FREMANTLE, WESTERN AUSTRALIA - 31st July 2002
A HOME TEAM JOINS THE ANTARCTICA CUP:
A team from Western Australia have reserved their place on the starting
line of the Antarctica Cup, the US $6.4 million maxi-yacht race through the
Southern Ocean, that starts and finishes in Fremantle.
Led by locally based, international business man Mark Rodoreda, the team
are already in negotiations with a number of Western Australia's top
sailors, and are very optimistic about support from the local business
Rodoreda was very enthusiastic about the home town entry, saying "we have
so many great sailors in W.A., and they have to go overseas to get their
"It's going to be great to give them a chance to sail for W.A. in a major
international race that starts and finishes in Fremantle."
Mark himself comes from a family with a long history of offshore sailing in
Western Australia, and competed at international level back in the
eighties, including five years on the Bob Williams' pocket maxi Freight
Train, and as a trialist for the Australia II crew in '83.
In his business he is used to working with some of the world's best known
sportsmen, Mark is an international consultant on turfgrass and
horticultural matters, related to construction and design of golf courses
His clients include most of the more prominent course architects such as
Greg Norman, Graham Marsh, Gary Player and their design companies.
Bob Williams, the chairman of the Antarctica Cup, was clearly delighted
that Western Australia was putting up an entry, and threw down the gauntlet
to sailors from the east coast of the country.
"The Victorians are in, with Grant Wharington," he said, "and now Western
Australia has an entry, what about the guys from Sydney and the rest of New
South Wales, where are they?"
Talking about Mark Rodoreda, Williams added, "I can't think of anyone in
W.A. more suited to take on this adventure, because Mark has such a long
history of offshore racing, he could be regarded as one of the most
respected veterans of Western Australian offshore racing."
One of Mark's other passions is flying, and he has held a recreational
private pilot's licence for 25 years, with an advanced aerobatic
endorsement, now the idea for the Antarctica Cup has sparked his
imagination, and he wants to go and push the limits through the Southern
The Antarctica Cup, which is scheduled to start in December 2004, will be
raced in a fleet of up to fifteen 82 foot maxi turbo-sleds, and has already
attracted entries from the United States, England, the Netherlands and
For further details contact:-
WA Southern Ocean Racing Syndicate
5 Hutton Street, Osborne Park
Western Australia 6017
Phone +61 8 9443 7100
Fax +61 8 9443 7101
Mobile +61 411 648 308
Antarctica Cup contact:
Bob Williams: +61 (0) 413 057 559
John Longley: +61 (0) 42 720 1649
John Roberson: +44 (0) 781 124 8223
Or visit our website: www.antarcticacup.com
FREMANTLE, WESTERN AUSTRALIA - 24th July 2002
HIGH MODULUS JOIN ANTARCTICA CUP CONSTRUCTION TEAM:
High Modulus, the highly respected New Zealand based composite engineering
and materials supply company, have joined the team that will build the
fleet of 82 foot yachts for the Antarctica Cup.
Up to fifteen of these maxi yachts will be built in the next two years, to
a design by Ron Holland, and High Modulus will supply Western Australian
superyacht builder, Oceanfast Yachts with materials, engineering advice and
Talking about the specific problems of building fifteen identical boats of
this size, Ron Gorter of High Modulus commented, "To meet these demands we
have developed an innovative kit process that eliminates first-built and
last-built issues and ensures all yachts will be created equal, and
delivered on time.
"Our relationship with Ron Holland dates back to the ground breaking
construction of the first fibreglass 12 Metres in 1985, for New Zealand's
first challenge for the America's Cup."
High Modulus are currently working closely with Oceanfast, supplying
engineering expertise for the sundeck superstructure, on golfer Greg
Norman's 228 foot expedition yacht that is due to be launched later this
Oceanfast are very experienced in composite construction, having been
building structures and complete yachts in these materials since 1988, and
have a workforce of over fifty in their composite department.
High Modulus made their name in the sphere of high performance sailing
boats, and are still at the cutting edge of competitive sailing, being the
exclusive supplier of strategic composites & official supplier of technical
services, to Team New Zealand for their America's Cup defence.
Bob Williams, chairman of the Antarctica Cup, is very pleased to have High
Modulus on the team, "we really now have a great combination to ensure
these turbo sleds that will blast around the Southern Ocean, will be built
to the highest standards," he commented.
"Their practical understanding of design and construction clarified many
issues for us, and the kitset solution they propose creates a 'boat in a
box', so the competitors can take comfort in knowing that these boats will
be engineered for the task, and identical like no other one-design to
The Antarctica Cup is the world's richest yacht race, with US $6.4 million
in prize money, for a non-stop 14,500 mile dash around the bottom of the
planet, starting and finishing in Fremantle, Western Australia.
For further information please contact:-
High Modulus International Ltd
Ph 64 9 4156262
FREMANTLE, WESTERN AUSTRALIA - 18th June 2002
OCEANFAST TO BUILD MAXI YACHTS FOR ANTARCTICA CUP.
World renowned superyacht builder Oceanfast, part of the Austal group of
companies, are to build the 25 metre maxi yachts that will contest the
world's richest yacht race, The Antarctica Cup, which starts in December
Austal is a Western Australian company, based just south of Fremantle, and
has a state-of-the-art boat building facility that is ideally suited to the
construction of up to fifteen of these Ron Holland designed maxi yachts in
the time-frame available.
Oceanfast have a worldwide reputation for building high quality luxury
super yachts, with a client list that includes golfer Greg Norman, and the
Sultan of Brunei.
The Antarctica Cup is a 14,500 nautical mile, non-stop, dash around the
bottom of the planet, starting and finishing in Fremantle, and with a total
of US$6.4 million in prize money.
John Rothwell, chairman of Austal Limited, is delighted that Oceanfast will
make such a positive contribution to this international event, and
"This innovative event will bring a very positive focus for Western
Australia, and although these spectacular yachts will not represent a new
product line for Oceanfast, we look forward to producing the yachts to the
very high standard typical of Oceanfast's world-class motor yachts".
Fremantle businessman Bob Williams, who is the instigator and chairman of
the Antarctica Cup said that awarding the contract to Oceanfast was a major
step forward for the event.
"Having the boats built by Oceanfast, will give our competitors the
confidence they need to take on the infamous Southern Ocean, and push
themselves and their crews to the limits, in what promises to be one of the
most exciting sailing races ever, involving national teams in fully crewed
The Antarctica Cup has already attracted high quality entries from the
United States, Britain, the Netherlands and Australia, with further entries
expected soon from Brazil, Denmark, France, New Zealand and Ireland.
Since the 18th Century the Antarctic region has fascinated mankind and
inspired some of the world's most heroic exploration and sailing
adventures. The Antarctica Cup hopes to further enhance this fascination
whilst promoting the Port of Fremantle, Western Australia and Australia as
one of the world's premier host venues for international yacht racing.
For further information contact:
John Rothwell, Chairman, Austal Limited
Tel: +61 (0)8 9410 1111, Fax: +61 (0)8 9410 2564
Claire Stannard, Public Relations
Tel: +61 (0)8 9410 1111, Fax: +61 (0)8 9410 2564
Antarctica Cup International Maxi-Yacht Race:
Antarctica Cup P/L
Tel: +61 (0) 8 9336 7543, Fax +61 8 (0) 9336 7541
Mobile +61 (0)413 057 559
John Longley: +61 (0) 42 720 1649
John Roberson: +44 (0) 781 124 8223
Or visit our website: www.antarcticacup.com
FREMANTLE, WESTERN AUSTRALIA - 27th May 2002
BRITISH TEAM SIGN FOR ANTARCTICA CUP.
A British team have signed up for a place in the Antarctica Cup, bringing
the number of entries in this "dash for cash" through the Southern Ocean to
five, and adding one of the world's premier ocean racing nations to the
The team, Brit XL, is represented by John Quigley, who has been involved
with offshore & ocean racing for a number years, and includes renowned
British navigator Mike Broughton, and former BT Global Challenge skipper
John Quigley commented about Brit XL's ambitions, "our aim is to foster
British excellence in offshore racing at an international level, this new
race has appeared on the horizon, and it's interesting, so we're keen to
get a British team involved."
Expanding on this theme John Quigley continued, "Brit XL sees the
Antarctica Cup as an interesting and exciting formula.
"The boat concept seems to make a lot of commercial, and competitive sense
just as long as they are quick, spectactular and challenging, not
Referring to the likely sailing team he added, "announcement of names will
follow selection. In the meantime a number of our people are still under
Brit XL are building on the growing popularity of sailing in Britain,
following the outstanding success of their team at the 2000 Olympic Games
in Sydney, and what sailors in Britain are calling the "Ellen factor",
referring to the success of Ellen MacArthur.
"We've got some outstanding people," said Quigley, "and that is the key
thing as far was we are concerned, if you take a step back and look, we've
got some really top people, but they don't make quite as much noise as
The Antarctica Cup is scheduled to start from Fremantle, Western Australia,
in December 2004, and is a non-stop race around Antarctica, with US$6.4
million in prize money, the most ever offered for a sailing race.
A fleet of identical Ron Holland designed 82 foot yachts is being built for
FREMANTLE, WESTERN AUSTRALIA - 8th May 2002
CAYARD, HEINER AND WHARINGTON BOOK ANTARCTICA RACE SLOTS.
Paul Cayard, Roy Heiner and Australia's Grant Wharington have all booked
their places in the Antarctica Cup, with another American group wishing to
remain anonymous at the moment.
Paul Cayard who won the last Whitbread Round the World Race, now the Volvo
Ocean Race, and has sailed in four America's Cups, faxed his Race Slot
Reservation Form to the Royal Perth Yacht Club earlier this week.
He was upbeat about his decision to enter, saying, "personally I like
sailing down there, in the Southern Ocean, it's just the most awesome
sailing that you can do."
He added, "I think it's an innovative format, with the different legs, and
accummulation of points or prize-money along the individual legs, as well
as an overall winner, I think that will add a lot of excitement into the
Roy Heiner, from the Netherlands, is also a former Whitbread Round the
World race skipper, an Olympic medallist, and has been one of the world's
top match racing skippers.
He commented about the race, "I really believe it's a fantastic concept, a
fantastic event, and that's the way the sport should be going, so I'm going
to do my bit to get the money to compete in this thing, I think it's
Australian Grant Wharington, who has been a regular Sydney to Hobart race
competitor in a string of boats called Wild Thing, and winner of the
double-handed Melbourne to Osaka race will head the first Australian team.
He said of the new race, "I think the concept has very, very carefully been
thought out, and I think full credit to the team of guys that have put it
Entries are also anticipated in the near future from Brazil, Ireland, Japan
and England, with keen interest registered from New Zealand, France, Italy,
Sweden and Denmark.
Scheduled to start from Fremantle in December 2004, the Antarctica Cup is a
non-stop race around the Southern Ocean, leaving the three great capes,
Leeuwin, Horn and Good Hope to port.
The race will be sailed in a fleet of identical Ron Holland designed 82
foot yachts, and there will be a total prize purse of US$6.4 million.
ANTARCTICA CUP NEWSLETTER No. 1 - 23/4/02
At Antarctica Cup headquarters here in Fremantle, we have been delighted
and flattered by the reaction from around the world, to our announcement of
our "dash for cash" through the Southern Ocean. Thanks to everyone who
phoned us, e-mailed us, or joined in the bombardment of our website -
The people who have contacted us have been many and varied from:-
The very experienced - "Sounds like fun! RKJ" Sir Robin Knox Johnston.
To the current generation of 'rock stars', - "Nice program. There is great
interest to participate with a Brazilian entry. Congratulations, Torben
And from crew candidate Tim Smith from Australia "I'd love the opportunity
to compete in this amazing race".
It hasn't only been the sailors and sailing media who have grasped the
possibilities of this event. The electronic media have been beating a path
to our door, recognising the potential for some intense and close racing,
with plenty of opportunities for some dramatic coverage.
We have been thrilled at the way the message has been carried around the
world, and translated into many different languages. The diversity of
countries from which we have registered hits on the website has been like a
We can also monitor who has downloaded the notice of race from the website,
and the list of big names and well known sailing teams and organisations,
is very encouraging.
As well as the world-wide support, the encouragement we have received at
home, both here in Western Australia, and from the whole of our great
country has been very pleasing.
As with any new project, there are those who have studied fully what we are
proposing, and have grasped the concept, while others have skimmed through
it, or are trying to sound authoritative on hearsay evidence. Hence
unfounded rumours and inaccurate stories can be generated.
There are a few major points about the Antarctica Cup that we would like to
*The entry fee is US $4,625,000. This buys the boat, and you can keep it.
*The prize money for the first boat across the finishing line is US
*The maximum that any one boat can win is US $4,650.000 - more than the
*The boat are available two months before the start.
*The boat is being designed to have an active life after the race.
*The boat is a one design, high performance 82 footer from Ron Holland,
fully equipped with carbon fibre mast, a comprehensive inventory of racing
and training sails, plus a full suite of electronics.
*The only additional costs are crew, their airfares to and from Fremantle,
accommodation in Fremantle during training, their clothing, and
provisioning for the race.
*Potential entrants get the chance to have an input into the design of the
boat at the Antarctica Cup Conference in Fremantle, in July.
*It costs nothing to book your slot to participate in the race, but there
are only 15 slots, then the waiting list.
*The first payment of US $25,000 is due 21 days after the Antarctica Cup
*The races starts and finishes in Fremantle, and is non-stop.
*There are 11 legs, separated by gates, with US $100,000 skins prize for
the shortest elapsed time on each leg.
*The race is expected to take about 45 days, and the whole campaign just
In short this is a whole new concept, if you are interested please study
the website in full, www.antarcticacup.com
WHAT WILL THE BOATS BE LIKE?
The design of the boats is still very much in the concept stage, and will
not be finalized until after the Antarctica Cup Conference in July, when
all interested parties will have a chance to discuss the project. However
Ron Holland has given some indications of the way he is thinking, but says
it is a refreshing change to find a race organiser seeking input from the
He says that, "one design opens up more interesting options than people
immediately think," and while the aim is to produce a very fast maxi boat,
he will be keeping in mind such things as safety factors, and the need for
the boats to have a life after the race.
"This race is very much conditions specific," he commented, likening it to
the Transpac. "The race to Honolulu is the only other race where you've
got such a consistently predictable set of conditions that you are going to
be sailing in."
On the subject of the general hull shape he says, "the experience with the
turbo sleds in California, for the Honolulu race is pretty interesting.
Those boats really, undoubtedly are the fastest down wind monohulls, and
they gain a lot of it by being narrow, and I'm not sure if we want to be
that extreme in beam/length ratio. In the Honolulu race they have proved
over and over again that long, narrow, light boats are the fastest down
"Our beam is probably not going to be as much as if it was an all round,
normal ocean racing boat. I think the downwind influence might mean that
we are fractionally narrower. The fact that the boats need to have a use
after the race pulls you back into a non-extreme proportion boat."
Talking about how the one design format allows more latitude for safety and
comfort than would be expected in a development style design race, he
discussed freeboard and rudders.
"Maybe one key thing would be freeboard, I think we should go a little
higher in the freeboard than is the convention at the moment, and I don't
mean by much, but you'd err on slightly higher freeboard. Because, why not?
When all the boats are the same, you're not trying to lower the centre of
gravity by being lower with your deck than your competitor, which is the
main reason to go low freeboard.
"This gives us less green water on deck, and a slightly more useable
interior volume. I don't see any down side of that.
"Another example I think could be the design of the rudder, where in an
open class, you are just paring away your rudder area to the bare minimum,
because it's less drag than the guy next door to you with a bit bigger
rudder. You've taken the risk of spinning out a little earlier than him,
or gambling on having better helmsmen than your competitor has got, so that
you don't spin out."
He added, "but when you look at the boat, it will look like a modern race
boat. It's not going to be obvious when you are looking at it, that it's
anything other than what the trend is at the moment for these fast, fairly
He echoed these sentiments with his thought on the rig, "I just see a
fractional rigged boat, I don't see any reason not to follow a normal
fractional rig, with pretty generous sail area, and I think the fun side of
the thing also supports code zero type sails. I think that makes sense."
The interior he believes is an area of the design which will be strongly
influenced by the conference to be held in July, and he has a very open
mind on what the concensus will be. "As far as the interior is concerned,
I'm going to be fascinated to see what the feed back is at the conference.
"In the extreme you might do a Swan style interior, made from lighter
weight materials, but you could have a bit of teak trim, and make it look
fairly yachtie. That is one possibility. We're talking about a difference
in displacement that might equate to 4 or 500 kilos, whether you shift one
way or the other. Whether it's just simple and clean as you can do, or
whether you just give up a little displacement, and make it a step more
user friendly inside."
So the rumours that have been spreading, that we are having thoughts of a
BT Global Challenge, heavyweight style of boat, are completely unfounded.
There is no doubt that a fast, exciting boat is the target.
Regards to all from the team at Antarctica Cup headquarters.
FREMANTLE - 10th April 2002
ROYAL PERTH YACHT CLUB PUTS FREMANTLE BACK ON THE MAP, WITH RICHEST OCEAN
Royal Perth Yacht Club burst back onto the international sailing scene
today with the launch of a spectacular and innovative new ocean race,
starting and finishing in Fremantle.
With a total prize purse of US $6.4 million, the race will pass the three
notorious Capes, Leeuwin, Horn and Good Hope, to port, and take about 45
days, from a start in December 2004.
This will be a non-stop blast around the infamous Southern Ocean, sailed in
identical 25 metre boats, with the winner taking US $2.5 million, and a
"skins" type format making it possible for one boat to collect up to US
The organisers of the "Antarctica Cup" race will supply the boats, which
are to be designed by Ron Holland, and built in Western Australia, with the
entry fee for the event including the purchase price of the boat.
America's Cup winning sailor, and lifetime Fremantle resident, John Longley
said about this new project, which is scheduled to happen every two years,
"it is not often that a great idea corresponds with a great need.
"I am sure that everyone interested in long distance, blue water ocean
racing will be captivated by the potential of this great race."
Although this is a non-stop ocean race, there will be eleven legs, each one
starting and finishing with the fleet passing through a gate, either
created with electronic waypoints, or a physical gate like Cook Strait,
between North and South Islands, New Zealand.
Each leg will have prize money of US $100,000 for the fastest boat, which
will not necessarily be the leading boat, and there will also be points
scored, so there will be a points winner as well as a first across the
finishing line winner.
The gates which divide the race into legs, are also an important safety
feature, because they will prevent the fleet from straying too far south
into dangerous iceberg territory.
This race will be open to yacht clubs around the world, which will
represent their countries, boats will have to be skippered and crewed by
nationals of the country they represent, making this very much a "nations
cup" of blue water ocean racing.
The driving force behind this daring new concept is Fremantle identity Bob
Williams, the former owner of the champion Australian basketball team, the
Perth Wildcats, he was also one of Western Australia's most successful
ocean racers in the eighties, with a pocket maxi called Freight Train.
He has gathered around him a team of international sailor, including John
Longley, and Sir James Hardy, who will be patron of the race, to develop
Williams commented, "Fremantle is a place where every sailor in the world
dreams of sailing, and now we are able to give the world's best sailors an
opportunity to come back here and be a part of a totally new concept in
Talking about the boats he is designing for this unique race, Ron Holland
said, "my aim has been to create a new design for this great race, that
presents an exciting high performance platform, yet acknowledges the
desirability of greater safety margins than would have been possible to
achieve outside the one design concept."
The course will take the boats south from Fremantle to Cape Leeuwin, where
they will turn left, and head across the Great Australian Bight, passing
Cape Horn - which is almost exactly half way, then on to the Cape of Good
Hope, before finishing back in Fremantle.
In recognition of the history of exploration in the southern hemisphere,
each of the legs is named after a famous ship of boat connected with this
part of the planet, including Endeavour and Cutty Sark, while the gates
that seperate the legs will be named after sailors or explorers like Scott
For further details contact:
Royal Perth Yacht Club: +61 (0)8 9389 1754
Bob Williams: +61 (0) 413 057 559
John Longley: +61 (0) 42 720 1649
John Roberson: +61 (0) 407 476 462
Or visit our website: www.antarticacup.com
from John Roberson
Copyright © London Corinthian Sailing Club, 25 Jul 2002