|SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA-(23-12-2004) The Commodore of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, Martin James, this evening confirmed that the Club expected that a fleet of 117 boats would start in the 60th anniversary Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race this coming Sunday, 26 December 2004.
He said that the maxi and super maxi yachts which had undergone weigh-ins and other re-measurement over the past few days had submitted valid IRC rating certificates by the deadline of 5pm today.
“We had received all of the new rating certificates from these boats before the deadline,” Commodore James said, adding that the CYCA Sailing Office would continue to process other documentation until the morning of the race start.
One yacht, Outlaw, will undergo an inclination check tomorrow morning to deal with a ballast issue.
Asked to comment on the Bureau of Meteorology weather forecast of galeforce south-westerly winds off the NSW South Coast on Monday and further gales off the east coast of Tasmania on Tuesday, the Commodore noted that this was a long range forecast that could well change between now and then.
“There certainly will be steep seas and at this point of time the conditions could affect the smaller boats with the bigger boats outsailing the worst of the weather,” he added.
“But behind this weather could be winds bringing the smaller boats home fast to capitalize on their low handicap ratings.”
Commodore James said the CYCA itself and the competitors were much better equipped to cope with a rough race than had been the case in 1998.
“We have procedures in place to handle any race situation much better and we know that the 117 boats and about 1200 crews setting sail on Boxing Day should have sufficient experience and training to handle these conditions.