Daily Yacht Boat News
CYCA opens eBay auction for crew spots in SOLAS Big Boat Challenge
Wild Oats XI and Perpetual Loyal © Rolex/ Kurt Arrigo http://www.regattanews.com

SOLAS Big Boat Challenge

The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia launched its eBay auction at 4pm yesterday (Sunday 4 December) for the exclusive opportunity of securing places on-board three maxi yachts competing in the CYCA’s SOLAS Big Boat Challenge on Tuesday 13 December.

Three 2016 Rolex Sydney Hobart favourites have offered places for this year’s race. They include: Wild Oats X (2 positions), Black Jack (one position) and Perpetual LOYAL (two positions). The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s annual, invitation-only, maxi yacht race around Sydney Harbour, the SOLAS Big Boat Challenge, showcases the power and speed of these technologically advanced yachts prior to the 2016 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.

For the 10th year now, the fleet will race to raise awareness and funds for the CYCA’s Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Trusts, which have donated over $1 million to search and rescue organisations Australia wide, providing assistance (financial and other) to immediate families of those lost at sea during Yachting Australia sanctioned races.

Bid today for your chance to sail on board one of these yachts

Black Jack
This is the V70 to beat. She retired from the 2015 Hobart as Peter Harburg leg was badly broken in heavy seas, but Black Jack finished the previous two Hobarts. She was fifth on line in 2014, only 13 minutes behind Ragamuffin 100 (third on line), and two minutes behind fourth placed RIO 100. A quick yacht off the wind, the former Telefonica was fourth on line in the 2013 Hobart, defeating Giacomo by two places and just 2mins 17secs on line. She recorded her third consecutive line honours in the Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race this year and was second on line to Wild Oats XI in the 2016 Sydney Gold Coast race and again in the 2016 Club Marine Brisbane Keppel race.

Early in 2015, Black Jack underwent modifications to improve light weather performance. She was tested in the light to moderate wind Gold Coast Race that year, finishing second on line (to Perpetual Loyal) and third overall. Then Harburg’s boat trailed his former RP66 Black Jack (now Alive) in the shifty and light Brisbane Keppel race by nearly five hours, finishing second on line. The two V70’s Black Jack beat by a good margin in the Gold Coast Race will be on the Sydney Hobart start line: Giacomo and Maserati.

To make a bid for one guest spot on Black Jack – Click Here

Perpetual LOYAL
Perpetual Loyal is back, following her early demise from the last two Hobarts – last year with rudder damage and 2014 after hitting an unidentified object. Hard for Anthony Bell and crew, who finished the 2013 race second on line. Bell did take line honours in the 2015 Sydney Gold Coast Race. Boat has had major surgery this year, so who knows what will be given there are four modified 100 footers in the race. Perpetual Loyal is the former Speedboat and Rambler. She was slated ‘the fastest super maxi in the world’, but has yet to prove it in Australia. Once again, there will be a sprinkling of celebrities to help Bell’s Loyal Foundation, which raises funds for child charities such as the Humpty Dumpty Foundation. With his previous super maxi, Loyal, Bell caused an upset, defeating Wild Oats XI for line honours in the 2011 Hobart – his first.

To make a bid for TWO guest spots on Perpetual LOYAL – Click Here.

Wild Oats XI
Wild Oats XI was a shock retirement from the 2015 Hobart when early on, her main split in half, her only retirement to-date, leaving the gate open for Comanche. On taking line honours in the 2015 Transpac Race, radical modifications were made to the yacht – virtually cut in half, she has a longer bow and shorter stern. Further tweaks were made after the Hobart and the super maxi took line honours in the 2016 Sydney Gold Coast race and then wiped over seven hours off her 2011 record in the Brisbane Keppel race.

The abnormally light airs of Bass Strait in 2014 provided Wild Oats XI with her getaway from a new Comanche and she sailed to a record eighth Hobart line honours victory, outdoing Kurrewa IV/Morna’s seven record, held since 1960. Other achievements include triple victories of line/race record/overall win in the 2005 and 2012 Hobarts. Her record of 1day 18hrs, 23mins 12secs still holds and she’s only been beaten three times for line honours – Alfa Romeo in 2009, Investec Loyal in 2011 and Comanche in 2015. She also holds the Sydney Gold Coast Open race record (set in 2012), the Cabbage Tree Island record (2012), the Port Hacking Bird Islet record (2013). Crew Steve Jarvin lines up for his 29th Hobart and a hopeful 14th line honours victory (his 13 are unprecedented) including two triple victories. Daniel Oatley, Bob’s grandson, joins the crew for the first time.

To make a bid for one guest spot on Wild Oats XI – Click Here.

Bidding closes at 4pm on Friday, 9 December 2016. Terms and conditions apply, see the individual URL’s for details.

The highly charged SOLAS Big Boat Challenge is a big attraction for spectators, both on and off the water, starting at 12.30pm off Steele Point, Vaucluse.

It is not for the faint-hearted, as skippers push for the best position on the line before heading off on a 14 nautical mile course to Manly and back, via some of Sydney’s famous landmarks, including Fort Denison and Mrs Macquarie’s Chair, for two and a half laps. The finish is off the picturesque Sydney Opera House, where the line honours winner is decided.

by Olivia Price – CYCA Communications

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