The 2008 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race sailed onto the harbour-side doorstep of the Sydney Central Business District with a group of prominent skippers and sailors engaged in press a conference preview amid lunchtime strollers outside the historic Customs House at Circular Quay.
Sean Langman, skipper of Maluka of Kermandie, which at 9.1m overall length (30ft) is the smallest yacht entered in the 100-plus fleet lining up for the start of the 64th race on Friday, 26 December, had trailed his yacht into town and parked it in the street outside the Customs House. Despite her small size, she is a fine sight. Maluka, built 76 years ago, is also the oldest boat in the race. Langman, who owns yacht maintenance and repair yards in Sydney, Newcastle and Port Huon, Tasmania, recently restored the derelict Huon pine hull and sailed the gaff-rigged raised-decker to place eighth overall in the 2006 Rolex Sydney Hobart.
A fleet of 105 yachts will compete in this year's race, which starts at 1300 AEDT, 26 December 2008. The Rolex Sydney Hobart fleet will have crews representing the USA, UK, New Zealand, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Russia and New Caledonia as well as every Australian state.