Please select your home edition
Edition
Mariners Museum 728x90

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

Giacomo Yacht SaleZhik AkzoNobelb 660x82Wildwind 2016 660x82

Related Articles

Volvo Ocean Race - Seventh team announced with returning sponsor
Volvo Ocean Race ‘obsessive’ Bouwe Bekking with Team Brunel is back for an eighth shot the Volvo Ocean Race Bouwe Bekking, the most experienced sailor in Volvo Ocean Race history, will return to skipper the seventh confirmed team in the 2017-18 edition – and give himself another chance at claiming an elusive first victory at the eighth attempt. No one has sailed more miles in the Volvo Ocean Race than Bekking, who made his first appearance as a crewmember on Philips Innovator back in 1985-86.
Posted on 28 Jun
A Few Rays – Sunscreen with no preservatives – brilliant!
Sunscreen with no preservatives, why this is great? Sunscreen with no preservatives, why this is great? If your sunscreen has no preservatives in the formulation it will be much more skin friendly than traditional screens. However, the vast majority of sunscreens are water based and require the addition of preservatives in order to keep them microbe free and usable for longer.
Posted on 28 Jun
Big Wednesday stops play at GC32 Villasimius Cup
The second stage is a very different venue to the flat-water of Lake Garda where the first round took place last month The Marina di Villasimius is situated on a peninsula that lies in a north-south axis, with Capo Carbonara being the south-eastern corner of Sardinia.
Posted on 28 Jun
HotelPlanner.com to debut in Clipper Round the World Yacht Race
The HotelPlanner.com yacht will be one of twelve teams participating in the eleventh edition of the unique 40,000nm race As an Official Team Partner, HotelPlanner.com will use the global reach of the Clipper Race to increase brand awareness, particularly in key destinations across the six continents visited on the eleven-month duration race route.
Posted on 28 Jun
SuperFoilers Are Go!
SuperFoilers represent many things. Whilst those components are disparate and virtually from different planets SuperFoilers represent many things. Whilst those components are disparate and virtually from different planets in the great scheme of things, they come together in the one form as harmoniously as a Rolls Royce, and also deliver intense energy way past the sum of their parts, just like some amazing band.
Posted on 28 Jun
ChartCo back on board as official supplier for Clipper 2017-18 Race
The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race welcomes ChartCo back as Official Supplier for its fifth consecutive edition. The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race welcomes ChartCo, a leading global supplier of maritime digital data and compliance services, back as Official Supplier for its fifth consecutive edition.
Posted on 28 Jun
Less than one week to start of 2017 Transpac
The first wave of three starts to the 49th edition of 2017 biennial Transpac Race starts next Monday, July 3rd The first wave of three starts to the 49th edition of 2017 biennial Transpac Race starts next Monday, July 3rd, when 17 yachts in three monohull divisions will cross the start line at Point Fermin in Los Angeles to race to the finish at Diamond Head in Honolulu 2225 miles away. In addition, one yacht in the multihull division - Jerzy Poprawski's catamaran Kastor Pollux - will make start this day
Posted on 28 Jun
RC44 Championship – From Bermuda to Porto Cervo
Around half of Lidvall's crew are youth sailors with the Swedish team, many of whom have flown in directly from Bermuda After they missed the first event of the season in Sotogrande, Artemis Racing Youth is rejoining the RC44 fleet under regular skipper Gustaf Lidvall and their tactician, Swedish multiple Olympic medallist, Freddie Lööf.
Posted on 27 Jun
Ready for full throttle at the GC32 Villasimius Cup
The crews took full advantage of practice racing in beautiful sailing conditions with moderate breeze from the southwest Having arrived at the spectacular Marina di Villasimius, some of these experienced competitors are wondering why there has never been a major international regatta here before.
Posted on 27 Jun
Oman Air team looks to Madeira to boost them up the ESS rankings
The crew of Oman Air are hoping next round in Madeira will give their campaign momentum to win Extreme Sailing Series. The crew of Oman Air are hoping the next round in Madeira will give their campaign momentum to win the globe-straddling Extreme Sailing Series.
Posted on 27 Jun