The Hunter boasts three entries in the Hobart-Sydney classic, with more locals competing across the race

LOCAL TALENT: P52 KOA will have Richard Howard, Tony May, Gary van Dyke, Gary Telford, Richard Grimes and Ricky Bridge from the Hunter on-board.
LOCAL TALENT: P52 KOA will have Richard Howard, Tony May, Gary van Dyke, Gary Telford, Richard Grimes and Ricky Bridge from the Hunter on-board.

The Hunter’s hopefuls in the Sydney-Hobart race are set to show why the northern waters are strongest, with three local yachts ready to compete in the Boxing Day classic.

The entry list has been revealed for the 2017 iteration of the famous coastal race, and includes She’s the Cuprit, an Inglis-Jones 39 that will be in the race for the fourth time.

Widely regarded as the best handicap hope for the Hunter region, She’s the Culprit will be helmed by Glenn Bulmer and is co-owned by David O’Dowd and Glenn Picasso.

In a local spin for the crew which boasts 37 Hobart starts between them they are being sponsored by three of the Hunter’s clubs – Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club, Lake Macquarie Yacht Club and the Toronto RMYC.

The 12 man crew also graced the Hobart-Sydney podium in both 2013 and 2014, and have claimed a Corinthian Cup in the past.

DOUBLE TROUBLE: Wild Oats X will do a double act with its supermaxi sistership Wild Oats XI in the Boxing Day classic.

DOUBLE TROUBLE: Wild Oats X will do a double act with its supermaxi sistership Wild Oats XI in the Boxing Day classic.

She’s the Culprit isn’t the only hope for the Hunter however –  Sibby Ilzhofer’s Dare Devil is set to prove she’s third time lucky.

The first two attempts at the classic saw a broken rudder eject the crew from the race, with the Farr Cookson 47’s crew hopeful they can finish the event.

The third entry is an Atkins-designed timber 37-footer, known as Newcastle’s 70-year-old grand lady.

With a major hull refit in recent years, Richard Less’ Freyja will be ready to race in 2017, with the eight man crew to be led by Andrew Miller.

The opening 90 minutes of the 2016 Hobart to Sydney race

As well as the Newcastle yachts representing the local clubs, a large host of Novocastrian sailors will be taking to the seas when the Hobart-Sydney extravaganza kicks-off after Christmas.

The notable entries begin with sailing master Jack Goluzd, who has recruited Jamie Woods, Paul Morish and Greg Torpey from the area for his crew.

They will be aboard the CYCA-registered 60-footer Triton, formerly Vanguard, an entry that spent a number of months in Newcastle receiving work on Joe de Kock’s Midcoast Boatyard.

Work on the 60-footer included a new bulbed keel and a deeper rudder, as well as sails from North’s Scott Beeby.

There will also be familiar faces in what will be a scintillating battle between rivals TP52 KOA and Celestial.

Richard Howard, Tony Mary, Gary van Dyke, Gary Telford, Richard Grimes and Ricky Bridge will all be aboard the TP52 KOA.

On the opposite boat in the battle, Celestial, will be Will Howard, Luke Easy and Lachlan Hornsby.

Jane Hunt has also been included in the race, signing up for the Clipper round-the-world fleet for the Hobart-Sydney race, and plans to undertake another race leg in 2018.

Finally, Perpetural LOYAL is a boat has ties to Newcastle, and will race alongside fellow supermaxis Wild Oats XIBlack Jack and Comanche.