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Matt Allen targets two sailing prizes

AAP logoAAP 19/12/2016 Adrian Warren

President of Australian Sailing Matt Allen is set on securing two prestigious yachting prizes after opting to race the smaller of his two Ichi Ban boats in this year's Sydney to Hobart.

Perennial handicap contender Allen owns a TP52 and Carkeek 60 and last year plumped for the bigger boat.

It finished sixth across the line and eighth on handicap.

Allen said it was his intention to race the TP52 this year, as he chases both Sydney to Hobart overall honours and victory in the prestigious CYCA Blue Water pointscore.

The Sydney to Hobart is the last of the six races in the Blue Water series, which Allen last won over a decade ago.

"The trophy is just around the corner from me, but a long time between drinks on that one that's for sure," said Allen, who is battling with Rupert Henry's JV62 Chinese Whisper for the Blue Water trophy.

Allen was part of the Lou Abrahams skippered Challenge that took overall Sydney to Hobart honours in 1983.

However, he has yet to achieve that distinction in one of his own boats despite multiple top-10 placings.

He thought the latest weather forecasts were positive for his TP52 boat, which is the one he has used through the Blue Water pointscore.

"It's probably hard to pick which size of boat (they favour) but you are probably picking boats that are pretty fast downhill," he said.

"Certainly, it's looking like a reaching running race, more predominantly than the average race I would have thought at this point, so that's a good starting point for us.

"We've made a couple of changes, so we've got better reaching systems for the TP52 this time.

"If we end up, as you often do, getting in front at some stage during the race, we've got the ability to reef down to a smaller sail area."

The fleet for the Sydney-Hobart is down to 90 after the withdrawal of the Victorian entry Avalanche.

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