Please select your home edition
Edition
Bakewell-White Yacht Design

SOLAS Big Boat Challenge - Wild Oats XI and Loyal battle it out

by Jim Gale CYCA Media on 10 Dec 2013
Wild Oats XI - SOLAS Big Boat Challenge 2013 Andrea Francolini
SOLAS Big Boat Challenge, hosted by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, was held on Sydney Harbour today. It has been a long time coming - but at last we have seen Bob Oatley’s six time Rolex Sydney Hobart line honours winner, Wild Oats XI, go head to head against Perpetual LOYAL, widely tipped as the boat most likely to rain on Bob Oatley’s parade in 2013.

Perpetual LOYAL owner Anthony Bell did it in 2011 with his former Loyal, (now racing as Ragamuffin 100), and is very optimistic he can do it again in a boat often acclaimed as the fastest 100 foot super maxi in the world.

Yet we are still none the wiser.

In a much stronger than forecast nor-westerly Perpetual LOYAL and Wild Oats XI followed a give-no-quarter start with a neck and neck reach down the first leg past Shark Island, with Perpetual LOYAL holding a slight edge .

Nothing changed as they tacked up to Fort Denison. In the strong breeze and flat water they looked very even in boat speed, with Perpetual LOYAL looking just so fast, and oh so powerful. Maybe a bit too powerful. As she surged past the stone fortress a big gust swept across Perpetual LOYAL and blew out her huge R1 headsail.

'We carried the R1 in stronger conditions than we should,' a rueful Bell remarked post-race.

'In a longer race we would have changed our headsail sooner. But this is a fun day, we were going very fast….we popped it.'

While Perpetual LOYAL struggled, Wild Oats XI slipped past, and with a big reef in her mainsail to counter the gusts she just took off. Maintaining her full mainsail a still over-powered Perpetual LOYAL struggled and Wild Oats XI pulled further and further away.

With her replacement mast, installed just last night, Wild Oats XI finished the race as we have seen her do so often, with an intimidating display of precise crew work and raw boat speed.

Further back in the fleet, the strong conditions, so problematic for the 100 footers were just what Rob Hanna, at the helm of his TP52 Shogun V wanted. TP 52s revel in a strong breeze and flat water, and Shogun V just looked fast all around the race track. And the looks were not deceiving.

Shogun V edged out Matt Allen’s brand new Carkeek 60 Ichi Ban to win the 2013 SOLAS Big Boat Challenge on corrected time by 1 minute 26 seconds.

Yet second placed Matt Allen will be very happy with the performance of his latest Ichi Ban. He has his sights firmly set on winning this year’s Rolex Sydney Hobart and believes that the 60 footer rates better and is more competitive in a wider range of possible race conditions than his previous Volvo 70.

Allen has only had the boat a couple of weeks and there is still some fine tuning to do, and it always takes a while to get to know a new boat, so expect Ichi Ban to be faster by Boxing Day.

'We were getting faster and faster as we adjusted the trim today,' Allen said after the race.

'What we need to do now for Hobart is get all the systems working well and learn how to trim the boat to get the best out of her.'

While Wild Oats XI and Perpetual LOYAL battled it out for line honours, not far astern Peter Harburg’s new Volvo 70 Black Jack set about stealing the show. Indeed, after a brilliant start the 70 footer powered around Shark Island and round the second mark in the lead, ahead of the Big 3, the 100 foot super maxis Perpetual LOYAL, Wild Oats XI and Wild Thing.

'We were thrilled,' Harburg said later. 'I couldn’t believe we led for the first two marks.'

By the first spin around Fort Denison God was back in his heaven and Perpetual LOYAL and Wild Oats XI had edged past Black Jack to take the lead, but the smaller boat just would not let them go, nipping at their heels as they swept around the course.

Harburg and his sailing master Mark Bradford used the delivery trip from Queensland in a strong southerly as a full race rehearsal, and have been training hard since arriving in Sydney. It showed.


Black Jack was smoking, holding an early edge over rival New Zealand Volvo 70 Giacomo that quickly became a chasm when the Queenslanders put a big slab reef in their mainsail while the Kiwi’s struggled in their overpowered boat.

While all the Rolex Sydney Hobart line honours talk is about Wild Oats XI and Perpetual LOYAL, Harburg believes that in the right conditions his smaller, slipperier boat is faster than the maxis and sees the race as wide open. 'There are 8 boats this year that have made a huge investment (in winning line honours)' he says.

It was a disappointing day for Wild Thing, the other 100 footer in today’s SOLAS Big Boat Challenge fleet. Grant Wharrington jumped the start and had to go back to do it all over again. His race was over before it started. At times Wild Thing looked very fast, at other times sluggish. In the end she crossed the line fourth, behind Black Jack.

One yacht was forced to retire Southern Excellence, and owner/skipper Andrew Wenham says he will be fully prepared for Boxing Day, and hopes for a top 10 finish in the ocean classic.

Anthony Bell, too, is confident he will have his torn R1 back from New Zealand in time for the Rolex Sydney Hobart. It’s just that 'today was a more expensive day than we expected,' he mused.

'Welcome to 100 footers,' quipped Wild Oats XI skipper Mark Richards, who knows he has a real race on his hands after Christmas. 'Loyal is an impressive piece of kit.'




Line Honours results Start : 12:30

Place

Sail No

Boat Name

Skipper

Fin Tim

Elapsd

Score

1

10001

WILD OATS XI

Robert Oatley

13:40:10

01:10:10

1.0

2

SYD1000

PERPETUAL LOYAL

Anthony Bell

13:42:34

01:12:34

2.0

3

52570

BLACK JACK

Peter Harburg

13:45:59

01:15:59

3.0

4

AUS10

WILD THING

Bc 39 Pty Ltd

13:47:29

01:17:29

4.0

5

NZL70000

GIACOMO

Jim Delegat

13:53:54

01:23:54

5.0

6

AUS01

ICHI BAN

Matt Allen

13:56:05

01:26:05

6.0

7

AUS280

SHOGUN V

Rob Hanna

14:02:24

01:32:24

7.0

8

29

THE RED HAND

Graham O'Niell

14:02:53

01:32:53

8.0

9

10000

BRINDABELLA

Jim Cooney

14:05:00

01:35:00

9.0

10

SYD222

YOU'RE HIRED

Stuart Dart

14:09:23

01:39:23

10.0

11

601

GINGER

Leslie Green

14:09:57

01:39:57

11.0

12

SM24

TERRA FIRMA

Nicholas Bartels

14:13:21

01:43:21

12.0

DNC

AUS40

KOOKABURRA

Graeme Wilson

 

 

15.0

RET

AUS03

SOUTHERNEXCELLENCEII

Andrew Wenham

 

 

15.0

Bakewell-White Yacht DesignNewport Boat Show 2016 660x82T Clewring One Design

Related Articles

Marshall and Doyle tied on points at J/22 World Championship
By way of a victory in Wednesday’s third race, Mike Marshall, Todd Hiller and Luke Lawrence are tied at 30 points By way of a victory in Wednesday’s third race, Mike Marshall, Todd Hiller and Luke Lawrence are tied at 30 points with Chris Doyle, Will Harris and Adam Burns. Jeff Todd is still in the hunt in third place with 35 points.
Posted on 24 Aug
The Clipper Race turns 20!
Throughout the race, tales of crew celebrating birthdays on board filter back and they are always a special occasion Throughout the race, tales of Clipper Race crew celebrating their birthdays on board filter back and they are always a special occasion, likely to remain a completely unique event in their lifetime.
Posted on 23 Aug
A magnificent fleet gathers in Cowes for Etchells World Championship
58 teams from all over the world have entered the championship, hosted by the Royal London Yacht Club. Twenty teams are from Great Britain and a dozen each from Australia and the United States of America. Four entries are from Hong Kong and as far afield as: Bermuda, Ireland, New Zealand, Portugal, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates.
Posted on 22 Aug
Noroton Yacht Club dominates Hinman Trophy Team Race
Sailors often say it’s the little things that make the difference between winning and lose. 2016 Hinman Trophy Team Race - Sailors often say it’s the little things that make the difference between winning and lose. This was the case for Noroton Yacht Club as they won the Invitational Team Race Regatta for the Commodore George R. Hinman Masters Trophy for the second straight year, though maybe not in the way you’d expect.
Posted on 22 Aug
Drama Queen - Goransson wins Melges 32 National Championship
Richard Goransson and his Inga from Sweden team have claimed the 2016 US Melges 32 National Championship 2016 US Melges 32 National Championship - After a weekend of challenging, moderate conditions in Newport, RI, Richard Goransson and his Inga from Sweden team have claimed the 2016 US Melges 32 National Championship hosted by Sail Newport. Capping a weekend full of tight racing with lead changes around the track, it was fitting that the final race had three teams fighting for the regatta win
Posted on 22 Aug
Reading Australia’s Rio 2016 Sailing Report Card
Pre-event, Australian Sailing officials predicted there would be between three and five medals at Rio 2016. Pre-event, Australian Sailing officials predicted there would be between three and five medals at Rio 2016. So Tom Burton's Gold in the Laser, and then Silver for the 470 Men’s sailors, Matt Belcher and Will Ryan, London 49er Gold Medallists Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen, and then lastly Nacra 17 first time campaigners, Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin, was a good result.
Posted on 21 Aug
2016 U.S. National Championship - Argo advance
The Melges 32 fleet at the 2016 U.S. National Championship was greeted with a lumpy, streaky race course 2016 U.S. National Championship - As the breeze remained in the ESE direction overnight and began bucking an outgoing tide in the morning hours, the Melges 32 fleet at the 2016 U.S. National Championship hosted by Sail Newport was greeted with a lumpy, streaky race course, rewarding those teams that started clean and minimized maneuvers.
Posted on 21 Aug
2016 Melges 32 Nationals - A daily dose of Vitamina
The 2016 Melges 32 Nationals hosted by Sail Newport began with a whimper as racing was postponed for a couple of hours The 2016 Melges 32 Nationals hosted by Sail Newport began with a whimper as racing was postponed for a couple of hours allowing the northerly drainage breeze to give way to the impending northerly sea breeze.
Posted on 20 Aug
Vendée Globe – Conrad Colman seeks partners to complete his budget
The first New Zealander, Conrad Colman, 32, has got everything going for him to share this great adventure. The first New Zealander, Conrad Colman, 32, has got everything going for him to share this great adventure. But he is still missing part of the budget to be able to take part in the best of shape in what is his dream race. Conrad is now offering firms the opportunity to become the headline sponsor for his boat for a very reasonable price. We met up with him to find out more.
Posted on 19 Aug
Three training courses in Port-la-Forêt before start of Vendée Globe
Between late August and early October the members of the Finistère Offshore Training Centre will attend training courses Eight top class sailors are concerned. They are Jérémie Beyou, Jean-Pierre Dick, Yann Eliès, Sébastien Josse, Morgan Lagravière, Armel Le Cléac’h, Paul Meilhat and Vincent Riou. They are coming together to unite their efforts in preparing for the race.
Posted on 19 Aug