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SOLAS Big Boat Challenge to decide 2022 Australian Maxi Championship

by Cruising Yacht Club of Australia 5 Dec 2022 04:43 PST 6 December 2022
A riveting SOLAS Big Boat Challenge awaits © CYCA / Andrea Francolini

The 2022 Australian Maxi Championship will be decided by the SOLAS Big Boat Challenge after an enthralling day of racing in Sydney.

Following the Championship-opening Cabbage Tree Island Race over the weekend, the 10 boats (four in the Maxi Division and six in the Mini Maxi Division) completed two passage races on Monday.

Andoo Comanche, skippered by John Winning Jr, finished the day with three Line Honours wins from as many races to take control of the Maxi Division.

But a protest by LawConnect saw Andoo Comanche (on port tack) disqualified from Race 3 after failing to keep clear of LawConnect (on starboard tack).

Andoo Comanche also protested Hamilton Island Wild Oats over the same incident, but no rule was broken by the latter, meaning the Mark Richards-skippered Hamilton Island Wild Oats was awarded the Line Honours win for Race 3.

The result of the protest sees Hamilton Island Wild Oats, Andoo Comanche and LawConnect all level on seven points atop the Maxi Division (Line Honours) heading into the decisive SOLAS Big Boat Challenge on Tuesday 6 December.

Hamilton Island Wild Oats leads the way on handicap with six points, one clear of LawConnect and a further point clear of third-placed Black Jack. Andoo Comanche drops into fourth place.

Race 2 of the Championship started at 10am, taking the fleet on a 23nm combination course. The race started in a 15 knot nor'easter, with light to moderate breeze off Long Reef Beach.

Race 3 was an 18nm course from the start line near Shark Island, north to Long Reef and back to finish in Watsons Bay. A building breeze from the nor'east set up some exciting finishes on the Harbour.

In the Mini Maxi Division, Anthony and David Johnston's Reichel/Pugh 72 URM Group, skippered by Marcus Ashley-Jones, moved into a five-point lead atop the standings.

URM Group was the division's highest-placed finisher on corrected time in the Cabbage Tree Island Race, finishing 12th overall.

Another win in Race 2 and a second-placed finish in Race 3 has her well-placed to take out the Mini Maxi Division, with a five-point cushion over second-placed Alive (Philip Turner's Reichel/Pugh 66, skippered by Duncan Hine).

Jim Cooney's Volvo 70 Willow is in third spot, thanks to a win in Race 3, while Whisper (David Griffith), Moneypenny (Sean Langman) and No Limit (David Gotze) round out the division.

The SOLAS Big Boat Challenge begins at 12.30pm on Tuesday 6 December 2022.

View full results here

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