Last year’s winner Alive, has entered and is returning to Australia having finished second in Division 1 of the Transpac Race. Defending her Hobart win will be uppermost in Tasmanian Phil Turner’s mind.
Last year’s race was the domain of the 60 plus footers, but who knows which boats the weather will favour this year? It is hard to go past the TP52s, a competitive lot, such as CYCA member, Matt Allen’s 2017 winner, Ichi Ban.
However, Bob Steel has re-purchased Quest in partnership with Craig Neil. This TP52 has proved her worth, including overall wins in the 2008 (Bob Steel) and 2015 (Paul Clitheroe) Rolex Sydney Hobarts. Steel also took her to second place overall in 2017.
On the flip side are many ‘newbies’; owners with nothing to lose. Among the favourites is Tasmanian entry, Philosopher, sailed by father and son duo Shaun and Sam Tiedemann.
The Sydney 36 Cruiser/Racer has been sailing up a storm in Hobart since 2016. She was helmed to victory by Sam in the Maria Island, Launceston to Hobart and Bruny Island races during the past year, culminating in him being named 2018-19 Tasmanian Male Sailor of the Year last Saturday.
Turning 23 at the end of August, Sam says, “We feel that if it’s a 35-foot boat race, we have just as much chance as anyone else; it is a goal to win and we all dare to dream.
“We’re excited for the local offshore scene here, especially with Ed Psaltis living in Hobart now. He has an older version of our boat. We’re looking forward to racing against Ed, knowing how competitive he is and that he’s won the Hobart race before,” ends Sam, on approach to his second Rolex Sydney Hobart.
Entrants for the 2019 Rolex Sydney Hobart are currently at 109 with entries closing Friday 25 October 1700hrs. For full list of entries and further information visit www.rolexsydneyhobart.com.
By Di Pearson