Please select your home edition
Edition
Ancasta Ker 33 728x90

SOLAS Big Boat Challenge - Shaping up to be a wet and fast ride

by Lisa Ratcliff on 12 Dec 2011
Rob Hanna’s Shogun V will make her Australian racing debut tomorrow Credit: David Brogan http://www.SailPix.com.au">www.SailPix.com.au http://http://www.SailPix.com.au">www.SailPix.com.au
The SOLAS Big Boat Challenge on Sydney Harbour is shaping up to be a wet and fast ride. It is likely to be a good heavy weather test in the lead up to the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race which starts on Boxing Day, December 26.

'Sensational,' is how Wild Oats XI skipper Mark Richards describes tomorrow’s forecast of scattered showers and 25 knot southerly winds.

The SOLAS Big Boat Challenge is traditionally one of the busier days on the Harbour for spectator vessels. This year the 15 or so entrants, ranging in size from 100 foot super maxis to 50 foot grand prix racers, can expect less traffic around them, but a ton of on board action.

'It’ll be an exciting race,' said Richards this morning as he and Wild Oats XI’s race crew were preparing to don wet weather gear and complete a practice run around the 14 nautical mile SOLAS Big Boat Challenge track, which will take them two and a half times around Sydney Harbour to the finish off the Opera House.

Bob Oatley’s Wild Oats XI will then poke its nose outside Sydney Heads where the crew will this afternoon practice man overboard drills and reefing (reducing sail area). When told of tomorrow’s forecast, having just arrived back on a flight from the US, Peter Millard, co-owner of the 98 foot Lahana with brother-in-law John Honan, said, 'Then we definitely need to go out training today.'


Two of Lahana’s 21-strong crew are flying in from Europe and a handful more are arriving from interstate this morning to take the big boat out for a shakedown in preparation for tomorrow’s annual Harbour spectacle, when the largest yachts in town will marshal for the 12.30pm start off Steele Point, Vaucluse.

'It’ll be good to have testing conditions tomorrow, but we won’t be taking any risks that might put a speed bump in our Rolex Sydney Hobart preparations,' said Millard. 'We want to see a lot of pressure tomorrow and for the great race. We’re hoping for a southerly all the way to Hobart.' Lastly, on tomorrow’s forecast, Millard is philosophical, 'It’ll be a quick race back to the bar!'

For the sailing novices on Anthony Bell’s 100 foot Investec Loyal, tomorrow will provide some insight into what might be around the corner come Boxing Day. Olympic wheelchair racer Kurt Fearnley, Roosters five-eighth Anthony Minichiello and Channel 9’s Karl Stefanovic will taste plenty of salt water and better understand the rigours of ocean racing when they join Phil Waugh, Phil Kearns and the rest of the race crew for tomorrow’s SOLAS Big Boat Challenge.

Making her Australian debut in the race will be Victorian Rob Hanna’s recent acquisition, the TP52 Shogun. Hanna purchased the near-new former Audi Azzurra from Europe, where it has been successfully competing on the MedCup circuit. Hanna’s main intention is to beat the other Australian owned TP52’s at major events, including Marcus Blackmore’s Hooligan, which is also contesting the SOLAS Big Boat Challenge.

List of entries available here
View course maps here

Ancasta Ker 40+ 660x82upffront 660x82T Clewring Cruising

Related Articles

Oman Air stay top of Extreme Sailing Series table with podium place
Oman Air stayed top of the overall leaderboard after posting a third place in Act six and shifted focus to the next Act. Oman Air stayed top of the overall leaderboard after posting a third place in Act six in Madeira and immediately shifted their focus to the next Act in Lisbon, Portugal, in two weeks.
Posted on 25 Sep
Olympic Gold medalist and Volvo Ocean Race winner up for WS Board
Torben Grael (BRA) is amongst the 15 nominations for one of seven places on the Board of Directors of World Sailing Torben Grael (BRA) is amongst the 15 nominations for one of seven places on the Board of Directors of World Sailing in November. The five times Olympic medalist, Volvo Ocean Race winner and several times America's Cup competitor will bring a much needed sailing edge to the Board of World Sailing if he can navigate the politics of the controlling body of the sport.
Posted on 25 Sep
Norauto foils to victory at the GC32 La Reserva de Sotogrande Cup
Racing in a light wind Minoprio’s desire to win the leeward position on the start line put Norauto in front in all races Racing in a light westerly Levante wind, Adam Minoprio’s desire to win the leeward position on the start line put Norauto in front in all three races, and he went on to win two of them.
Posted on 25 Sep
Team Tilt finish second at the GC32 La Reserva de Sotogrande Cup
Team Tilt added a second place to scoreboard this weekend at the penultimate event of what has been a successful season The seven crew members on board the 32-foot flying catamaran posted three outright wins from 15 races to finish second overall after Adam Minoprio on Norauto. Team Engie, skippered by Sebastien Rogues finished in third place.
Posted on 25 Sep
Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge - Images from Régates Royales
The final round of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge is underway at Cannes in the 38th Régates Royales. The final round of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge is underway at Cannes in the 38th Régates Royales with classic yachts and Dragons. Eugenia Bakunova of mainsail.ru was on the water at Cannes and provided this gallery of images from the penultimate day of the regatta.
Posted on 25 Sep
Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge - More images from Régates Royales
Second gallery from the final round of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge at Cannes The 38th Régates Royales, the final round of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge is underway at Cannes. Eugenia Bakunova of mainsail.ru was on the water at Cannes and provided this second gallery of images from the penultimate day.
Posted on 25 Sep
World Sailing - Henderson sets out foundations of his President bid
Paul Henderson is standing for another term as President to get some significant and vital issues facing Sailing address Paul Henderson is standing for another term as President to get some significant and vital issues facing Sailing addressed by sailors with their input both individually and via their International Class Associations. Henderson sets out below what he believes will be the foundations of his next Presidency.
Posted on 25 Sep
World Sailing President nominated by 45 Member National Associations
Incumbent World Sailing President, Carlo Croce (ITA) has welcomed nominations from 45 Member National Associations Incumbent World Sailing President, Carlo Croce (ITA) has nominations from 45 Member National Associations [MNAs] for his re-election as the President of Sailing’s International Federation. Nominations for the position of President have been formally published by World Sailing and show widespread support for Croce.
Posted on 25 Sep
Swiss stars Alinghi lose mast in collision in action-packed day
The Extreme Sailing Series™ lived up to its name on the penultimate day of Act 6 in Madeira The Extreme Sailing Series™ lived up to its name on the penultimate day of Act 6 in Madeira as a collision between rivals Alinghi and Red Bull Sailing Team resulted in the Swiss crew losing their mast.
Posted on 25 Sep
Oman Air in peak form going into final day at Extreme Sailing Series
A fresher breeze on the third day gave the GC32 fleet a chance to give the spectators an invigorating show of action A fresher breeze on the third day gave the GC32 fleet a chance to give the spectators lining the shores on the south coast of the island an invigorating show of speed and action and it was Oman Air that led the way with seven podium places – including two outright wins – in seven races.
Posted on 24 Sep