SPORT - First International entrant arrives for Rolex Sydney Hobart 2009

SPORT - First International entrant arrives for Rolex Sydney Hobart 2009

Charisma, the S&S 57 owned by Spanish banker Alejandro Perez Calzada, sailing under the burgee of Royal Nautical Club of Barcelona, has arrived in Sydney three months prior to the start of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2009.

Officials said Charisma

will be only the second Spanish yacht ever to have applied for entry to compete in the Rolex Sydney Hobart, adding to the strongest international line-up in years to contest the 628nm ocean classic.

Starting in 2007 with the Rolex Fastnet Race, Charisma began a journey to complete a round-the-world trip, competing in key offshore yacht races along the way.
She finished 19th overall in the 2007 Rolex Fastnet Race and in 2008 made her way stateside to contest
the Newport to Bermuda Race where she
placed fourth in St David’s Division Class 7 (Best Corrected time).

On her way to Australia, Charisma competed in the 2009 Transpac Yacht Race finishing
first in Division 7, and is now ready to tackle the ‘Mount Everest of ocean racing’, the Rolex Sydney Hobart 2009.

Owner Alejandro Pérez Calzada is optimistic about his boat’s chances in this year’s Hobart.

“We have high hopes for Charisma's performance in this tough ocean race.
She is a well campaigned
yacht and we would like to achieve a good result in our division,” said Calzada.

“After conquering the Rolex Sydney Hobart, we will return to the Mediterranean and take part in the Rolex Middle Sea Race in 2010, where Charisma finished first in its division in the 2006 race,” he said.

Charisma is berthed at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia (CYCA), Rushcutters Bay, Sydney, and the majority of the Spanish crew will arrive in Sydney
mid-December to prepare for the 65th edition of Australia’s premier bluewater event.

Designed by Sparkman & Stephens, Charisma was built in 1970 by Palmer & Johnson, and was part of the USA Admiral’s Cup team in 1973. She was raced out of America for a number of years, before Calzada purchased her in 2006.

Sydney Hobart organisers said a strong international fleet is expected to participate in this year’s race with seven international yachts having submitted their applications for entry to date.
These include Mike Slade’s Farr 100 ICAP Leopard and Niklas Zennstrom’s JV 72 Ran 2, the line honours and overall winner respectively of the Rolex Fastnet Yacht Race 2009.

CYCA, the organising authority of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, said it has received a total of 30 entry applications. These include previous overall winners such as Simon Kurts’ S&S 47 Love & War (2006), Ed Psaltis and Bob Thomas’ modified Farr 40 AFR Midnight Rambler (1998) and Bob Steel’s TP52 Quest (2008).

The Rolex Sydney Hobart will be preceded by the Rolex Trophy to be conducted on the waters off Sydney Heads. The racing for the one design classes, including Farr 40s and Sydney 38s will take place between December 11 and 13, and the IRC and Performance Handicap boats between December 17 and 20, 2009. The Notice of Race for the Rolex Trophy will be published later in the year.

The Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2009 Notice of Race is now online at

Applications for entry for the Rolex Sydney Hobart 2009 close Monday, November 2, 2009 at 1700hrs AEST.

- By Jennifer Crooks

For further information, visit

Photos: The Farr 100 ICAP Leopard; The S&S 57 Charisma is only the second Spanish entrant in the history of the Rolex Sydney Hobart; Charisma at sunset.