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Ebay Auction for places aboard Big Boat Racers

by Lisa Ratcliff on 30 Nov 2007
Wild Oats X1 - 2006 Rolex Sydney Hobart © Rolex/Daniel Forster http://www.regattanews.com
Countdown to the close of eBay bidding for the SOLAS Big Boat Challenge

Bidding for the chance to sail on one of Australia’s best known and fastest maxi yachts in this year’s SOLAS Big Boat Challenge is well underway with the big ticket item, two guest places aboard Bob Oatley’s 30m Wild Oats XI, helping to raise significant funds for the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s SOLAS Trusts.

Sixteen bids amongst eight bidders vying for the guest places on Wild Oats XI, which will be sailing in its debut race with a brand new rig, have so far reaped more than $1,000 for charity. It is hoped that this amount will steadily increase during Friday and Saturday and that last minute bidding in the auction's closing stages on Sunday morning, 2 December, will drive the amount significantly higher again.

Bids for guest places on the other maxis which have generously offered guest spots for the Tuesday 11 December ‘big boat only’ sprint around Sydney Harbour, Skandia, Ichi Ban and Andrew Short Marine Brindabella, are steadily creeping up to the $500 mark. The latest bid for Matt Allen's Jones 70 Ichi Ban is $500.

Starting the SOLAS Big Boat Challenge has attracted one bid so far but the CYCA expects this will move over the weekend. Given the ticket price on the spectator boat is $90 per head, the sole bidder is currently sitting on a winner with their bid covering two guest places on the spectator boat, including lunch, and the once in a lifetime chance to fire a 19th century replica cannon, smoke and all.

One of the most exciting days on Sydney Harbour each year, the annual big boat dash around some of the Harbour’s most famous foreshore landmarks will again bring together a number of Rolex Sydney Hobart line honours contenders
for this pre-Boxing Day showdown.

This year the fleet will be racing to raise awareness and money for the CYCA’s Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Trusts, which support search and rescue organisations Australia-wide.


Wild Oats XI - http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=320186018586&ssPageName=ADME:L:LCA:AU:1123

Two places on Grant Wharington’s 30m maxi Skandia from Melbourne have been posted on eBay. The Rolex Sydney Hobart 2003 line honours winner, Skandia, is for the fifth time making the trip from Melbourne to Sydney for the Boxing Day start of the 63rd race to Hobart. Come the 11th of December, Wharington and his Victorian crew will be charging around Sydney Harbour at breakneck speed attempting to be one of the front runners across the finish line off the Opera House.

Skandia - http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=320186025422&ssPageName=ADME:L:LCA:AU:1123

CYCA Commodore Matt Allen has offered two places aboard his Jones 70 Ichi Ban, which finished second across the line in last year’s Rolex Sydney Hobart and is backing up this year. In the right conditions and on an open ocean, this
modified Volvo 70 is capable of reaching speeds in excess of 30 knots or 55 kilometres per hour.

Ichi Ban - http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=320186028579&ssPageName=ADME:L:LCA:AU:1123

Two places on arguably Australia’s most recognised maxi and a five-time line honours winner of the SOLAS Big Boat Challenge, Andrew Short Marine Brindabella, are also up for auction. A household name and line honours winner
of the 1997 Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, Andrew Short Marine Brindabella made its racing comeback this year under new owner Andrew Short who also sponsors the CYCA Youth Sailing Academy through this business.

Andrew Short Marine Brindabella - http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=320186030538&ssPageName=ADME:L:LCA:AU:1123

The fifth and final eBay item posted is the opportunity to fire the 19th century replica cannon - the same cannon used to start the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race each year - to send the expected SOLAS Big Boat Challenge fleet of up to 20 maxis and pocket maxi yachts off on the 14 nautical mile course around Sydney Harbour at 12.30pm on Tuesday 11 December 2007. As well as firing the cannon, the highest bidder and one guest will join a three-hour charter on Sydney Harbour on the official spectator boat which will follow the race including an on board commentator, lunch and limited wine with a cash bar thereafter.

Start the SOLAS BIg Boat Challenge - http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=320186034284&ssPageName=ADME:L:LCA:AU:1123



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