Please select your home edition
Edition
Pantaenius EU 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

Protector - 660 x 82Ancasta Ker 40+ 660x82PredictWind.com 2014

Related Articles

Trofeo Princesa Sofía Iberostar - Back to business
It was a return to business as usual for the second day of competition at Trofeo Princesa Sofía Iberostar regatta. From a funky first day of racing when the promising solid morning breeze evaporated to become difficult, shifty and unsettled and then disappeared, it was a return to business as usual for the second day of competition at the 48th edition of the Trofeo Princesa Sofía Iberostar regatta.
Posted today at 3:18 am
2017 Nanny Cay Cup - Winners in light breezes
A tauntingly light breeze of five - seven knots out of the south was enough to get 50+ boats starting in Nanny Cay Cup A tauntingly light breeze of five - seven knots out of the south was enough to get 50+ boats starting in the Nanny Cay Cup, the first event of the 2017 BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival. Rather than the usual Round Tortola race, conditions favoured a 16 NM course starting in the channel off Nanny Cay and taking the fleet around Pelican and Flanagan Islands.
Posted today at 1:43 am
Seattle returns as host and partner in Clipper Round the World Race
The announcement that the Seattle will feature on the global route and enter a team, was made by Official Tourism Board Making its debut in the 2015-16 edition of the race, which saw the city’s name and iconic skyline emblazoned on one of the race’s twelve 70-foot ocean racing yachts, Visit Seattle promoted the city as a destination for leisure, tourism and business during its eleven month, 40,000 nautical mile journey around the globe.
Posted on 28 Mar
The America's Cup Superyacht Program – A true highlight
The 35th America’s Cup in Bermuda will feature the fastest yachts in the 166 year history of the competition Superyachts are a very important part of the America’s Cup and, reflecting the high value of their role in the events that will take place in Bermuda in May and June, a dedicated America’s Cup Superyacht Program was created by the America’s Cup Event Authority (ACEA), in conjunction with BWA Yachting.
Posted on 28 Mar
Meet Clipper 2017-18 Race skipper Tristan Brooks
Tristan Brooks first took to the water at the age of ten, spending his childhood fine tuning his dinghy skills Tristan Brooks first took to the water at the age of ten, spending his childhood fine tuning his dinghy skills on the Menai Strait in North Wales, and has spent the past 13 years working as a professional skipper, mate and engineer.
Posted on 28 Mar
An Int’l fleet race ready for BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival
Many of this year's participants in the BVI Spring Regattamade their way ashore today to register for a racing Many of this year's participants in the BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival made their way ashore today to register for a week of world-class racing out of Nanny Cay, Tortola. The Marina is alive with activity - old friends catching up and first-timers partaking of the infamous Mount Gay rum drinks at the beach bar. With the breeze looking light for Tuesday's annual Round Tortola Race
Posted on 28 Mar
Princess Sofia Trophy – Park’s pride as he prepares for Palma finale
RYA Olympic Manager Stephen Park believes the British Sailing Team is in the right place for multi-medal winning success ‘Sparky’, as Park is commonly known, will preside over some 63 British Sailing Team athletes at the first major European event of the year, before moving on to a new role at British Cycling next month after over 20 years with the RYA.
Posted on 27 Mar
Volvo Ocean Race - Team AkzoNobel leaves Persico
The Simeon Tienpont skippered Team AkzoNobel Volvo65 has left the building facility at Persico Marine in Bergamo The Simeon Tienpont skippered Team AkzoNobel Volvo65 has left the building facility at Persico Marine in Bergamo, Italy to The Boatyard in Lisbon under the custodianship of GAC Pindar. Before she left the yard at Persico the team had a celebration to mark the end of the build phase.
Posted on 27 Mar
New boats and old favourites prepare for BVI Spring Regatta
BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival 2017 is pleased to welcome C&C 30 Sportboat/Gunboat fleets to this year's event Always offering up something new and different, the BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival 2017 is pleased to welcome the C&C 30 Sportboat and Gunboat fleets to this year's event which kicks off on Monday with registration at noon and opening party at 6pm.
Posted on 27 Mar
St. Thomas International Regatta 2017 - Day 2
Six to eight foot seas off island's east end, gusts blowing to 20 to 25 knots and mix of rain and sun all added to fun. The St. Thomas International Regatta (STIR) proved its reputation as the 'Crown Jewel of Caribbean Yacht Racing' by superbly delivering on its signature mix of round the rocks and round the buoy courses on the event's second day of competition. What's more, six to eight foot seas off the island's east end, gusts blowing to 20 to 25 knots and a mix of rain and sun all added to the fun.
Posted on 26 Mar