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Farr 1020 Marbles - First Entry

Farr 1020 Marbles - First Entry

Solo Tasman Yacht Race

30 May 2006

OFFSHORE SAILORS from around New Zealand and across the Tasman are lining up to compete in next years Solo Tasman Yacht Race.

The race will start from New Plymouth in Easter 2007, organizing committee chairman, Wayne Sattler said, and race over 1240 nautical miles to Mooloolaba, in Queensland.

Wearing the race number one, will be Aucklander Peter Jury sailing his 10.2 metre Bruce Farr designed sloop Marbles. Jury's father, one legged skipper John Jury placed 7th in the 1974 event but was forced to abandon his boat, Easterly 1, after being rolled and dismasted in the 1978 event. Peter Jury has opted to sail in the double handed division, Mr Sattler said, which was shaping up to be very competitive.

Another entrant was Grahame Perrem from Christchurch, sailing an 11.5m sloop, Uncle Arthur. Entries were forthcoming from an Auckland yachtsman who planned to sail his brand new Bavaria 50 over the 1240 nautical mile (2296 km) course from Port Taranaki to Mooloolaba in Queensland, Mr Sattler added "And a mate of his wants to enter his Bavaria 46".

The skipper of a new 46 foot Malcolm Tennant catamaran being built in Queensland had also expressed interest and a Newick Val 31, Alarus, would be on the start line. The record for the race is 6d8h50m set by Ian Johnston in Bullfrog Sunblock during the 1986 event.

Taranaki Newspapers Ltd had also come aboard with a generous sponsorship package, and other local companies were lining up to sponsor individual entrants.

"The race is special - it's still the oldest, and second longest, short-handed sailing event in the world," he said.

The race was started in 1970 by New Plymouth men Howard Vosper, Dennis Lobb and Phillip Goodsell. It is held every four years and competitor numbers rose to 15 for both the 1978 and 1986 races but fell to two entrants, both Australian, for the 2002 event.

The race organizers, the New Plymouth Yacht Club announced plans to can the race but a public meeting voted unanimously for it to continue and a new organizing committee was formed.

"And the results just go to show," Mr Sattler said, "there's still plenty of people out there ready to tackle the ultimate challenge that the race presents."

For further information: see, Contact the Solo Tasman Yacht Race Organising Committee at P.O.Box 576, New Plymouth, New Zealand, or Ph/fax 0064-6-751-1759.