Two great European car marques will fight it out for line honours in Australia's greatest offshore yacht race starting today, Boxing Day.
Both Audi and Alfa Romeo will lend their mantles to yachts contest the 2005 Rolex Sydney to Hobart offshore classic this year. Respectively Audi will sponsor the new AAPT while Alfa Romeo is the name of the latest in a series of stunning sail racers owned and built by Australia's Alfa importer and ATECO chairman, Neville Crichton.
Audi was a sponsor of last year’s Sydney to Hobart Line Honours winner, Nicorette, now renamed AAPT. The German marque has been a sponsor of owner/skipper, Ludde Ingvall, since 2003.
Alfa Romeo is Crichton's newest yacht. Built in Sydney it is one of the most advanced yachts of its type in the world. That said 2002 race winner Crichton who will skipper the craft again in this year's race believes that the deciding factor in which boat takes line honours will not be technology, but traditional sailing skills.
"Alfa Romeo may be the fastest, most technically advanced yacht ever to bid for a race win, but the technology will be worth nothing if the crew don't do their jobs right or if we are not spot on with our navigation and analysis of the weather," said Crichton.
"In fact sailing 'Alfa Romeo' is an even greater test of traditional sailing skills simply because we will be going so much faster than other yachts. There is less time to think, less time to plan and if we do make a mistake the effects of that mistake can have a much greater effect on our overall performance, whether it is being miles off course or breaking something that would not be a worry in a normal yacht."
For full details and progress reports on the 2005 Rolex Sydney to Hobart go to BoatPoint.com.au.