68th Rolex Sydney Hobart Race - NOR and Application for Entry online

Wild Oats XI punches her way to Hobart - Rolex Sydney Hobart 2011
The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, the organising authority for the 68th edition of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, and Rolex SA of Geneva, the race’s naming rights sponsor, have announced the release of the Notice of Race and now invite Applications for Entry.

Leading the battle for line honours will be Bob Oatley’s Wild Oats XI, the race record holder, which has claimed line honours in five of the last seven Hobart races, including four consecutive victories from 2005 when it broke the record, to 2008.

To beat their own race record, Wild Oats XI needs an average speed of 14.7 knots and 'that’s easily achievable in the right conditions,' Wild Oats XI’s skipper, Mark Richards said today.

'We’ve made some minor modifications to improve the yacht’s light weather speed with other minor tweaks still being considered,' he added.

Wild Oats XI will go back in the water later this month in the lead up to the Audi Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race, where Richards is aiming to break that race record too.

'We need an average of 14 knots to break the Gold Coast race record and that’s not too difficult to achieve over the distance. It’ll be a warm-up for what’s to come in December,' he added.

Last year’s overall winner, Stephen Ainsworth, declared that he would bring his super sleek Reichel/Pugh 63 Loki back to defend her title when he was presented with the stunning sterling silver Tattersall’s Cup and Rolex yacht master timepiece on Constitution Dock.

When asked about his race win, Ainsworth said 'It is a fantastic feeling; a huge thrill to win this race. Having done 14 Hobart’s, I know how hard it is to win. I’ve been trying for a long time, but so many things have to go right for you. We were lucky too that the wind gods were with us.

'The only thing that could better last year’s win would be to win the race again this year. Loki’s in great shape and the crew are itching to get racing again after a quiet couple of months.'

The CYCA is predicting an international fleet of around 90 yachts will make the start line on Boxing Day, December 26 at 1pm AEDT, for the tough annual 628 nautical mile offshore slog to Hobart in Tasmania.

The start of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race will be broadcast live on the Seven Network throughout Australia, webcast live to a global audience on Yahoo!7 and the Australia Network throughout the Asia Pacific Region.

Applications for Entry in the Rolex Sydney Hobart 2012 close on Thursday 1 November 2012 at 1700hrs AEDT.

The Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2012 Notice of Race is now online at: http://rolexsydneyhobart.com/editorial.asp?key=1711 with applications for entry being accepted online.