIFTY TWO HUNDRED

SAIL NO: 5200

LOA: 15.9m

CLASS: IRC/ORCi

DESIGNER: Farr Yacht Design (USA)

YEAR BUILT: 2005

TYPE: TP52

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 7

OWNER: Michael Spies

CLUB: Southport Yacht Club, QLD

CREW: M Short-Skipper (9), J Penny, I Short, A Guy, J Craddock, G Cooper, J Broom, E Markey

Michael Spies purchased Tony Lyall's Cougar II this year, renaming her Fifty Two Hundred (also her sail number), and repaired the damage done at the start of the RSHYR 2015. His first race was the Sydney Gold Coast race and he finished 36th overall. Spies, who took line honours and broke the race record with Nokia in the 1999 Hobart, also won it overall in 2003 with First National Real Estate, and has 40 RSHYR under the belt. Also a skiff sailor, Spiesy has left the boat with Matt Short as he will sail with old mate Ray Roberts again.

In the 2015 Rolex Sydney Hobart, when owned by Tasmanian Tony Lyall, this TP52 retired after a collision with Lupa of London just after the start. Her transom smashed on the starboard side, Cougar II was subsequently protested and lost. In 2013, she was 46th after placing 33rd overall in 2012. The boat's best Rolex Sydney Hobart result was second overall in 2008 under her previous owner, Alan Whiteley. In 2014, Lyall took line honours and broke the Maria Island race record with her and took line honours again the following year, finishing second overall.

FLYING FISH ARCTOS

SAIL NO: 7551

LOA: 15.2m

CLASS: PHS

DESIGNER: Graham Radford (AUS)

YEAR BUILT: 2001

TYPE: McIntyre 55

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 11

OWNER: Flying Fish Online

SKIPPER: Alex Martin

CLUB: Middle Harbour Yacht Club, NSW

CREW: A Martin (4)--Skipper, G Martin Navigator (2), A Martin, A Sinclair, P Clark, L Johnson (1), T Mackinnon, D Myers, M Fifield (1), R Miller, A Jones, E White, M Gerrard

Flying Fish Arctos placed PHS sixth overall for fourth in Division 2 in the 2016 Rolex Sydney Hobart after placing PHS 10th in 2015. Her best results, all PHS, have been winning in 2010, second in 2009, and third in 2012. Led by Gregor McGowan in the 2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart, this McIntyre 55 finished PHS 18th overall after finishing 10th in 2013. Her other RSHYR results, all under PHS, comprise 16th in 2009, seventh in 2007 and 2008, and sixth in 2011. The crew is typically a mix of local experience and international trainees, all graduates of the Flying Fish sailing school. The yacht has raced to Hobart variously as Arctos and Flying Fish Arctos with a variety of skippers.

FREYJA

SAIL NO: N10

LOA: 11.4m

CLASS: PHS

DESIGNER: William Atkins

YEAR BUILT: 1945

TYPE: Atkins Ingrid

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 0

OWNER: Richard Lees

CLUB: Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club, NSW

CREW: R Lees--Skipper/Navigator, O O'Donovan, K Hancock, L Costello, A Miller, S Macks, E Thirkell, P Flanagan

In her first Rolex Sydney Hobart attempt last year, Freyja only made it halfway up the harbour, retiring after blowing out a headsail while at the back of the fleet. Dr Richard Lees will be better prepared this time. Launched in San Francisco Bay, his daughter and son-in-law purchased Freyja, which required major repairs, so Lees and his wife became partners to help. Since relaunching, she has been to three Australian Wooden Boat Festivals in Tassie. The two families are keen to tick the Rolex Sydney Hobart off their bucket list and have otherwise used Freyja for family holidays and club racing.

G.O.

SAIL NO: 099

LOA: 11.9m

CLASS: IRC/ORCi

DESIGNER: Farr Yacht Design (USA)

YEAR BUILT: 2001

TYPE: Cookson 12

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 3

OWNER: Zoe Taylor

CLUB: Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, NSW

CREW: Z Taylor (1)--Skipper, C Crafoord (31) --Navigator, D Williams (7), T Powell (17), V Dudley (21), J Crockett, M Bassett (5), T Hogan, H Brodie (26)

Zoe Taylor recently purchased the Cookson 12 Pazazz and renamed it with the initials of the 1500s trail-blazing pirate, Grace O'Malley. Her strength appealed to Taylor, whose only Rolex Sydney Hobart was aboard Strewth in 2002. G.O. is contesting the CYCA's BWPS, placing ninth and eighth in the Flinders Islet and 200nm Newcastle Bass Island races, then won IRC, ORCi and PHS in the light-air 180-mile Cabbage Tree Island Race. A gun crew includes 31-time RSHYR navigator Carl Crafoord and driver Vanessa Dudley, who will contest her 22nd Hobart. Taylor disappeared from sailing for 10 years to pursue her career and returns as the owner of her own yacht. Last owner Rob Drury bought the boat in August 2012 and finished 22nd overall in the RSHYR 2014, retired from the 2015 race with main damage, but finished 23rd overall to win Division 2 in 2016.

GARMIN

SAIL NO: GBR722X

LOA: 21.3m

CLASS: IRC/CUPPER

DESIGNER: Tony Castro (UK)

YEAR BUILT: 2013

TYPE: Clipper 70

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 2

OWNER: Clipper Ventures

SKIPPER: Gaetan Thomas

CLUB: Royal Ocean Racing Club, UK

CREW: G Thomas--Skipper, J Allison, A Bonett, M Brien, R Collins, S Elles, S Geddes, E Hellstrom, G Injoque, D Loe, B Lyons, M Pattni, T Rubenstein, M Showell-Woodsmith, H Shragge, S Sinclair, D Smith, N Smith, S Talfourd, R Verity, D West, N Wyatt, J Zbontar Skraba

Belgium's Gaetan Thomas skippers Garmin, the boat that previously competed in the Rolex Sydney Hobart under the names Qingdao in 2013 when it finished 65th overall, and PSP Logistics in 2015 under skipper Max Stunell, when it improved to 57th overall, 21st in Division 2 and 11th in the Clipper division. Crew this year includes Australian triathlete coach Dr Darren Smith, who helped two athletes to top-four finishes at the London Olympic Games. Dave West from Devon, UK, is also aboard. As Garmin's Ambassador, he is using Garmin cameras to document his 40,000nm race around the world, including Garmin winning the inaugural Ocean Sprint and finishing third on Lea 2.

GBP YEAH BABY

SAIL NO: A5

LOA: 15.2m

CLASS: IRC

DESIGNER: Hugh Welbourn (UK)

YEAR BUILT: 2000

TYPE: Welbourn 50

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 3

OWNER: Louis and Marc Ryckmans

CLUB: Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, NSW

CREW: M Ryckmans (8)--Skipper/Navigator, L Ryckmans (8), L Stead, M Dorling, J Burman, T Fortier, C Geeves, M Muth, J Turner, E May (3), C Vroom

GBP Yeah Baby last sailed to Hobart in 2015, placing 36th overall and fifth in Division 2, with a predominantly Russian crew. Back in the Ryckmans' hands, she finished 24th overall in the 2017 Sydney Gold Coast race. Twin brothers Louis and Marc Ryckmans bought the former Audi Sunshine Coast and renamed it PMA Yeah Baby- this time there is a GBP at the front. Previous owner Rod Jones won IRC Division 1 in the 2013 Sydney Gold Coast race and retired shortly after the start of the 2013 Rolex Sydney Hobart with rig damage. The Ryckmans consequently raced her to 34th overall and fourth in Division 1 in the RSHYR 2014. Aboard this time is past Laser Olympic campaigner James Burman and Emma May, who switches bows for her fourth Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.

GREAT BRITAIN

SAIL NO: GBR730X

LOA: 21.3m

CLASS: IRC/CUPPER

DESIGNER: Tony Castro (UK)

YEAR BUILT: 2013

TYPE: Clipper 70

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 2

OWNER: Clipper Ventures

SKIPPER: Andy Burns

CLUB: Royal Ocean Racing Club, UK

CREW: A Burns--Skipper, L Birgelen, N Comstedt, N Davies, R Gibson, P Gunn, T Hicks, J Leyland, H Macleod, I Maclugash, J Milne, A Mitchell, P O'Sullivan, K Patel, C Stafford, N Thurlow, M Tucker

Andy Burns is skipper of GREAT Britain, which as Derry-Londonderry-Doire in 2013 was the best placed of the Clipper fleet, placing 54th overall and seventh in Division 1. Named Unicef in the RSHYR 2015, she was 53rd overall, 17th in Division 2, and ninth in Clipper division. Among Burns' crew is Hannah Macleod, who won Gold for Great Britain in the Women's Hockey at the Rio Olympics. Macleod had not sailed before joining the Clipper Race, but wanted a new challenge after retiring from hockey. The GREAT Britain team has raced a very tactical race so far in the Clipper race, and crossed the line in third place in the opening race to Uruguay.

GUNRUNNER

SAIL NO: 3867

LOA: 9.2m

CLASS: IRC

DESIGNER: John King (AUS)

YEAR BUILT: 1988

TYPE: Jarkan 925

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 0

OWNER: Army Sailing Club

SKIPPER: Maurice Young

CLUB: Army Sailing Club, NSW

CREW: M Young--Skipper, K O'Rourke Navigator, A McDonell, M Stewart, S Young, C Cushway

Gun Runner, the second smallest boat in the fleet this year, is owned by the Army Sailing Club. She was raced at the 2017 Sydney Harbour Regatta as part of the ADFSA Inter-Service Yachting Championship, finishing eighth in Non-Spinnaker PHS. The Jarkan 925 also finished PHS seventh overall in the 2017 Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race. Gun Runner exists to promote sailing within the army, and teaches the army values of courage, initiative, respect and teamwork. This will be her first Rolex Sydney Hobart.

HARTBREAKER

SAIL NO: B330

LOA: 14.2m

CLASS: IRC/ORCi

DESIGNER: Reichel/Pugh (USA)

YEAR BUILT: 2004

TYPE: Reichel Pugh 46

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 8

OWNER: Antony Walton/Alan Breidahl

CLUB: Royal Brighton Yacht Club, VIC

CREW: A Walton (4)--Skipper, G Buchan Navigator (3), M Morris, J Macdonald, S DePoi (1), L Irving (2), C Stott (1), P King (1), J Dagge, R Pollock

Hartbreaker finished the 2016 Rolex Sydney Hobart 67th overall after suffering engine problems. The RP46 placed 41st overall in 2015, 66th in 2014, and 49th in 2013--the year cardiologist Tony Walton and Alan Breidahl purchased and renamed the boat previously known as Hardys Secret Mens Business 2 and Shamrock. Built by Hart Marine, and under original owner Geoff Boettcher, the boat was badly damaged at the start of Hamilton Island Race Week in 2007 and subsequently fell off a truck on the way to be repaired. Past Laser Olympic campaigner James Dagge joins the crew this year.

Walton and Breidahl's best results include first PHS Div 1 at the 2016 Port Lincoln regatta and in March this year, took line honours in the King Island race ahead of finishing 11th overall in the Cabbage Tree Island Race. As Shamrock, she won line honours, IRC and PHS in the 2008 Melbourne Hobart race and two years later, retired from the 2010 Rolex Sydney Hobart with rudder damage. As HSMB, she finished 20th overall in the RSHYR 2004, eighth overall in 2005 and 18th overall in 2006.

HELSAL 3

SAIL NO: 262

LOA: 20.0m

CLASS: PHS

DESIGNER: Joe Adams/Fred Barrett (AUS)

YEAR BUILT: 1984

TYPE: Adams 20

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 13

OWNER: Paul Mara

CLUB: Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania, TAS

CREW: P Mara (2)-Skipper/Navigator, D Stephenson (16), P Grady, S Schroeder, K Ukena, M Flynn (1), A van der Rijt (1), S Richardson, C Tate (2), J Wood (1), A Goode (8)

Finished PHS fourth overall to win Division 1 in the 2016 Rolex Sydney Hobart. One of only two Tassie entries in 2015, Rob Fisher took Helsal 3 to PHS second and won Division 1. Fisher was not aboard for the RSHYR 2014 and 2013 when she finished PHS 15th and 11 th respectively The Adams 20 was originally Arthur Bloore's The Office and retired from the 1984 race, then dismasted heading to the 1985 start. Badly fire damaged in 1986, the Fisher family bought and restored her to place eighth on line in the 1987 race and fifth in the 1988 race. Broke her own record in a Gosford Lord Howe Island race, and scored Sydney Mooloolaba line and handicap wins. John Wertheimer purchased her, finishing seventh on line in the RSHYR 1990. Chartered in 1991, she was seventh on line. Fisher repurchased her in 2007 after finding her in decline, and she has missed only the 2011 race since 2008.

HOLLYWOOD BOULEVARD

SAIL NO: AUS8899

LOA: 16.8m

CLASS: IRC

DESIGNER: Farr Yacht Design (USA)

YEAR BUILT: 2008

TYPE: Farr 55

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 7

OWNER: Ray Roberts

CLUB: Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, NSW

CREW: R Roberts (22)--Skipper, M Spies (40), D Hawkins (2), P Sheldrick (25), D McPhee, D Chapman (2)

Ray 'Hollywood' Roberts' Hollywood Boulevardwas 36th overall in the RSHYR 2016 and fourth overall in the 2017 Brisbane Gladstone race. In the 2015 Rolex Sydney Hobart, she sustained hull damage and retired. As OneSails Racing, she finished 49th overall in the RSHYR 2014 after a sunfish claimed the port rudder. In July, with his TP52, Roberts resoundingly won IRC 1 honours at 2017 Phuket Raceweek. Other top results include taking Quantum Racing [next known as Jazz, Victoire and now Oskana) to line and overall honours in the 2008 Sydney Gold Coast race then, as Evolution Racing, placed second in Division 0 of the 2009 Hobart, after winning Brisbane Gladstone line honours for a second year running. As Michael Hiatt's Living Doll, this Farr 55 placed second overall in the RSHYR 2011.

HOTEL PLANNER.COM

SAIL NO: GBR723X

LOA: 21.3m

CLASS: IRC/CLIPPER

DESIGNER: Tony Castro (UK)

YEAR BUILT: 2013

TYPE: Clipper 70

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 2

OWNER: Clipper Ventures

SKIPPER: Conall Morrison

CLUB: Royal Ocean Racing Club, UK

CREW: C Morrison--Skipper, G Adams, C Busk, P Flintoft, C Fox, M Frawley, G Glover, L Gruzelier, A Hemmes, G Hill, L Ho, R Ingram, A Johnston, C Maeting, R Mc Glinchey, P Nordin, S Powlesland, A Rellis, R Saunders, N Schellenberg

Skipper of HotelPlanner.com is Conall Morrison, who is from a Northern Ireland sporting family. His sister Aileen Reed represented as a triathlete at the 2012 London and 2016 Rio Olympics. Among Morrison's crew is a New Zealand dairy farmer Greg Glover, who also spent years working on container ships. Commercial pilot Graham Hill is also aboard to fulfil a childhood dream of racing around the world. As Visit Seattle, this boat was 49th overall, 14th in Division 2, sixth in the Clipper division in the 2015 Rolex Sydney Hobart, and in 2013 as Mission Performance, was 66th overall, 15th in Division 1 and ninth in Clipper Division.

ICHIBAN

SAIL NO: AUS001

LOA: 15.9m

CLASS: IRC/ORCi

DESIGNER: Botin Partners (ESP)

YEAR BUILT: 2017

TYPE: TP52

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 0

OWNER: Matt Allen

CLUB: Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, NSW

CREW: M Allen (27)--Skipper, W Oxley (15) Navigator, G Maguire (16), A Merrington (9), P Merrington (20), C Kosecki (1), C Garnett (14), S Ciszek (1), J Rae (23), D Conigrave (6), T Seilars (10), S Nolan, W Morgan

Brand new TP52 for Matt Allen who off the bat took the double line and overall win in October's Newcastle Bass Island Race, beating nearest rival Celestial(a TP52) over the line and overall by an hour. Was 15th in the Cabbage Tree Island Race, in which the 40-footers excelled. Allen, President of Australian Sailing, sailed his previous TP52 Ichi Ban (formerly Shogun V, which he revamped), to fifth overall, second in Division and ORCI third overall in 1 in the RSHYR 2016 after winning the 2016 Sydney Gold Coast race overall by nearly six hours, resulting in second overall for Ichi Ban in the Blue Water Pointscore and won the 2017 Brisbane Gladstone race, also racking up wins and places with his Carkeek 60, also named Ichi Ban. This new Ichi Ban should be the stand-out in the current crop of TP52s in this year's race, Allen having come so close victory in last year's race.

ICHI BAN

SAIL NO: AUS01

LOA: 18.3m

CLASS: IRC/ORCi

DESIGNER: Carkeek Design Partners (RSA)

YEAR BUILT: 2013

TYPE: Carkeek 60

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 3

OWNER: Matt Allen

CLUB: Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, NSW

CREW: M Allen (27)--Skipper, W Oxley (15) Navigator, G Maguire (16), A Merrington (9), P Merrington (20), C Kosecki (1), C Garnett (14), S Ciszek (1), J Rae (23), D Conigrave (6), T Sellars (10), S Nolan, W Morgan

At the last moment, Matt Allen chose this Carkeek 60 over his TP52 of the same name for the RSHYR 2015 and finished sixth on line, eighth overall and second in Division 0. In 2016, Ichi Ban placed third overall in Groupama Race around Noumea. In 2014, she was fourth overall for third in Division in the Sydney Gold Coast race, took line and overall honours in the inaugural Newcastle Bass Island Race, creating the record that still holds: a new rudder made the difference. Next placed third overall in the CYCA Trophy and eighth on line for 63rd overall in Division 0 of the 2014 Hobart.

In 2015, took the line and overall win in the Cabbage Tree Island Race, breaking the record for a conventionally ballasted yacht, within little over an hour of Wild OatsXIs record. Since 2013, has also held the conventional ballast record in the Port Hacking Bird Islet Race. Australian Sailing President Matt Allen launched this boat a month before the RSHYR 2013 and finished eighth online and eighth overall. In the RSHYR 2016 he sailed his TP52 of the same name to fifth overall, second in Division 1 after winning the 2016 Sydney Gold Coast race by nearly six hours, resulting in second overall in the 2016 Blue Water Point Score.

IMALIZARD

SAIL NO: 6893

LOA: 12.2m

CLASS: PHS

DESIGNER: Hugh Welbourn (UK)

YEAR BUILT: 2007

TYPE: Welbourn 12

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 1

OWNER: Bruce Watson

CLUB: Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, NSW

CREW: B Watson--Skipper, M Gilfoyle Navigator, V Adillon, S Garrett, G Tomlins

Bruce Watson won PHS overall and Division 2, when he skippered Imalizard in her first Rolex Sydney Hobart last year, so has returned to defend. The water-ballasted Welbourn 12 was purpose-built for the double-handed Melbourne Osaka race and is quick downwind. Under previous ownership, was sailed single-handed around Australia. Watson, a Shorthanded Sailing Association of Australia (SSAA) committee member, has raced it in SSAA competitions and two-handed in the 2016 Coffs Harbour race. Retired from both the Flinders Islet and Newcastle Bass Island races, and is an entry in the CYCA's PONANT Sydney Noumea Yacht Race. Watson and navigator Michelle Gilfoyle usually sail the boat two-handed.

INDIAN

SAIL NO: AUS47

LOA: 14.3m

CLASS: IRC/ORCi

DESIGNER: Shaun Carkeek (RSA)

YEAR BUILT: 2014

TYPE: Carkeek 47

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 2

OWNER: Craig Carter

CLUB: Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club, WA

CREW: C Carter (3)--Skipper, B Northcote (8) --Navigator, P Eldrid (5), A Little, R Howell (2|, N Wilmot, D Rooke, D Grover, M Rodoreda, T Barton (1), D Palmer (1), R Senior

This quick Carkeek 47 finished 11th on line for 35th overall and fourth in Division 1 in the 2015 Rolex Sydney Hobart after finishing 38th overall in 2014. In 2016 Indian was the resounding winner of the WA Blue Water Championship after setting a new race record and finishing second overall in the 221 nm Geraldton Classic (she took line and overall honours again in 2017), taking the treble of line honours, record and IRC overall in the 169nm Bunbury return ocean race and another treble in the 245nm Cape Naturaliste race, plus line honours in the West Coaster Race. If conditions suit, there is no reason why Craig Carter and crew shouldn't be up amongst it. They have brought in the big guns with 2008 Olympic 470 gold medallist Nathan Wilmot and local Paul Eldrid.

INFOTRACK

SAIL NO: SYD1000

LOA: 30.0m

CLASS: IRC

DESIGNER: Juan Kouyoumdjian (ARG)

YEAR BUILT: 2008

TYPE: 100-ft supermaxi

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 4

OWNER: Christian Beck

CLUB: Greenwich Flying Squadron, NSW

CREW: C Beck--Skipper, G Simmer (19), M Coxon (28), T Oxley (13), M Spence (17), C Maxted (4), A Pratt (20), A Wing, T Lavers, I McKillop (1), F Oleary (5), D Ryding, S Runow(26), B Lamb (7), J Tilse (2), AMenziesH), D Blanchfield (27), D Wills, C Champion, D Beck, I Jensen, T Braidwood (22), A McLean

Legal software supremo Christian Beck has purchased Perpetual Loyal from Anthony Bell. The former Speedboat/Rambler finally lived up to its tag of 'the fastest supermaxi in the world' last year when after receiving major surgery, broke the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race record Wild Oats XI set in 2012 by 4 hours 51 mins and 52 sees, in the time of 1 day 13 hrs 31 mins 20 secs, culminating in second overall and second in Division 0. This, after retiring from the 2014 and 2015 RSHYR (damage after hitting an object and rudder damage respectively), but finishing second on line in 2013. Also took line honours in the 2015 Sydney Gold Coast race. A star crew includes multiple America's Cup winner Grant Simmer and lain 'Goobs' Jensen, Olympic gold (2012) and silver (2016) 49er medallist.

Beck, who was named Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2017, races a smaller yacht at Greenwich Flying Squadron. He is the founder of LEAP Legal Software and InfoTrack (for which the boat is named), a technology company that provides smart search tools for people and businesses. The crew will include five staff from InfoTrack, along with Beck's brother Darren; the two will sail their first Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race together.

JAZZ PLAYER

SAIL NO: SM390

LOA: 11.9m

CLASS: IRC/ORCi

DESIGNER: Brett Bakewell-White (NZL)

YEAR BUILT: 2004

TYPE: Bakewell-White 39

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 5

OWNER: Matthew Lawrence

CLUB: Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron, VIC

CREW: M Lawrence (5)--Skipper, M Setton (7)--Navigator, S Duncan, T Kenner, N Fellowes-Freem, S Powell-Hughes, C Warren, D Richards, C Webster, M Batson

In 2013, her last Rolex Sydney Hobart, Jazz Player partnered with the Think Pink Foundation to raise awareness for breast cancer support and finished 31st overall. She placed 67th in 2008, retired with a damaged main in 2010, but placed 41st for third in Division 2 in 2011--her best result to date. A comfortable and quick Bakewell cruiser/racer, she finished 12th in division in 2012 after the wind shut the gate on the smaller yachts and then threw a hard southerly at them. Owner Andrew Lawrence is a doctor in medical imaging who fits sailing in around work. His finest hour was taking line and overall IRC double in the 2009 Melbourne to Hobart Ocean Yacht Race.

KHALEESI

SAIL NO: 46

LOA: 14.1m

CLASS: IRC/ORCi

DESIGNER: Mark Mills (IRE)

YEAR BUILT: 2005

TYPE: DK46

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 3

OWNER: Andrew and Pauline Dally

CLUB: Middle Harbour Yacht Club, NSW

CREW: A Dally (6)--Skipper, P Dally (3), M Scott (1), D Dalziel (1), L Ratcliff (10), D Bridges (3), A Chauvel (10), S Williams (12), M Scott (4), L Pryor (1), A Slocombe (2), S Estella (1)

Andrew and Pauline Dally sailed Khaleesi to 24th overall and seventh in Division 2 in the 2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart shortly after purchasing the DK46 originally known as Shogun then Exile. They renamed her Khaleesi, meaning Tamer of Dragons', in the spirit of the friendly rivalry with sister ship Nine Dragons. In 2016, scored a trio of IRC second places in the CYCA's SOPS, the MHYC's IRC Open Point Score and Division 1 in Sydney Harbour Regatta, as well as 12th in the Pittwater Coffs race. In November this year, placed a good fourth overall in the light Cabbage Tree Island Race.

KIALOA II

SAIL NO: AUS7742

LOA: 23.0m

CLASS: IRC

DESIGNER: Sparkman & Stephens (USA)

YEAR BUILT: 1964

TYPE: S&S Yawl

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 1

OWNER: Patrick and Keith Broughton

CLUB: Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, NSW

CREW: P Broughton (9)--Skipper, L May Navigator (44), T Hearder (31), G Chessells (11), G Jackson, I Goldsworthy (2), L Ratcliff, M Souter (23), S Major (1), A Cutler (11), D Sawdon, J Beaton (8), G White (5), J Hastie (7), K Broughton (2), D Kilponen (7)

This famous aluminium boat converted to a yawl in 1968 came from the USA to the race just once--in 1971--and under her famous owner Jim Kilroy took line honours in just over three and a half days. Also took line honours in the 1966 Newport Bermuda and 1966 San Diego Acapulco races, won the 1969 Transatlantic Race from Newport to Cork, finished second on line in the 1969 Fastnet Race and took the double in the 1972 Trans-Tasman Race from Hobart to Auckland. Won and placed in many other races. Sydneysider Paddy Broughton bought the yacht in 2016 with his brother Keith, who resides in the UK.

Ahead of retracing the classic races the yacht had previously done, the Broughtons replaced the standing and running rigging, added new sails and tested all in the Rolex Fastnet Race. They finished 134th overall from over 300 entries, and 37th in a division of 60. Kialoa II was crewed by some of Broughtons old Brindabellacrew mates, including navigator Lindsay May and Tony Hearder--all booked for the RSHYR, as is pro photographer Dallas Kilponen, son of Kilroy's abiding navigator, the late David 'Fang' Kilponen. Broughton was sailing Kialoa II from the UK to Sydney at the time of writing, joining an elite band to have competed in both the Fastnet and the RSHYR in the same year, delivering to the venues under sail. The crew is supporting Movember and rocking the 70s theme by growing moustaches and wearing terry-towelling hats on Boxing Day.

KOA

SAIL NO: 52152

LOA: 15.9m

CLASS: IRC/ORCi

DESIGNER: Bruce Farr (USA)

YEAR BUILT: 2004

TYPE: TP52

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 2

OWNER: Peter Wrigley/Andy Kearnan

CLUB: Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, NSW

CREW: A Kearnan (2)--Skipper, R Grimes (27) --Navigator, P Wrigley (3), A Green, D McPhee, D Wrigley, G Van Dijk, G Telford, M Hewitt-Park, P Williams, R Howard, R Bridge, W Miller, T May

Koa, Hawaiian for 'strong warrior', retired with a broken starter motor last year--her second retirement in a row; not living up to her original name of Lucky. She was 21st overall and fifth in Division 1 in the 2017 Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race and lifted to remarkably take the treble in the Flinders Islet Race, breaking Loki's seven-year-old record. In October she finished seventh in the Newcastle Bass Island Race and then 13th in the Cabbage Tree Island Race, best of the TP52s. Peter Wrigley and Andy Kearnan bought the boat in 2015. She had won the 2010 Rolex Middle Sea Race and was second in the 2014 Rolex China Sea Race. They finished second to Ichi Ban in the 2016 Sydney Gold Coast race.

KOMATSU AZZURRO

SAIL NO: 3430

LOA: 10.1m

CLASS: IRC/ORCi

DESIGNER: Sparkman & Stephens (USA)

YEAR BUILT: 1981

TYPE: S&S34

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 4

OWNER: Shane Kearns

CLUB: Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, NSW

CREW: S Kearns (13)--Skipper, A Seja (15) Navigator (15), D McRae (14), J Nixon (23), F Nelson (22), M Doherty(l)

This small crew of six have notched up over 100 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Races. In last year's race, they sailed Komatsu Azzurro, 'the little boat that could', to 13th overall for second in Division 4; won ORCi Division 4; and was third in the Corinthian Division in downhill conditions not suited to the S&S 34. The year before, almost snatched RSHYR victory from Balance, but lack of breeze on rounding Tasman Island pushed them back to third overall (just six minutes shy of second place), second in Division 4, first in ORCi and Corinthian divisions. Kearns' first Rolex Sydney Hobart with her was in 2014, with a 33rd overall finish. Retired from the Cabbage Tree Island Race in November after a dust-up off the start with the sizeable Eve left her with badly bent stanchions.

They won the 2015 and 2017 Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Races and won Division 4 in 2016. This little miracle rocket, formerly known as Shenandoah II, was found by Kearns near sinking in 2014. Buying her cheaply on his credit card, he restored her, adding a Code Zero and a new staysail. The boat was built for Ron White, a past SYC commodore who won Division H of the 50th RSHYR (boat was renamed Commonwealth Bank Shenandoah II), with a faster finishing time than the winners of Divisions F and G.

LIVERPOOL 2018

CUPPER ROUND THE WORLD YACHT

SAIL NO: GBR720X

LOA: 21.3m

CLASS: IRC/CLIPPER

DESIGNER: Tony Castro (UK)

YEAR BUILT: 2013

TYPE: Clipper 70

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 2

OWNER: Clipper Ventures

SKIPPER: Lance Shepherd

CLUB: Royal Ocean Racing Club, UK

CREW: L Shepherd--Skipper, P Almond, F Antia, G Dodge, S Finn, J Fretton, C Fulton, R Hubbard, M Kidwell, H Lane, J Macfee, M Mueller, R Peters, C Rich, S Schoultz, N Sheridan, N Stafford, M Vantrease, J Vearncombe

Former Royal Marines Commando Lance Shepherd is skippering Liverpool 2018, previously known as One DLL (finished 61st overall, 10th in Division 1, fourth in Clipper division) and Garmin (finished 48th overall, 13th in Division 2, fifth Clipper Division) respectively in the 2013 and 2015 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Races. This year's crew on Liverpool 18 includes Fernando 'Nano' Antia, the first Uruguayan to do the full Clipper Race circumnavigation, and Australian Mike Kidwell, who has already raced 19,000nm on Liverpool 2018. They claimed fifth on Leg 2 of the Clipper Race.

M3

SAIL NO: AUS52

LOA: 15.8m

CLASS: IRC/ORCi

DESIGNER: Farr Yacht Design (USA)

YEAR BUILT: 2006

TYPE: TP52

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 6

OWNER: Peter Hickson/Geoff Hill

SKIPPER: Brent Fowler

CLUB: Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club, WA

CREW: B Fowler (1)--Skipper, C McKenzie Navigator, P Hickson (1), R Cox, M Pearce, P Marshall, S Schafer

Peter Hickson purchased the former Stay Calm/Calm in September 2015, and took line honours in the George Law Memorial Foundation Race. M3 was 42nd overall and sixth in Division 1 in the RSHYR 2016, after finishing third overall in the tricky 2016 Sydney Gold Coast race. She shredded her forestay just after the start of the 2015 Rolex Sydney Hobart and retired. Brent Fowler skippered her to fourth overall in the 2017 Sydney Gold Coast race, and eighth overall in the Flinders Islet race. Hong Kong based Geoff Hill, the former owner of the TP52 Strewth, which is doing this year's RSHYR as Sonic, returns as co-owner of M3. Under Victorian ownership from 2009 as Calm, the boat contested the Rolex Sydney Hobart in 2012 and was best placed TP52 in fifth overall, finishing fifth again in 2013. WA's Tony Mitchell was her next owner until Peter Hickson bought the boat.

MAGIC MILES

SAIL NO: 5296

LOA: 18.7m

CLASS: PHS

DESIGNER: Philippe Briand (FRA)

YEAR BUILT: 1985

TYPE: Dynamique 62

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 2

OWNER: Michael Crew

CLUB: Bellerive Yacht Club, TAS

CREW: M Crew (2)--Skipper/Navigator, G Wood, P Maguire (2), T Finocchiaro, M Vanderslink, S Cliff, P Arnold, M Osborne, R Geissler (2), B Bruce (2), T Munro (1), J Cowmeadow

Michael Crew and Magic Miles last graced the Rolex Sydney Hobart in 2014, finishing PHS 17th overall. The previous year they were PHS 13th overall. The Dynamique 62 is a beautifully crafted and impeccably maintained luxury cruiser/racer that underwent a major refit in 2007-08. She is primarily used for corporate match racing on the Derwent River and for private charters in the southern waters of Tasmania. Crew is a Qantas captain who owns the Theatre Royal Hotel in Hobart.

MAHLIGAI

SAIL NO: NZL1

LOA: 14.3m

CLASS: PHS

DESIGNER: Murray Burns Dovell (AUS)

YEAR BUILT: 1998

TYPE: Sydney 46

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 8

OWNER: Murray Owen/Jenny Kings

CLUB: Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club, NZL

CREW: M Owen (9)--Skipper/Navigator, D Peigin, X Li, X Xu, GJ Lan, S Lee, A Chen, B Wang, A Li, S Wang, D Sun, Y Ye

As Simplesail Mahligai, with an all-Russian crew bar owner Murray Owen, finished the 2016 Rolex Sydney Hobart PHS fifth overall and second in Division 1. This year, the crew are mainly Chinese from Shenzhen and Beijing, including female 470 Olympic campaigner Xiaomei Xu (ranked 51st in the world). Mahligai placed PHS fourth overall and second in Division 1 in the RSHYR 2015. The previous Rolex Sydney Hobart, crewed mainly by Russians and racing as Art Equity Mahligai, they finished PHS sixth and won Division 1. In 2013, she moved up from PHS ninth overall of 2011 to sixth, winning Division 1. The Kiwi owners live in Sydney and race out of the CYCA, but are representing New Zealand this time. Mahligai has finished each of her eight Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Races with this Sydney 46; a good track record.

MALUKA

SAIL NO: A19

LOA: 9.0m

CLASS: IRC

DESIGNER: Cliff Gale (AUS)

YEAR BUILT: 1932

TYPE: Ranger

NUMBER OFRSHYR: 6

OWNER: Sean Langman

CLUB: Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, NSW

CREW: S Langman (26)--Skipper, S McKnight (9)--Navigator, P Inchbold (30)

Because of the fast downwind conditions, Maluka finished well inside her usual time last year, stopping the clock at 08:38:07 on 30 December, more than a day ahead of her usual New Year's finishes, placing 76th on line from 83 finishers. Sean Langman was pleased with his 12th overall, which translated to winning Division 4 from another golden oldie and three-time Rolex Sydney Hobart winner, Love & War. The Ranger-designed Maluka was looking good in the RSHYR 2014, but conditions lightened and she placed 13th and third in Division 4. She contested her first RSHYR in 2006 and placed eighth overall, the first boat under 9.5 metres to finish (the same year Love & War and Bacardi finished first and second).

Maluka was last on line in 2011 and 2012--the irony being that Langman was listening to the radio when his former yacht Loyal sailed to line honours victory in 2011. Maluka was built in 1932 from Tasmanian Huon pine. She is the smallest in the fleet and is usually the oldest, but the two-year older Dorade wears that mantle in 2017. Gaff-rigged, she was rebuilt by Noakes head, Langman, also known for racing his high-octane former yachts, AAPT and Loyal. This year he will sail in competition to his son Peter, who is racing on Patrice.

MASCALZONE LATINO 32

SAIL NO: ITA14909

LOA: 15.2m

CLASS: IRC/ORCi

DESIGNER: Farr Yacht Design (USA)

YEAR BUILT: 2005

TYPE: Cookson 50

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 0

OWNER: Vincenzo Onorato

SKIPPER: Matteo Savelli

CLUB: Yacht Club Monaco, MONACO

CREW: M Savelli--Skipper, I Moore (3) Navigator, V Onorato, L Bressani, P Manunta, A Stead, D Scarpa, F Favini, J Clougher, S Ciampalini, G Figlia di Gran, L Chiarugi

Mascalzone Latino 32 and Vincenzo Onorato are new to the race, but both names are famous in yachting, primarily because the Italian ship owner headed two America's Cup challenges in 2003 and 2007. Sailing this canting Cookson 50, he was crowned overall winner of the 2016 Rolex Middle Sea Race, won the ORC World Championship for Class A in July, and in October, won the Hong Kong to Vietnam Race by over two hours, clocking a top speed of 30 knots. Onorato founded the Mascalzone Sailing Team in 1993 and has won six world titles and many European championships with his Mumm 30, Farr 40 (three Worlds wins) and Melges 32 boats. As expected, will be crewed by some heavies, including long-time skipper Matteo Savelli, Flavio Favini and Juggy Clougher.

MASERATI

SAIL NO: ITA70

LOA: 21,5m

CLASS: IRC/ORCi

DESIGNER: Juan Kouyoumdjian (ARG)

YEAR BUILT: 2007

TYPE: Volvo Open 70

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 2

OWNER: Jim Cooney

CLUB: Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, NSW

CREW: J Cooney (5)-Skipper

Jim Cooney bought Maserati (the ex Ericsson 5) after feted Italian single-handed sailor, Giovani Soldini took her to fourth on line in the RSHYR 2015. The Sydney yachtsman added some big names to the crew and finished sixth on line and seventh overall last year, and was the last boat to finish before the breeze shut down on the Derwent. He added more names, including navigator Adrienne Cahalan, and finished third on line to Wild Oafs X/ and Black Jack in the 2017 Sydney Gold Coast race. The V070 also took line honours in the 2016 Botany Bay, Port Hacking and Cabbage Tree Island races. Cooney is best known for his ownership of the celebrated maxi Brindabella for seven years, before purchasing Maserati.

MAYFAIR

SAIL NO: W1424

LOA: 12.2m

CLASS: IRC/ORCi

DESIGNER: Farr Yacht Design (USA)

YEAR BUILT: 2011

TYPE: Beneteau First 40

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 1

OWNER: James Irvine

CLUB: Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron

CREW: J Irvine (1)-Skipper, B Davis-Navigator, J Cook, P Webster, I Davis (12), S Butt, M Carter, S Hart

In Mayfair and James Irvine's first RSHYR in 2015 they finished ninth overall and fourth in Division 4 and third in ORCi Division 3. Started the slow 2016 Sydney Gold Coast race, but joining a few others, retired citing time constraints. Finished sixth overall in Division 2 of the 2017 Brisbane Gladstone race and 10th overall in the subsequent Brisbane Keppel race. Mayfair is the former Take Flight, purchased by Irvine, who has again put together an experienced, but colourful crew of local characters, who obviously know their stuff. The Beneteau First 40 finished 12th overall in the 2014 Brisbane to Keppel Yacht Race, her first blue outing under Irvine's leadership. Will have sister ships Ariel, and Blunderbuss to spar with.

MERLIN

SAIL NO: 93

LOA: 15.6m

CLASS: IRC

DESIGNER: Kaiko/Forbes (AUS)

YEAR BUILT: 2000

TYPE: Kaiko 52

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 5

OWNER: David Forbes

SKIPPER: Joseph Earl

CLUB: Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, NSW

CREW: J Earl (3)--Skipper, R Brooks (7) Navigator, C Heenan (1), A Briscoe, D Ryan, C Casey, P Smith, M Heenan (17), A Cameron, C Thornton, P Corben (12)

Well sailed by Joseph Earl on behalf of Olympian owner Dave Forbes Merlin, sporting new sails, finished 25th overall and second in Division 2 in last year's race. The sails proved a boon from the outset in earlier races. Merlin finished 16th overall and fourth in Division 2 of the RSHYR 2015 and was the best overall performed boat over 50 feet. In her other three RSHYR, she finished 17th overall and eighth in Division A in 2003, retired (along with nearly half the fleet) from the difficult 2004 race, and finished 14th overall and second in Division C in 2006. Merlin placed sixth in November's Cabbage Tree Island Race.

MERLION

SAIL NO: H118

LOA: 11.9m

CLASS: IRC

DESIGNER: Farr Yacht Design (USA)

YEAR BUILT: 1999

TYPE: Beneteau 40.7

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 0

OWNER: Eddy Mackevicius

CLUB: Hobsons Bay Yacht Club, VIC

CREW: E Mackevicius--Skipper, S Hobbs, M King, C Smith, R Cernobrivec, L Brayton, B Rich, P Mackevicius, B Adams

Merlion, Eddy Mackevicius' Beneteau 40.7, represents her club regularly at most of Melbourne's major and local events with mixed results. She has been a regular at Geelong Week and has contested both the Melbourne Launceston and Melbourne Hobart races, including winning PHS overall and the Salamanca Series in the latter race. This year, Merlion placed 10th overall in the ORCV's Offshore Championship and was fourth overall in the Apollo Bay Race. This is her first Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.

MISTER LUCKY

SAIL NO: RQ3600

LOA: 11.3m

CLASS: IRC/ORCi

DESIGNER: Andrieu Yacht Design (FRA)

YEAR BUILT: 2016

TYPE: Jeanneau Sun Fast 3600

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 0

OWNER: Mark Hipgrave

CLUB: Solo Offshore Racing Club, UK

CREW: M Hipgrave (5)--Skipper, I Hoddle, N Colley, A Hipgrave, R Craigie, P Brant, D Fish

A near-new boat, this will be Mister Luckas first Rolex Sydney Hobart experience. Mark Hipgrave, a keen short-handed sailor, purchased the yacht in the UK specifically for that purpose after competing in the 2014 Solo Trans-Tasman race (from New Plymouth, New Zealand to Mooloolaba, Queensland). It gave him the confidence to consider the greater challenge of the 2018 Melbourne to Osaka Double-Handed Yacht Race, which he has entered, along with other competitors in this year's Rolex Sydney Hobart. Hipgrave finished 13th overall in the inaugural Round the (Fastnet) Rock Race in 2016, from which more than half the fleet retired. For solo Corinthian sailors only, the course takes participants from Central Solent to Plymouth via Fastnet Lighthouse.

MONDO

SAIL NO: 6305

LOA: 11.7m

CLASS: IRC

DESIGNER: Murray Burns Dovell (AUS)

YEAR BUILT: 2003

TYPE: Sydney 38

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 3

OWNER: Ray Sweeney

CLUB: Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron

CREW: R Sweeney (4)--Skipper/ Navigator Ray Sweeney's Sydney 38 was launched as

Easy Tiger and rebranded in 2009 as Mondo and has sailed the east coast of Australia relentlessly over the last five years. From its home base at ROYS, Sweeney has campaigned the boat from Hamilton Island to Geelong and most of the ocean races and local regattas in between, including Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Races in 2009 (retired to Eden with rig damage), 2011 (finished 42nd overall and sixth in the S38 division), and 2013 (38th overall and third in the Sydney 38 division). Sweeney and his boat are waiting for the right weather window in the 628nm race.

NASDAQ

SAIL NO: GBR731X

LOA: 21.3m

CLASS: IRC/CUPPER

DESIGNER: Tony Castro (UK)

YEAR BUILT: 2013

TYPE: Clipper 70

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 2

OWNER: Clipper Ventures

SKIPPER: Rob Graham

CLUB: Royal Ocean Racing Club, UK

CREW: R Graham--Skipper, T Billbe, T Boys, J Cole, K Cordiner, P Dark, D Egan, H Grainge, A Greenough, D Harries, J Patton, P Phair, K Schatz, P Speight, J Talbot, I Van Der Weijden, M Waters, A Weaver, J Wedgwood, P Wilkinson, T Wood

Rob Graham skippers Nasdaq, the boat Greg Miller skippered to 50th overall, 15th in Division 2 and seventh in the Clipper division as Mission Performance in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2015. In 2013 as Jamaica Get All Bight, she placed 64th overall, 13th in Division 1 and seventh in the Clipper Division. Joining Graham this time is Damien Egan from Darwin, who is undertaking the full 40,000nm circumnavigation with the Clipper Race. Mark Waters, a retired teacher, is also aboard. He might find his time in the Rolex Sydney Hobart and Clipper races easy compared to his years raising five children as a single parent. This is the first edition of the Clipper Race to feature a Nasdaq yacht.

OCEAN AFFINITY

SAIL NO: RQ64

LOA: 15.0m

CLASS: IRC

DESIGNER: Reichel/Pugh (USA)

YEAR BUILT: 2009

TYPE: Marten 49

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 6

OWNER: Stewart Lewis

CLUB: Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron,

CREW: S Lewis (11)--Skipper

Queenslands Steward Lewis sailed his Marten 49 to PHS eighth overall for fourth in Division 1 in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2015. The previous year, Ocean Affinity was PHS seventh overall and second in Division 1. Ocean Affnity has competed in successive Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Races since 2010, finishing 14th overall in 2013, 45th overall in 2012, 57th overall in 2011 and 30th overall in 2010. Notable results include back-to-back line honours victories in the Gosford Lord Howe Island race (2009 and 2010) and second overall in 2011.

OCEAN GEM

SAIL NO: 8810

LOA: 13.5m

CLASS: IRC/ORCi

DESIGNER: Farr Yacht Design (USA)

YEAR BUILT: 1992

TYPE: Beneteau 445

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 0

OWNER: David Hows

CLUB: Southport Yacht Club, QLD

CREW: D Hows--Skipper, K Hook, T Wolff, K Schroder, S Jones, G Tomlins, E van Coeverden, A Ivory, R Durham, A Lomakin

Ocean Gem was purchased by David Hows in 2011 and berthed in Auckland until late 2013 when extensive cruising was undertaken around the top half of New Zealand's North Island. In November 2013, he sailed the Beneteau 445 across the Tasman via Norfolk Island to the Gold Coast. Competed in more than 250 SYC races since January 2014, with successes in the Sail Paradise Regatta, Coffs to Paradise Race and have won multiple SYC club championship titles. Ventured out of local waters to contest the 2016 Sydney Gold Coast race and finished 51st overall.

OPT2G0 SCAMP

SAIL NO: B45

LOA: 14.1m

CLASS: ORCi

DESIGNER: Philippe Briand (FRA)

YEAR BUILT: 2014

TYPE: Beneteau First 45

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 1

OWNER: Mike and Angela Mollison

CLUB: Moreton Bay Trailer Boat Club, QLD

CREW: M Mollison (1)--Skipper, L Palmer (1) --Navigator, C Michell, J Whiting (1), A Michell (1), P Dunn (1), M Hennesy, R Whiting (1), P McLatchie (1), D Diamond (1)

Launched in 2014, this Beneteau F45 is the second boat owned by Angela and Mike Mollison to bear the name Scamp and it is usually sailed by family and friends. Name is derived from the initials of the first names of the Mollison family, appealing to the sense of fun and humour of her owners and crew. Scamp has mostly been racing on Moreton Bay, but has also contested the Brisbane Gladstone, Brisbane Keppel and the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2015--her first and finished 17th overall under ORCi. More recently, she placed 19th overall in ORCi in the 2017 Sydney Gold Coast race.

OSKANA

SAIL NO: AUS5299

LOA: 15.2m

CLASS: IRC/ORCi

DESIGNER: Farr Yacht Design (USA)

YEAR BUILT: 2006

TYPE: Cookson 50

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 11

OWNER: Michael Pritchard

CLUB: Derwent Sailing Squadron/Royal

Yacht Club of Tasmania, TAS

CREW: M Pritchard (1)--Skipper, J Wilkie Navigator, C Langham, S Beltz, M Clougher (3), J McCullum, M Hutchinson (4), S Tiedemann, P Copeland (3)

This is Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2013 winner Victoire, renamed Oskana by new Tasmanian owner Michael Pritchard, who sailed his Beneteau First 45 Audere to eighth overall in the RSHYR 2014. He sailed Oskana from Sydney to Tasmania in April to prepare for the race. Brian McMaster chartered Victoire for last year's RSHYR and finished 10th overall, while then owner, Darryl Hodgkinson retired her from the RSHYR 2015 after breaking his ribs in big seas. In 2014, he finished 45th overall for second in Division 0 after winning the 2014 Gosford Lord Howe race.

Ray Roberts originally owned the yacht he named Evolution Racing, taking the line and overall double in the 2007 Sydney Gold Coast race and placed 17th overall for second in Division 0 behind line honours victor Alfa Romeo in the RSHYR 2009. Chris Bull bought and renamed her Jazz, and finished second overall and won ORCi in the RSHYR 2010, fourth overall for first in IRC Division 0 in 2011 and fourth overall for divisional third in 2012. This is a productive boat, which is why orthopaedic surgeon Pritchard bought it.

PATRICE

SAIL NO: 360

LOA: 13.9m

CLASS: IRC/ORCi

DESIGNER: Ker Yacht Design (UK)

YEAR BUILT: 2013

TYPE: Ker 46

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 4

OWNER: Tony Kirby

CLUB: Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, NSW

CREW: T Kirby (32)--Skipper, M Bellingham (25)--Navigator, P Messenger (27), B Sinton, P Langman (4), M Brown, J Rowed (4), A Barnes, S Gajic (2), N Beaudoin (7), J Mulkearns (6), G Bauchop (21)

In 2016 Tony Kirby retired Patrice for the third time in four Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Races, this time early on with a broken rudder just after the Ker 46 had undergone more major modifications. In 2017 she was 28th overall in the Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Race, second in the Flinders Islet Race, fourth in the Newcastle Bass Island Race and 10th in the Cabbage Tree Island Race. In the RSHYR 2015 she suffered extensive mainsail damage. In 2013, her first RSHYR, the hull delaminated. In 2014, Patrice finished ninth overall and won Division 1, then dominated to win at 2014 Airlie Beach Race Week. Kirby will again take the bears to Hobart, raising funds for The Kids' Cancer Project.

PEKLJUS

SAIL NO: 6419

LOA: 15.24m

CLASS: PHS

DESIGNER: Graham Radford (AUS)

YEAR BUILT: 2001

TYPE: Radford 50

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 1

OWNER: David Suttie

CLUB: Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, NSW

CREW: D Suttie--Skipper, C Watson (18), R Suttie, R Davies, D Reducka (3), M Gregory, B Anson (20), A Ebbott, R Palmer (2), J Suriano (3)

David Ferrall started building Pekljus in 2001 for Don McIntyre's solo around the world race, but when that event was cancelled, he put the project on hold, instead launching her in 2004, in time for the Rolex Sydney Hobart that year, but the Radford 50 was one of 57 retirees from the 116 starters. David Suttie has the yacht now and was PHS second in the 2017 Pittwater to Southport race. This bullet-proof boat has been set up for easy handling and for fast passage to destinations and will hold up well in a blow.

PSP LOGISTICS

SAIL NO: GBR728X

LOA: 21.3m

CLASS: IRC/CLIPPER

DESIGNER: Tony Castro (UK)

YEAR BUILT: 2013

TYPE: Clipper 70

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 2

OWNER: Clipper Ventures

SKIPPER: Matt Mitchell

CLUB: Royal Ocean Racing Club, UK

CREW: R Taylor-Skipper, D Andary, M Duffy, M Grassi, D Greer, J Hallam, J Hetherton, N Holcombe, D Kemp, D Lawson, M Lubecka, C McAdam, B Pickett, F Robertson, N Smith, T Taylor, S Tonnesen, C Watson, D Wilson

The helm of PSP Logistics has been taken over by Matt Mitchell who previously skippered Mission Performance in the 2013 race and Clipper Telemed+ in 2015. With her previous skipper Roy Taylor, this boat began the Clipper Race strongly, finishing third overall in Leg 1. On Leg 2 she collided with a whale, damaging the starboard rudder. Crew are looking to improve on the RSHYR 2015 results, when as Qingdao, the boat finished 10th in the Clipper Division and 54th overall. Also raced as PSP Logistics in the RSHYR 2013, placing 63rd overall for sixth in the Clipper division. Crew includes retired air traffic controller David Wilson from Seattle, who is racing around the world in memory of his wife. A pilot, Wilson taught himself sailing using his flying knowledge. David Greer is also aboard, having recovered from a brain injury in 2012 that left him learning to speak and walk again.

PYR Wot Eva

SAIL NO: 6953

LOA: 15.9m

CLASS: PHS

DESIGNER: Nelson/Marek (USA)

YEAR BUILT: 2001

TYPE: TP52

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 8

OWNER: Sailors With DisAbilities

SKIPPER: Christian Reynolds

CLUB: Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, NSW

CREW: C Reynolds (1)--Skipper, P Falle (1)Navigator, H Frenzel, E Coates, P Shaw (1), K Savul, F Hammond, M Gentilin, P Katz, S Jones, J Harayda, D Senti, R Arnold (1), A Foulds

UK-based race charter business Performance Yacht Racing headed by Andy Middleton has chartered the TP52 Wot Eva for the third year in a row to compete in the Rolex Sydney Hobart. Skippered by Christian Reynolds this time, the crew consists of keen paying amateurs with a varied mix of ability from around the world. The company offers individuals the chance to race in fantastic international events, believing that with the right training and motivation, 'anyone can do it: In the RSHYR 2016 they placed PHS 14th overall and fifth in Division 1 and as GYR Wot Eva, retired from the 2015 race.

Sailors With DisAbilities has raced and trained on this TP52, (the former Yassou/Glory/Wot Yot) generously donated to SWD by wotif.com co-founder Graeme Wood, who contested three Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Races (2006, 2007, 2008) since 2010, when SWD head David Pescud retired her from the 2010 race, but finished 47th overall in 2014 with a PHS 16th in the 2012 race.

QINGDAO

CUPPER ROUND THE WORLD YACHT

SAIL NO: GBR729X

LOA: 21.3m

CLASS: IRC/CLIPPER

DESIGNER: Tony Castro (UK)

YEAR BUILT: 2013

TYPE: Clipper 70

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 2

OWNER: Clipper Ventures

SKIPPER: Chris Kobusch

CLUB: Royal Ocean Racing Club, UK

CREW: C Kobusch (1)--Skipper, J Barton, J Carey-Harris, C Chatzikomis, C Fedida, C Grant, A Jay, A Krapf, A Macia (1), R Rhind, A Salsman, G Schey, M Sweet, R Todd, S Tu, J Walsh, B Weigell, T Winkler, H Xu

Qingdao skipper Chris Kobusch returns for a second Rolex Sydney Hobart after navigating Clipper Ventures 5 in 2015. Qingdao earned the first points of the Clipper 2017-18 Race after crossing the inaugural Scoring Gate in first place, and crossed the line fourth for fifth overall in the opening race to Punta del Este. On crew for the Rolex Sydney Hobart is Amancio Macia, who raced to Hobart on Visit Seattle in 2015. Huan Xu and Shan Tu are aboard as ambassadors for Qingdao, China's Sailing City. Qingdao was named Derry-Londonderry-Doire in the RSHYR 2015, and finished 51st overall, 16th in Division 2, and eighth in the Clipper Division. As Old Pulteney m 2013, she placed 60th and ninth in Division 1.

QUEST

SAIL NO: 7771

LOA: 15.9m

CLASS: IRC/ORCi

DESIGNER: Farr Yacht Design (USA)

YEAR BUILT: 2005

TYPE: TP52

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 6

OWNER: Paul Clitheroe/Bob Steel

SKIPPER: Bob Steel

CLUB: Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, NSW

CREW: B Steel--Skipper (20), N Scott Perry (8)--Navigator, M Green (38), S Moran, N Newton (2), J Dock (15), A Pearson (15), C Evans (5), A Cribb (10), N Mrdjen (2), M de Montgolfier (4), A Brown (30)

Yes, you are reading right. Former owner of this TP52 Bob Steel is back. Paul Clitheroe purchased Steel's Quest in 2014 and renamed her Balance. The two have come to an agreement to share the yacht, so she will race with Clitheroe as Balance up until just before the RSHYR when she will undergo a Quest paint job. It works well, as both are frequently absent from home. Each owner has won the Rolex Sydney Hobart with this boat (Steel in 2008, Clitheroe in 2015), but Steel also won it with his previous Quest (2002) and says he is hoping to win a third Rolex timepiece--Clitheroe thinks that would be great. Steel entered Quest in the 2017 Sydney Gold Coast race, but retired with mainsail track damage.

Clitheroe skippered the boat to fourth overall to win Division 1 and was second overall under ORCi in the RSHYR 2016, showing what a thoroughbred boat and crew this is. Winning the race in 2015 converted to Clitheroe winning the Blue Water Pointscore on countback to Chinese Whisper after Balance set a new race record in the Sydney to Newcastle race as well as winning IRC and ORCi. In the 2016 Sydney Gold Coast race, with Mike Green in charge (Clitheroe was away), finished fifth overall. This is a great offshore boat.

RAN TAN II

SAIL NO: NZL8977

LOA: 15.2m

CLASS: IRC

DESIGNER: Greg Elliott (NZL)

YEAR BUILT: 2006

TYPE: Elliott 50

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 0

OWNER: Brian Petersen

CLUB: Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, NZL

CREW: B Petersen (4)--Skipper, B Kent-Navigator, R Bicknell (7), T Peyton, K Hogan, D Sturge (3), H McGill, Z Campbell, J Horner (1)

Ran Tan II was launched for John Meade, competing out of Wellington, also competing in the Auckland-Russell and Auckland-Tauranga races. Her forte is offshore races where she can utilise the hull form and canting keel. Whangarei to Port Vila was a highlight, followed by a spell in Australia, then several Auckland to Fiji races, an Around NZ fully crewed race and around again in a Two-Handed race, showing her versatility. Brian Petersen purchased the Elliott 50 in 2015 and contested the 2016 Auckland Fiji, and 2016 Groupama Race, then the Round North Island two-handed in 2017, taking line honours in all four legs. Won the Auckland Jack Tar Regatta on PHRF. Petersen also competed in the 2003 and 2007 Melbourne Osaka races with Maverick II, taking line honours in the earlier race.

REVE

SAIL NO: 5930

LOA: 14.0m

CLASS: PHS

DESIGNER: Philippe Briand (FRA)

YEAR BUILT: 1991

TYPE: Beneteau 45 F5

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 1

OWNER: Kevin Whelan

CLUB: Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, NSW

CREW: K Whelan--Skipper, D Ryan, S Ford, S Barrington (1), J Whelan (2), M Cameron, M Varlet, F Stuhlmann (1)

Reve placed PHS 11th overall and ninth in Division 2 in her maiden Rolex Sydney Hobart last year. Kevin and Jayne Whelan had just completed a circumnavigation with their son James (13) and daughter Alexis (5), leaving Sydney in 2011, taking in the Barrier Reef, Indonesia, Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Mauritius, La Reunion, Africa, St Helena, Spain and more, through the Panama Canal across the Pacific and back to Sydney. After that, 628 nautical miles must have been a comparative picnic, because they are back with the Beneteau 45 F5 after winning PHS in the 2017 Sydney Gold Coast race.

ROCKALL

SAIL NO: GER7600

LOA: 15.9m

CLASS: IRC

DESIGNER: Judel/Vrolijk(GER)

YEAR BUILT: 2007

TYPE: TP52

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 0

OWNER: Christopher Opielok

CLUB: Norddeutscher Regatta Verein, GERMANY

CREW: C Opielok--Skipper, G Gregor, M Boyd, B Gladwell, M Elkington, M Klawon, J Wong, S Gilmour, P Ahem, D Smith, A Negri, S Pearson

Rockall was originally Bribon before sailing newcomer Aaron Rowe purchased her out of the US and renamed her FIKO. She is now owned by Christopher Opielok and is from the same design board and same year build as Celestial. Her German owner may be new to the Rolex Sydney Hobart, but he is a seasoned sailor who contested the 2011 Geelong Week where he won Division 2 in the Passage Race with a Corby 36 also named Rockall and later that year raced that boat in the Middle Sea Race, finishing second overall. Opielok and his family relocated from Hamburg to Perth in 2011 for a time, courtesy of his shipping business in the oil and gas industry. Crew includes pro American skipper/tactician Dee Smith who sailed two RSHYR with Ray Roberts during the late nineties and Australian 49er sailor Sam Gilmour, who like his famous father Peter and brother David, is a gun match-racer.

SAILDNA

SAIL NO: AUS70

LOA: TBA

CLASS: IRC

DESIGNER: Farr Yacht Design (USA)

YEAR BUILT: 1989

TYPE: Farr 50

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 5

OWNER: Emir Ruzdic

CLUB: Sydney Flying Squadron, NSW

CREW: E Ruzdic--Skipper, A Dunphy (16) --Skipper, A Hattersley, M Enghardt, S Alle (13), C Gardener, P Bremner (16), R Walton (20), T Middleton (2), N Maitland, J Stariwat (1), T McGilvray (9)

This Farr 50 has a long and successful history. Was originally Will and owned by Japanese yachtsman Ryoji Oda. Syd Fischer spied it at the Kenwood Cup, purchased it and chartered it overseas, before bringing the latest Ragamuffin home in 1992. Celebrating his 25th RSHYR (with a gun crew, including Farr's Geoff Stagg), by winning the race under IOR (in conjunction with an IMS overall winner) from 110 entries. He retired in 1993, and rebuilt the yacht he took to 21st overall in a fleet of 371 for the 50th anniversary race. Then Fischer totally rebuilt the boat, and finished the 1995 race seventh overall. He kept campaigning it up to and including the RSHYR 2006, with best results of second, third, fourth, fifth, third, from 1997 to 2001. He also contested the 1991 and 1993 Admiral's Cups with it, finishing top point scorer in 1993 when Australia lost the cup by one quarter of a point to Germany.

Emir Ruzdic recently made what could be a great buy, although the boat has been sitting on the hardstand at Sydney City Marine for a few years. Ruzdic sailed the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2013 with Adrian Dunphy on the TP52 Dodo and now he returns the favour, as Dunphy is aboard to help steer his friend in the right direction.

SANYA SERENITY COAST

SAIL NO: GBR727X

LOA: 21.3m

CLASS: IRC/CUPPER

DESIGNER: Tony Castro (UK)

YEAR BUILT: 2013

TYPE: Clipper 70

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 2

OWNER: Clipper Ventures

SKIPPER: Wendy Tuck

CLUB: Royal Ocean Racing Club, UK

CREW: W Tuck (10)--Skipper, C Allard, B Ansart, E Carotti, S Chang, K Cox, M Davis, J Gough, X Han, T Hilton, B Luengen, F Maggs, G Manchett, M Miller, C North, D Papulin, N Pemberton, J Riley, K Skillett, T Stanley, J Wrightson, G Yang, M Zhang

Wendy 'Wendo' Tuck returns home and to the race as reigning Clipper Division champion from 2015 when she also won the Jane Tate Memorial Trophy as first female skipper to cross the Hobart finish line. Sanya Serenity Coast took line honours and finished second overall in the opening leg of the Clipper 2017-18 Race. Crew includes Victorian, Catherine North, who grew up in landlocked Idaho, USA. She is joined by Chinese ambassadors representing Sanya; Han Xiaoqiang and Chang Shuo. As Garmin in 2013, this boat finished the RSHYR 67th overall, 16th in Division 1, and 10th in the Clipper Division, then as GREAT Britain in 2015 was 45th overall, 10th in Division 2 and second in the Clipper division.

SHE

SAIL NO: 4924

LOA: 12.2m

CLASS: PHS

DESIGNER: Gary Mull (USA)

YEAR BUILT: 1981

TYPE: Olsen 40 Mod

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 18

OWNER: Philip Bell

CLUB: Southport Yacht Club, OLP

CREW: P Bell (1)--Skipper, A Ozols (9), P Brown, R Heatley, C Lynch (2), M Hollingsworth (1), C Gray (6), D Sims (1)

This Olsen 40 is a stayer and with newish owner Philip Bell, she placed 10th PHS overall in the RSHYR 2016 after scoring PHS fifth in her first ever Sydney Gold Coast race and third overall in her local offshore series. Formerly owned by Peter Rodgers through 17 RSHYR, she has undergone a few mods in her time. Prior to 2016, her last Rolex Sydney Hobart was 2013 when as a Division 2 entry she won PHS overall. She also won PHS in the 2009 and 2012 races and was PHS fourth in the tough 2004 race. She did 12 Sydney Lord Howe Island races, winning some divisional places. Other RSHYR results are (PHS unless otherwise stated): fourth (2011); seventh (2010); 14th (2008); fifth (2007); fourth (2006), 12th (2005); eighth (2002); seventh (2001); second (2000); retired from fatal race with broken gear (1998); 12th IMS Division E (1995); 20th IMS Division F (1994); 20th IMS overall (1993).

SHE'S THE CULPRIT

SAIL NO: 370

LOA: 12.0m

CLASS: PHS

DESIGNER: Inglis/Jones (AUS)

YEAR BUILT: 1994

TYPE: Inglis/Jones 39 Mod

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 6

OWNER: The Culprit Syndicate

SKIPPER: Glenn Bulmer

CLUB: Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club/Lake

Macquarie Yacht Club, NSW

CREW: G Bulmer (6)--Skipper, R Jarvie (1) Navigator, G Picasso (10), D O'Dowd (5), K Anderson (1), T Butler (1), K Hall (1), T Hough (1), S Robinson (1), R Hooper, (1), M Graham, G Benson

Owned by a syndicate of three who were hoping to successfully defend their PHS and Corinthian titles (they were the inaugural winners of the latter trophy) of 2014, She is the Culprit placed fifth overall in PHS, third in Division 2 and 11th in the Corinthian division in the 2015 race. In 2013, owners Glenn Bulmer, Glen Picasso and David O'Dowd sailed the Inglis/Jones 39 to PHS fourth overall in the RSHYR for third in division. The Culprits appear to be in good form, finishing PHS third overall in the 2017 Sydney Gold Coast race. Launched as Top Cat for the Melbourne Osaka race, she relocated to Tasmania under the name 42 South. Todd Leary bought and renamed her She's The Culprit, campaigning her in three Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Races from 2008 to 2010, before these culprits took possession.

SMUGGLER

SAIL NO: 421

LOA: 14.0m

CLASS: IRC/ORCi

DESIGNER: Rogers (UK)

YEAR BUILT: 2007

TYPE: Rogers 46

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 8

OWNER: Sebastian Bohm

CLUB: Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, NSW

CREW: S Bohm (4)--Skipper, D Van Der Wende (6)--Navigator, S Price (11), S McConaghy, B DeCoster (13), P Tarimo (11), A Major (7), B Wentlandt, B Gardiner, J Rowe, T Munns, N Armstrong

Bought by Bruce Foye and Sebastian Bohm in 2015 and renamed The Goat. Bohm has renamed her Smuggler. She finished 34th overall for fourth in Division 2 in the 2015 RSHYR, then 43rd overall in 2016. The same year, placed fourth in Division 1 of the Sydney Harbour Regatta, second in the NSW IRC Championship and fourth in the 2016 Brisbane Keppel race. In 2017 finished 25th in the Sydney Gold Coast race, seventh in the Brisbane Keppel race and eighth in the Cabbage Tree Island Race. Bohm has certainly put in the miles with this Rogers 46, which could pay dividends in the upcoming Rolex Sydney Hobart.

Sam Haynes previously owned the boat he named Celestial. Retired from the 2010 and 2011 RSHYR (as Pirelli Celestial in 2010), but from 2012-14 did well, including finishing runner-up in the 2012 BWPS after placing 22nd overall for third in IRC Division 2 of the RSHYR. Was third overall the following year, then in 2014, as ADA Celestial, placed 11th for second in Division 2 to win the BWPS in both IRC and ORCi, inclusive of overall victory in the Sydney Gold Coast race. As Shogun, placed 12th overall for third in Division C in 2007.

SNOWDOME OCCASIONAL COARSE LANGUAGE TOO

SAIL NO: 8008

LOA: 13.1m

CLASS: IRC

DESIGNER: Jason Ker (UK)

YEAR BUILT: 2011

TYPE: Ker GTS 43

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 2

OWNER: Warwick Sherman

CLUB: Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, NSW

CREW: W Sherman (2)--Skipper

Occasional Coarse Language Toos Rolex Sydney Hobart debut was 2012 and she won IRC Division 2. Warwick Sherman raced the Ker GTS 43 again in 2014, but retired with steering damage, a let-down for Sherman, who had written the race into his bucket list after a bout with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma cancer and out of respect for fellow yachtsman Ed Psaltis, who is now sailing with him. With Phil Eadie navigating and Ed Psaltis (driving) accompanied by a few ex Midnight Rambler crew, OCCL Too finished 23rd overall and fourth in Division 2 in the 2017 Sydney Gold Coast race, fifth in the Flinders Islet Race, sixth in the Newcastle Bass Island Race and seventh in the Cabbage Tree Island Race--consistent results.

SONIC

SAIL NO: KOR-5555

LOA: 15.9m

CLASS: IRC/ORCi

DESIGNER: James Donovan (USA)

YEAR BUILT: 2004

TYPE: TP52

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 6

OWNER: Michael Martin

SKIPPER: Kwangmin Rho

CLUB: Korea Ocean Racing Club, SOUTH KOREA

CREW: K Rho (2)--Skipper, Han Y Kim (1), S Hwang (1), Hyeonggwan Kim, Hyeongdo Kim (1), H Yoon (1), G An (1), J Shim, S Jung, J Kim, Seongmin Kim, Sungwok Kim, J Kwon, Y Na, T Kim

In 2016, this TP52 known as Frantic became the first South Korean entry when she was chartered from Mick Martin, and renamed Sonic, to finish 56th overall with help from renowned Aussie navigator Phil Eadie, who stepped into the breach at the eleventh hour to help the mainly non-English speaking crew. Skipper, Kwangmin 'Andrew' Rho, raced his first RSHYR in 2015 on Flying Fish Arctos, the same year Martin retired Frantic from the race due to a torn mainsail, but finished 48th overall in the RSHYR 2014 after finishing 24th in 2013, the same year winning the Gosford-Lord Howe Island race. Finished the RSHYR 2012 in 41st overall. Originally Geoff Hill's Strewth. it finished 41st overall in the RSHYR 2011.

ST JUDE

SAIL NO: 6686

LOA: 14.2m

CLASS: IRC/ORCi

DESIGNER: Murray Burns Dovell (AUS)

YEAR BUILT: 2007

TYPE: Sydney 47

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 9

OWNER: Noel Cornish

CLUB: Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, NSW

CREW: N Cornish (10)--Skipper, S Kidson (4)--Navigator, R Jacobs (19), G Cropley (16)

Since finishing 34th overall and fourth in Division 2 of the 2016 Rolex Sydney Hobart, St Jude has been having a fabulous season. Finished ninth to win Division 2 and won ORCi Division 2 in the 2017 Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race, placed fifth in the Flinders Islet and the Newcastle Bass Island races, winning ORCi in the former, and was second in the Cabbage Tree Island Race to take a two-point lead in the Blue Water Pointscore, with two races remaining, ending with the Rolex Sydney Hobart. Noel Cornish and his Sydney 47 have done every RSHYR since 2008. Retired in 2015 with rudder damage and finished 51st overall in 2014. Her best result was 16th in 2009. Adding Ron Jacobs and Geoff Cropley to a well-rounded crew last season is paying dividends.

TAKANI

SAIL NO: 6981

LOA: 15.4m

CLASS: PHS

DESIGNER: Judel/Vrolijk (GER)

YEAR BUILT: 2012

TYPE: Hanse 495

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 3

OWNER: James Whittle

CLUB: Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, NSW

CREW: J Whittle (3)--Skipper, B Ratcliff (48) --Navigator, K Ratcliff (1), M Ryan (1), D Salter (10), R Moore, P Townend, S Prince

Takani finished PHS seventh overall in the RSHYR 2016. Making it special was two daughters racing with their dads; owner James Whittle with his 20-year-old daughter Taylah after she contested her first in 2014. Navigator, Bill Ratcliff, contested his 48th with daughter Katrina aboard for her first race south. The two are together again this year and plan to do Bill's 50th together in 2018. The Hanse 495 finished the 2017 Sydney Gold Coast race PHS second overall. In her maiden Rolex Sydney Hobart in 2014, Takani was PHS 12th, but retired in 2015 with rudder damage. She came into Debbie and Jim Whittle's lives in 2012 and was named after their children: Taylah, Kasey and Nicholas. Jim celebrates his 53rd birthday on Boxing Day. A blow won't hurt this boat.

TRIPLE LINDY

SAIL NO: USA61333

LOA: 15.2m

CLASS: IRC/ORCi

DESIGNER: Farr Yacht Design (USA)

YEAR BUILT: 2010

TYPE: Cookson 50

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 1

OWNER: Joseph Mele

CLUB: New York Yacht Club, USA

CREW: J Mele (1)--Skipper, J O'Brien (1) Navigator, B Kellett (25), E Cesare, P Ramsdale (1), IK Paisley (1), W Mackay (1), P LaRoche (1), R MacDonald (1), S Hunt, A McMillan, J McKay (1), R Trainor (1), S McDermott (1)

Not to be confused with the Swan MKII of the same name that Joe Mele contested his first Rolex Sydney Hobart with last year and finished 27th overall for sixth in Division 4. The American reappears with latest Triple Lindy, the ex Akatea, which finished 38th overall in the RSHYR 2012 as a Kiwi entry. After purchasing the yacht this year, Mele replaced the bowsprit, mast, rigging and sails and sailed her across the Tasman to prepare for the RHSYR. She will then be shipped to USA to compete in major ocean races around the world. Will be great competition for the other Cookson 50s in the race. In the meantime, Mele took his Swan MKII in the 2017 Rolex Fastnet Race, finishing 113th overall and the Rolex Middle Sea Race where he placed 13th overall and won Class 5. He has previously placed second in both the Marblehead to Halifax Race and Key West Race Week. He has also contested four Newport Bermuda and Marion Bermuda races. Brad Kellett has overseen the boat's renovation and will race with the bulk of last year's crew.

TRITON

SAIL NO: 6377

LOA: 18.3m

CLASS: IRC/ORCi

DESIGNER: David Lyons/Richard Cawse (AUS)

YEAR BUILT: 2004

TYPE: LC60

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 3

OWNER: Michael Cranitch/David Gotze

CLUB; Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, NSW

CREW: D Gotze (6)--Skipper, M Wenke (9) Navigator, T Ellis (49), M Hayes (17), J Goluzd (33), A Simpson (6), R Bott (7), K Swiney (9), G Torpy (8), C Wade-Lehmann (1), P Morish, D Herlihy, I Douglas, J Woods, L Blateau

Triton finished 61st overall last year--a vast improvement on her first two RSHYR in 2014 and 2015 when she retired with various ailments. A new keel, bulb, rudder and sail wardrobe have been added and tested in the 2017 Sydney Gold Coast race when the LC60 placed 32nd overall and third in Division 0. This year, crew Tony 'Ace' Ellis will become only the second person to sail a Rolex Sydney Hobart for the 50th time, joining Tony Cable in this elite group. An excellent yacht, she is the former Vanguard, purchased by David Gotze and Michael Cranitch in August 2014. As Vanguard, she proved to be a weapon, winning line, overall and PHS honours in the CYCA Ocean Pointscore (OPS) when brand new. She also wrapped up the 2009/2010 OPS.

TSA MANAGEMENT

SAIL NO: MH60

LOA: 11.8m

CLASS: IRC

DESIGNER: Murray Burns Dovell (AUS)

YEAR BUILT: 2003

TYPE: Sydney 38

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 12

OWNER: Tony Levett

CLUB: Middle Harbour Yacht Club, NSW

CREW: T Levett (13)--Skipper, A Buckland (6), A Pamflett

This is a very well-sailed Sydney 38 which, along with Tony Levett, has contested every RSHYR since 2004, except last year when forced to withdraw entry due to time issues. Finished 11th overall and fifth in Division 4 in 2015, and sixth overall for fourth in Division 3 in 2014. In the RSHYR 2013, the boat known variously as 754 Management, Eleni and Horwath BRI finished 39th overall, retiring in 2012 when the rudder broke. Won the Sydney 38 OD division of the RSHYR in 2010 and 2011 and was third in the Sydney 38 OD Division in 2008. Will be pushed along by Calibre and Mondo, the two other Sydney 38s in the race. Former six-time 18ft skiff champ and gun yachtie Andrew 'Bucko' Buckland joins the crew.

UNICEF

SAIL NO: GBR721X

LOA: 21.3m

CLASS: IRC/CLIPPER

DESIGNER: Tony Castro (UK)

YEAR BUILT: 2013

TYPE: Clipper 70

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 2

OWNER: Clipper Ventures

CLUB: Royal Ocean Racing Club, UK

CREW: B Beggs (1)--Skipper, A Barczyk, P Bidwell, P Comyn, T Fisher (1), J Gartside, J Gervais, E Gildea, S Godquin, N Harrow, S Kellock, E Masson, C McCracken, A Minato, H Morris, A Ryan, M Schierscher, N Trinder, R Van Der Pas, S Wilson, S Winkler, J Young

This is a second Rolex Sydney Hobart for Unicef skipper Bob Beggs, who led Qingdao (now PSP Logistics) to 10th in the Clipper Division in 2015. Eight different nations are in the Unicef crew, including three Australians. Thorn Fisher is returning for a second RSHYR after racing on Unicef (current GREAT Britain), in 2015. Unicef is out to achieve a strong result this year after retiring from the RSHYR 2013 with rudder damage, and then placed last overall in 2015. This is the second time Unicef has joined forces with the Clipper Race to help make a safer world for children. It is the world's leading children's organisation, ensuring more children are fed, vaccinated, educated and protected than any other organisation.

VANISHING POINT

SAIL NO: 22000

LOA: 17.6m

CLASS: IRC

DESIGNER: Farr Yacht Design (USA)

YEAR BUILT: 2005

TYPE: Beneteau 57

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 0

OWNER: Bill Wheeler

CLUB: Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, NSW

CREW: B Wheeler--Skipper, N Bedggood (2), R Palazzi, R Bunter (7), A Mills

Vanishing Point, a Beneteau 57, is set up for cruising but has competed in the past two Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Races, finishing PHS ninth overall both years. This will be a first Rolex Sydney Hobart for Bill Wheeler's boat, but come what may, the crew should have a comfortable ride to Hobart. She is sailed by family and part-time crew who are always looking to do the best with the boat, which enjoys a good ocean race and favours heavier weather to keep her 23 tonnes steaming along. Wheeler says, "Nothing beats getting out there amongst it to improve your sailing skills and teamwork."

VISIT SEATTLE

SAIL NO: GBR726X

LOA: 21.3m

CLASS: IRC/CLIPPER

DESIGNER: Tony Castro (UK)

YEAR BUILT: 2013

TYPE: Clipper 70

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 2

OWNER: Clipper Ventures

CLUB: Royal Ocean Racing Club, UK

CREW: N Henderson--Skipper, S Bailey, D Benz, A Brouwer, G Chapdelaine, I Coke, S Crapnell, S Dean, S Dubois, D Elias, J Greenhalgh, E Howe, J Mathieu, B Mcallister, L Mygind, M Omilian, R Penny, L Rodman, P Whittaker, T Whittemore, E Woodason

Visit Seattle is skippered by 24-year-old Brit Nikki Henderson, the youngest skipper in the 21 -year history of the Clipper race. She was second fastest in the opening Ocean Sprint of the race and claimed fourth in Leg 2. She has also skippered in three ARC races across the Atlantic. Visit Seattle raced as GREAT Britain in the RSHYR 2013 (59th overall/eighth in Division 1), and as Clipper Telemed+ in 2015, finishing 47th overall, 12th in Division 2, and fourth in the Clipper Division. Crew for 2017 includes Simon Dubois, who is aiming to be the first Quebecois to race competitively around the world and Texan Dr Tony Whittemore, who turned 70 on the first Clipper stopover in Punta del Este.

WARRIOR WON

SAIL NO: USA60564

LOA: 13.3m

CLASS: IRC/ORCi

DESIGNER: Niels Jeppesen (DEN)

YEAR BUILT: 2014

TYPE: Xp 44

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 0

OWNER: Christopher Sheehan

CLUB: Larchmont Yacht Club, USA

CREW: C Sheehan--Skipper, R Zupon, C Simon, P Carpenter, B Holby, C Coming, J Slattery, HL DeVore, K DeVore, R Holliday Jr, P Bauer

Seasoned offshore yachtsman Christopher Sheehan purchased Warrior Won in 2014 to compete in the 635nm 2016 Newport Bermuda Race and won the St. David's Lighthouse Trophy awarded to the overall winner of the largest division with 110 entries. In 2015, the Xp 44 won ORR Division II in the Marblehead to Halifax Ocean Race and PHRF Division 7 in the Long Island Regatta. Now Sheehan and his entirely American crew of seasoned racers are headed Down Under with this modified racer/cruiser to tackle their first Rolex Sydney Hobart. At 19, Katherine De Vore is the youngest crew member. Her dad, HL De Vore, is also aboard with a crew mainly from Larchmont, with one each from Rhode Island and Connecticut.

WAX LYRICAL

SAIL NO: 248

LOA: 15.2m

CLASS: PHS

DESIGNER: Niels Jeppesen (DEN)

YEAR BUILT: 2011

TYPE: X-50

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 3

OWNER: LesGoodridge

CLUB: Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, NSW

CREW: L Goodridge (8)--Skipper/Navigator, D Eagle (9), J Owens (5), L Stevenson (11), F Etter (7), C Blogg (4), B Smith (19), E Griffith, L Galloway (1), B Dixon (1), E Howard

Wax Lyrical was ninth overall in PHS in last year's Rolex Sydney Hobart and went on to place PHS eighth overall in the 2017 Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race. She finished PHS third overall and second in Division 2 of the RSHYR 2015, and PHS fifth overall in 2014--her first Rolex Sydney Hobart. Les Goodridge and his X-50 design won PHS in the 2015 Sydney Gold Coast race and placed PHS third overall in the CYCA's 2014/2015 Ocean Pointscore. Wax Lyrical is currently PHS sixth overall in the Blue Water Pointscore. Second in charge, Dinah Eagle will tick off her 10th RSHYR with this race.

WEDDELL

SAIL NO: ITA3956

LOA: 24.0m

CLASS: IRC

DESIGNER: Farr Yacht Design (USA)

YEAR BUILT: 1996

TYPE: Grand Mistral

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 0

OWNER: Afanasy Isaev

SKIPPER: Przemyslaw Tarnacki

CLUB:TBA

CREW: P Tarnacki--Skipper, A Isaev Navigator, M Potekha.

Weddell, originally built for racing in a one-design fleet around the world, is a luxury Grand Mistral owned by Afanasy Isaev, from Krasnoyarsk in Russia. It is often used for charter work and boasts every creature comfort. The Farr-designed Grand Mistral has sailed all the oceans, including taking part in the 2015 Rolex Middle Sea Race (finished 33rd overall from 99 entries), and the ARC. Weddell contested the 2017 Cape to Rio race in January, finishing 17th overall, and the Transpac Race in July, placing ninth from nine in Division 1, after sailing almost around the world to start. She can apparently generate speeds of up to 30 knots, and has certainly put in the ocean miles--adding many more with her first Rolex Sydney Hobart.

WILD OATS X

SAIL NO: 7001

LOA: 19.7m

CLASS: IRC

DESIGNER: Reichel/Pugh (USA)

YEAR BUILT: 2004

TYPE: Reichel/Pugh 66

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 0

OWNER: The Oatley family

SKIPPER: Troy Tindill

CLUB: Hamilton Island Yacht Club, QLD

CREW: T Tindill (4)--Skipper, T Spithill, E Smythe, S Mason.

This is her first Rolex Sydney Hobart, but Wild Oats Xhas no shortage of mileage on her. This race will pit Sandy Oatley's son-in law Troy Tindall against Ian Oatley's (Sandy's brother] son Daniel aboard Wild Oats XI. The canting Wild Oats Xs results include third at Hamilton Island Race Week in 2010 after winning in 2005, and with lain Murray at the helm, second overall and second on line to Wild Oats XI in the 2010 Sydney Gold Coast race after taking line honours in 2007 (for third overall), and again in 2005 with Mark Richards at the helm. Took line honours 2005 Pittwater to Coffs, and finished second at the Rolex Maxi Cup 2004. Is a near sister ship to the more frequently raced Alive (previous Black Jack, Stark Raving Mad], which has pulled off a couple of records in her time. Tom Spitthill, younger brother of James, joins the crew.

WILD OATS XI

SAIL NO: AUS 10001

LOA: 30.0m

CLASS: IRC/ORCi

DESIGNER: Reichel/Pugh (USA)

YEAR BUILT: 2005

TYPE: 100-ft supermaxi

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 12

OWNER: The Oatley family

SKIPPER: Mark Richards

CLUB: Hamilton Island Yacht Club, QLD

CREW: M Richards (15)--Skipper, I Burns Navigator, I Murray (23), R Naismith (19), D Oatley (1), B Marsh (4), P Magee (6), M Shillington (19), J Whittaker (15), C Links (5), A Henderson (10), R Daniel (14), M Mason (9), J Hildebrand (8), G Taylor (20), C Harmsen (7)

Unusually, Wild Oats XI retired from the past two Rolex Sydney Hobarts when early on, her main split in half in 2015, leaving the gate open for Comanche. In 2016, hydraulic-ram failure on the morning of December 27 was her downfall. After taking line honours in the 2015 Transpac Race, radical modifications were made to the yacht--she was virtually cut in half and re-emerged with a longer bow and shorter stern. Further tweaks were made after the RSHYR and the supermaxi took line honours in the 2016 Sydney Gold Coast race, then wiped over seven hours off her 2011 record in the Brisbane Keppel race. Pipped the newly re-christened 100ft Black Jack to the post (by 3 mins 31 secs) in the closest finish in 15 years in the 2017 Sydney Gold Coast race. Little has been done to the boat since, except her keel and its mechanism have been given a thorough going over and a new North 3Di RAW mainsail has been added.

In 2014, abnormally light airs in Bass Strait provided Wild Oats XI with her getaway card from a new Comanche, and she sailed to a record eighth RSHYR line honours victory, outdoing Kurrewa IV/Morna's record seven, held since 1960. Other achievements include triple victories of line/race record/overall win in the RSHYR in 2005 and 2012. She holds records in the Sydney Gold Coast (Open record set in 2012), Cabbage Tree Island (2012) and Port Hacking Bird Islet races (2013). Daniel Oatley, a Master Mariner and Bob's grandson, joins the mostly tried and tested crew for a second time.

WIZARD

SAIL NO: USA 70000

LOA: 21.5m

CLASS: IRC

DESIGNER: Juan Kouyoumdjian (ARG)

YEAR BUILT: 2011

TYPE: Volvo 70

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 3

OWNER: David and Peter Askew

CLUB: New York YC/Annapolis YC/Bayview YC, USA

CREW: D Askew--Skipper, P Askew Skipper, C Larson (1), A Means--Navigator, R Clarke (4), R Keenan (18), N Drennan (31), D Miller (1), M Parker (5), P Trinter, B Jenkins (1), C McAsey (1), RStietz (3), R Bearda (11), R McGarvie (11), M White (14)

Wizard is the newly rebadged Giacomo winner of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2016 after finishing an incredible second on line to Perpetual Loyal, one of three boats to finish inside Wild Oats XI's 2012 record, leaving two supermaxis in her wake when owned by winemaker Jim Delegat. The New Zealander also raced her in the 2013 (finished sixth on line and 22nd overall) and 2014 (dismasted off Tasmania) RSHYR. While in Sydney in 2016, she took line honours in the Flinders Islet, Bird Island and Newcastle Bass Island races, a portent of things to come. Just after purchasing Groupama 4, winner of the 2011-12 VOR, Delegat took monohull line honours and won overall the 2015 Coastal Classic, and won line, IRC and PHS in the 2016 Sail Fiji Race.

With their Reichel/Pugh 74 of the same name, the Askews broke the Key West Race monohull record in January, took line honours in the Pineapple Montego Bay Race in February and scored victory in the 109th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac in July. Wizards sailing master is Chris Larson, a champion across America's Cup (including coaching the Mascalzone Latino crew), VOR, Admiral's Cup, one-design, match-racing and offshore events, counting world titles in a variety of classes, and was named 1997 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year.

WOTS NEXT

SAIL NO: 6559

LOA: 14.2m

CLASS: IRC/ORCi

DESIGNER: Murray Burns Dovell (AUS)

YEAR BUILT: 2005

TYPE: Sydney 47

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 3

OWNER: Charles Cupit

CLUB: Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, NSW

CREW: C Cupit--Skipper, B Sykes (28), J Allatt (3), S Hosking, M Dilweg, J Cane (3), S James (2), J Burke, G Wallace, T Dillon (1), 0 Court (2)

Wots Next has recently been purchased by Charles Cupit and returned to Sydney from Tasmania. The Sydney 47 has a strong offshore history and Cupit raced her in the Flinders Islet Race to finish 20th under ORCi, then retired from the Newcastle Bass Island race, but bounced back to place ninth in the Cabbage Tree Island Race in November. He has been around the traps for a while with his Bavaria 45 Bedfordca Three Cs, last seen at Airlie Beach Race Week this year.

As Wots Next, the boat last went to Hobart in 2007 when owned by Graeme Wood, but was skippered by Bill Sykes (Wood raced his updated yacht), who took a crew of mainly CYCA Youth Academy sailors and finished 34th overall. Sykes took a similar crew to Hobart the previous year, placing 37th overall. In 2005 Wood, with Mike 'Greeny' Green as sailing master, sailed the boat to 10th overall to win Division D.

XS MOMENT

SAIL NO: 11744

LOA: 13.3m

CLASS: IRC/ORCi

DESIGNER: Niels Jeppesen (DEN)

YEAR BUILT: 2011

TYPE: Xp 44

NUMBER OF RSHYR: 0

OWNER: Ray Hudson

CLUB: Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, NSW

CREW: R Hudson-Skipper, F Walker (13)Navigator, T Baillie, M Williams (9), C Flanagan (3), T Harvey, I Westlake, D Bonallo (1), B Newton, G Holder (2), C Zonca

XS Moment from Pittwater is new to the race and so is her owner Ray Hudson, but he has done plenty of offshore races with her, including numerous Sydney Gold Coasts, in which they finished 20th overall and third in IRC Division 2 this year and 33rd overall the previous year. Locally, the pair finished 10th overall in the 2016 Pittwater Coffs, then finished third overall in the Production X Yachts class at the Sydney Harbour Regatta that March. This November, they were 12th overall in the Cabbage Tree Island Race, a qualifier for the Rolex Sydney Hobart. XS Moment is a luxury 44-foot racer/cruiser constructed in Denmark, the first of a new series for X Yachts.

Caption: SHORT RUNWAY The Rolex Sydney Hobart start is one of the biggest tests of a sailor's skills--it involves safely threading your way through dozens of converging competitors.
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Title Annotation:BOAT NOTES
Publication:Offshore Yachting
Geographic Code:5BERM
Date:Dec 1, 2017
Words:22037
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