Alive Yachting joins 74th Rolex Sydney Hobart fleet

Tasmania now has two boats in the fleet for the 74th Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, with Alive this week joining Black Sheep as entries for the Boxing Day ocean classic pass 70, including five 100-footers. Alive is a powerful Reichel Pugh 66, owned by South-East Asia-based, Derwent Sailing Squadron member Philip Turner and skippered by fellow DSS member Duncan Hine.

Most of her ocean and inshore racing has been in Queensland and South-Eastern Asian waters, but she sails south to her home port every couple of years, contesting the Sydney and usually staying on for the King of the Derwent in early January and sometimes the Bruny Island Race in February. She has won line honours in both. Her long list of line and IRC wins have included the Brisbane to Gladstone, Melbourne to Vanuatu, Hong Kong to Vanuatu and China Sea and Sydney Gold Coast races, the Royal Langkawi Regatta and Hamilton Island Race Week.

Black Sheep, a Beneteau First 45, formerly from Sydney, was bought by brothers-in-law Rob Gourlay and Matt Pilkington after the last Sydney

Hobart, and now flies the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania burgee. In keeping with the yacht’s name, Gourlay and Pilkington, who have both switched from racing an SB20 sports boat, have assembled what they term as “a rag tag crew of social misfits many of whom are living on past glories, achieved both on and off the water,” as yet not yet officially listed.

In a whimsical assessment of their Sydney Hobart Race prospects, Pilkington and Gourlay have added to the yacht’s online bio: “Getting these guys pulling in the same direction will be a massive challenger for the co-skippers, but hopefully the homing instincts will take over and keep Black Sheep heading south.”

With entries for the 74th bluewater race closing on Friday week, 26 October, the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia has so far received more than 80 entries, with expectations of a fleet of between 80 and 90 on the line on Boxing Day, 26 December.

A record five 100-footers have been nominated: last year’s line honours winner Comanche along with Black Jack, Infotrack, Wild Oats XI and Scallywag from Hong Kong. Also entered is last year’s overall winner, Matt Allen’s Ichi Ban and the former US 65-footer Money Penny, now called Naval Group and to be skippered south by Sean Langman.

Words: Peter Campbell
Photos: Rolex, Hamilton Island Race Week
20 October 2018

Alive Yachting I Duncan Hine I Black Sheep Sailing Team I Rob Gourlay I Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania I Australian Sailing - Tasmania I Rolex Sydney Hobart I Black Jack Yachting I Wild Oats XI I Ichi Ban I Scallywag I Sean Langman I Peter Campbell

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