Bid for a sail on a Super Maxi in the SOLAS Big Boat Challenge

The exclusive opportunity to bid for a place on one of Australia's best known ocean racing thoroughbreds for charity is now open. The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia today listed guest places on Wild Oats XI, , LOYAL, Lahana, Wild Thing, and Ichi Ban for its SOLAS Big Boat Challenge on Tuesday 15 December 2009.

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 supports search and rescue organisations Australia-wide.

Bob Oatley's Wild Oats XI, will be vying for their fourth consecutive line honours win in the SOLAS Big Boat Challenge and this race will be the only time the Rolex Sydney Hobart race record holder will go head to head with some of its adversaries prior to the Boxing Day start of this year's Rolex Sydney Hobart.

Wild Oats XI

In her Rolex Sydney Hobart debut this state-of-the-art 30m maxi with canting ballast twin foil took line honours in record time and won the Tattersall's Cup – the only boat to take the trifecta since Rani in the first race in 1945. Wild Oats XI achieved an historic fourth consecutive line honours win in last year's Rolex Sydney Hobart and is vying for her fifth successive win. Wild Oats XI has undergone modifications to extend her maximum overall length (LOA) to the new rule of 30.48metres or 100ft. Two places are on offer on this ‘Makybe Diva' of ocean racing.

To make a bid for the two places on Wild Oats XI log on to:


Sean Langman has returned to big boat racing this year, chartering the 100 foot Greg Elliott design, LOYAL, formerly Maximus. Following its arrival from Auckland the boat underwent an extensive modification program, including lengthening from 98 to 100 feet, new 6.2m keel and new lighter weight and taller conventional mast to replace the wing mast. Joining the experienced crew aboard LOYAL, and raising money for the LOYAL Foundation, will be boxer Danny Green, Olympic swimming sensation Grant Hackett, captain of the HSBC Waratahs Phil Waugh, Phil Kearns, who led the Wallabies in 10 Tests, and Channel 7's Larry Emdur. Two places are on offer aboard this star studded boat

To make a bid for the two places on LOYAL log on to:

Wild Thing

Two places on Grant Wharington's 30m maxi Wild Thing from Melbourne were also posted on eBay today. The Rolex Sydney Hobart 2003 line honours winner, Wild Thing, is making the trip from Melbourne to Sydney for the seventh time for the Boxing Day start of the 65th race to Hobart. After installing a radical 7m keel, 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.

To make a bid for the two places on Wild Thing log on to:

One of two 98ft maxis entered in the Rolex Sydney Hobart, Lahana is a fixed keel water ballast yacht that was built in 2003 in NZ and designed by Brett Bakewell-White. Raced previously under the name Konica Minolta and Zana, Lahana is owned by Peter Millard and his brother in law John Honan. The boat underwent modifications aimed at making the yacht perform to the best of her abilities under her IRC rating earlier this year and is looking forward to the sprint around Sydney Harbour.

To make a bid for the two places on Lahana log on to:

Ichi Ban

CYCA Commodore and Chairman of the CYCA SOLAS Trusts Matt Allen has offered two places aboard his Jones 70 Ichi Ban, which finished third 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.

To make a bid for the two places on Ichi Ban log on to:

Bidding for all five items will close on 10th December 2009. Terms and conditions apply, see the individual URL's for details.

The CYCA Solas Trusts Charity was set up as a charitable trust in 1999 as a result of the tragic events of the 1998 Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. To date almost $470,000 has been donated to search and rescue organizations Australia wide and has provided financial support to immediate families of those lost at sea during Yachting Australia sanctioned races. The CYCA Solas Trusts also aims to foster & fund research and training in safety & rescue procedures.

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