Photography by Andrea Francolini
18 December 2023
Representing the Gold Coast and Queensland in the iconic 2023 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, Maritimo Racing has entered two of its yachts, Maritimo 52 (TP 52) and Maritimo 54 (Schumacher 54).
Maritimo is the only team with two entries in the event. On Boxing Day, 26 December, both yachts will line up on the start line of the epic bluewater race, which is celebrating its 78th edition this year with a strong fleet of 113 yachts.
The 628 nautical mile course is often described as the most gruelling ocean race in the world, attracting sailors from around the world and the cream of Australian entries. Maritimo 52 will compete in the 52-foot grand prix racing yachts class, against 12 other contenders, including two champion internationals.
Maritimo is unique as the only luxury motor yacht builder in the world with a dedicated racing division and world championship off shore powerboat race team all in-house. The 15.85-metre yacht is a meticulously refurbished, Reichel Pugh-designed TP52 – a champion racing yacht brought to Australia from Mexico.
The TP52 was originally designed for the Transpac Race from Los Angeles to Honolulu and is a lean, light-weight yacht with few creature comforts for crew. There are around 80 of these carbon fibre yachts racing in all parts of the world, and they are extremely competitive. There are seven racing in this year’s Rolex Sydney Hobart.
The TPs have dominated Australian ocean racing including the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race in recent times and seem to enjoy a sweet spot under the IRC Handicap Rule that determines the overall winner of the Race.
Maritimo founder, Bill Barry-Cotter could see the untapped potential in the TP52 he located in Fiji which was then transported to Maritimo’s Coomera headquarters where the yacht underwent a thorough refit, including new sails and all navigation equipment to bring her up to the latest safety and racing standards.
The TP52was withdrawn from the 2022 race due to damage suffered in the delivery sail down from the Gold Coast. 2023 sees Maritimo teams raring to compete. Maritimo is a proudly-Australian manufacturer and exporter of premium, long-range motor yachts, sending 60 percent of its vessel to dealerships in New Zealand, North America, South East Asia and Europe The Majority of Maritimos destined for NZ travel across the Tasman on their own hulls, which is testament to their superior offshore cruising capabilities.
In 2023, Maritimo celebrates 20 years as one of Australia’s most successful and prestigious Luxury Motor Yacht Manufacturers.
“We are extremely proud to be a Gold Coast manufacturer, with more than 330+ employees and motor yachts that are prized around the world,” states Tom. “A testament to the skills and craftsmanship of our tradespeople, our two Maritimo sailing yachts will be flying the flag for the Gold Coast in the 2023 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.”
Michael Spies, veteran of 44 Rolex Sydney Hobart Race is at the helm of Maritimo 52 and Bill BarryCotter’s brother, Kendal, is at the helm of Maritimo 54. Maritimo 54’s crew will have 119 Rolex Sydney Hobart Races chalked up. The Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race has become an icon of Australia’s summer sport, ranking among such popular national spectator events as the Melbourne Cup, the Australian Open tennis and the Boxing Day cricket test.
The Race start at 1pm Boxing Day on Sydney Harbour attracts thousands of pleasure craft and many thousands of spectators around the foreshores. Following the Boxing Day start, you can track the progress of Maritimo 52 and Maritimo 54 on the official race tracker.