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Sydney-Hobart Yacht Race Attracts Entries From Lithuania, Japan

A yacht from Lithuania entered the Sydney to Hobart sailing race for the first time, while Japan will be represented after a 15-year absence, organizers said.

Ambersail, a 60-foot craft that will have an all-Lithuanian crew and be skippered by Simonas Steponavicius, is among the 30 entries received so far for the 68th edition ahead of the Nov. 1 closing date, the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia said today.

“This is a legendary yacht race,” Steponavicius said in an e-mailed statement. “We decided that this was the year to leave the beaten track of the Europe-Caribbean circle and head down under.”

The CYCA said it expects a fleet of about 90 yachts to make the start line on Dec. 26 in Sydney Harbour. The 628-nautical-mile (1,163-kilometer) race takes competitors down Australia’s southeast coast and across Bass Strait to the island state of Tasmania.

Bangal7, owned by Yoshihiko Murase, will be the first Japanese entry in the race since Summer Boy crossed the finish line in 18th place in 1997, the CYCA said.

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