Please select your home edition
Edition
T Clewring - Cruising

Wild Oats XI Prove Winners in SOLAS Challenge

by Crosbie Lorimer on 12 Dec 2007
Blasting up the harbour - SOLAS Big Boat Challenge Crosbie Lorimer http://www.crosbielorimer.com

Certainly a line honours win of one and a half minutes over Skandia would indeed have been enjoyable for Mark Richards, the skipper of Wild Oats XI. There is little doubt that the uncertainty over the reasons for the loss of Wild Oats' mast earlier this year has proved unsettling for Richards and his team, so today’s successful, breezy sprint around Sydney Harbour in the SOLAS Big Boat Challenge would have helped settle the nerves a little.

'It was nerve racking; we had new sails and there was a fair bit of breeze, but in the end it was a really enjoyable sail'.

The Skandia team may have been beaten into second place but when you bear in mind the boat’s relative age and the fact that they raced the course with delivery sails, this too was a confidence-building performance.

These Supermaxis seem to run their own version of the Biggest Loser, constantly shedding excess weight with each new season. Wild Oats XI sports a taller and lighter upper body these days and Skandia is now 1.5 tonnes lighter, having slimmed down her fin to match the lighter bulb fitted last year.

Ichi Ban is no slim thing but she was the surprise performer of the day. Barely back in the water for a week she suffered a complete electronics breakdown at the start. The only boat to choose the eastern shore she picked up good pressure and crossed the entire fleet to lead around the fist mark at Shark Island.

Not surprisingly the supermaxis soon overran Ichi Ban, but she was to enjoy a fine upwind battle with the American TP 52 Rosebud, which subsequently won the race on handicap.

Rosebud’s owner Roger Sturgeon clearly enjoyed the day, declaring he was always happy to race for charities 'better still SOLAS is a charity that is going to help me' he quipped, adding 'isn’t there a conflict of interest there somewhere?'

For others the day proved indeed to be a big boat challenge.

Hugo Boss had a bad hair day. Initially she suffered a jammed steering line approaching Shark Island 'that island looks a whole lot bigger when you’re heading at it with your steering locked' observed skipper Andy Tourell.

Then, having solved that problem in clearer water the masthead mainsail lock gave out and the mainsail started to head for the deck. Throughout it all the boat’s guests for the day, models Erika Heynatz and Annalise Braakensiek, retained bemused smiles for the cameras.

It used to be said that changing the name of a boat was bad luck. But the advent of sponsors sees yachts changing names with every shift of wind direction. Nonetheless, the old superstition still seemed to have traction for Spirit of Queensland (formerly Scooter, AAPT, Xena etc), breaking her bow sprit on the Wedding Cake mark.

You would no more compare the SOLAS Big Boat Challenge and The Rolex Sydney Hobart Race than you would relate a Test match to a Twenty Twenty hit and giggle, but like cricket’s short form game today’s race provided plenty of spectator entertainment in the run-up to the real Boxing Day test.






Barz Optics - Melanin LensesT Clewring J-classNaiad

Related Articles

RORC Caribbean 600 coming of age
RORC Caribbean 600 - Day 4: The RORC Caribbean 600 has been a special event for all of the competitors. RORC Caribbean 600 - Day 4: The RORC Caribbean 600 has been a special event for all of the competitors. Last night the closest battle in any class was decided and the two remaining yachts racing showed great fighting spirit. This provided a fitting finale to racing in the beautiful, but sometimes brutal waters of the central Caribbean.
Posted on 26 Feb 2011
Rolex Middle Sea warm up Race
2009 Rolex Middle Sea Race - 23 yachts took part in a 15 nautical-mile warm-up race. 2009 Rolex Middle Sea Race - 23 yachts took part in a 15 nautical-mile warm-up race. For a variety of reasons, not least of them the weather, this short race proved a good shakedown ahead of the main-event.
Posted on 15 Oct 2009
Spain's Calima - Javier Pujol winner of the Giraglia Race
Javier Pujol, owner/skipper of the Sparkman & Stephens-designed 43-foot Calima (ESP) confirmed as winner of the Giraglia Javier Pujol, owner/skipper of the Sparkman & Stephens-designed 43-foot Calima (ESP), was confirmed as winner of the Giraglia Race today at the prizegiving ceremony for the 57th edition of the Giraglia Rolex Cup, held at the Yacht Club Italiano in Genoa. Alegre (GBR) won the elapsed time Rolex trophy
Posted on 21 Jun 2009
JPMorgan Asset Management Round the Island Race
Britain’s favourite yacht race - Saturday 20 June 2009: Cowes, Isle of Wight The JPMorgan Asset Management Round the Island Race, organised by the Island Sailing Club, takes place on Saturday 20 June with a total entry of 1,779 boats this year. True to the ethos of the event, competitors come from all walks of life. Professional and Olympic sailors line up with family cruisers, sportsboats, classic yachts and one designs
Posted on 19 Jun 2009
Portimao Global Ocean Race leaders face confusing conditions
Michel Kleinjans on Roaring Forty crossed the Portimão Global Ocean Race Leg 5 Scoring Gate south-east of Newfoundland Portimao Global Ocean Race - Michel Kleinjans on Roaring Forty crossed the Portimão Global Ocean Race Leg 5 Scoring Gate south-east of Newfoundland. Felipe Cubillos and José Muñoz are currently 120 miles north of Flores in the Azores Archipelago and in the 0620 UTC position poll on Monday morning (15/06), their red Class 40 Desafio Cabo de Hornos is 71 miles ahead of second placed Beluga Racer.
Posted on 15 Jun 2009
Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta 2009
Racing is scheduled to start tomorrow, Wednesday 10th June at the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta 2009. Racing is scheduled to start tomorrow, Wednesday 10 June at the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta 2009. Both modern and classic designs are present with Andrea Recordati’s Wally 101, launched less than one month ago, lining up against the Royal Huisman-built Meteor, a reproduction gaff rigged Gloucester Schooner launched in 2007
Posted on 10 Jun 2009
La Promesse closing in on Newport - OSTAR 2009
Katie Miller's EPIRBS activated - The OSTAR Race Office is set up in Newport The OSTAR Race Office is set up in Newport. On the 16:00 report La Promesse had only 657 miles to go and looks to have a lead of some 200 miles over JBellino based on her 0800 tracker report. At 06:00 EST today 7 June the Race Office in Newport was alerted by Katie Miller’s father that one of her EPIRBS had been activated
Posted on 8 Jun 2009
Admiral's Cup - Could it be sailed around the World?
Geelong Week, is preparing to expand its horizons with plans for an international IRC event Australia’s largest sailing regatta, Geelong Week, is preparing to expand its horizons with plans for an international IRC event. Today the Chairman of Geelong Week Andrew Neilson announced the Geelong Week dates for 2010 and explained the earlier than expected parting with the long term title sponsor Skandia, who had contracted to their title sponsorship until 2011
Posted on 5 Jun 2009
OSTAR - King of Shaves losses all instruments
Very difficult morning on the water for King of Shaves. I am sorry to report that at 08:30 we lost all our instruments A very difficult morning on the water for 'King of Shaves'. I am sorry to report that at 08:30 we lost all our instruments and for 30 minutes we were struggling to go anywhere at all. I used the wheel lock and tried to balance the sails so that we could sail on but it was at reduced speed
Posted on 5 Jun 2009
Spanish sailor's accidental adventure - more photos to believe or not
This sailor was caught trying to return to the harbour in Zumaia, in the Basque country of northern Spain. If you thought that the Southport skipper had a difficult time trying to cross the Southport bar last week, spare a thought for the Spanish sailor who was caught trying to return to the harbour in Zumaia, in the Basque country of northern Spain
Posted on 4 Jun 2009