CYCA opens eBay auction for crew spots in the 2015 CYCA SOLAS Big Boat Challenge

The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia has once again launched its eBay auction which provides an exclusive opportunity to bid for places on-board one of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race favourites, when they compete in the CYCA’s SOLAS Big Boat Challenge – the spectacular maxi yacht race around Sydney Harbour on Tuesday 15 December.

Five Rolex Sydney Hobart entrants have offered a place on-board for the race. They include: Wild Oats XI, Ichi Ban, Brindabella, and Black Jack. Perpetual LOYAL has offered two places.

The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s annual invitation-only maxi yacht race, the SOLAS Big Boat Challenge will again be a day that showcases the power and speed of these technologically advanced yachts prior to the 2015 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.

This will be the ninth year the fleet will race to raise awareness and money for the CYCA’s Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Trusts, which have donated over $1 million to search and rescue organisations Australia wide and providedassistance (financial and other) to immediate families of those lost at sea during Yachting Australia sanctioned races.

~ Bid today for your chance to sail on board one of these yachts ~

Black Jack

Peter Harburg purchased this famous VOR70 in early 2013 and continued the Black Jack name for his friend and Formula One legend, the late Sir Jack Brabham. Black Jack finished third overall in the 2015 Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race and was second across the finish line behind Perpetual LOYAL. She has taken line honours and top placed in many Australian races.

Her crew includes triple Olympian, Volvo Ocean Race and America’s Cup sailor Anthony Nossiter, along with Stacey Jackson, who sailed the last edition of the Volvo Ocean Race aboard Team STA, the all-women entry.

To make a bid for one guest spot on Black Jack – CLICK HERE  


Australia’s most famous maxi, Brindabella took line honours in the 1997 Sydney Hobart and holds race record for a conventionally ballasted boat (1d, 20h, 46m, 33s set in 1999). Brindabella still turns heads today with her sleek lines and elegant sail plan. She still holds many Australian east coast race records, including the Sydney Mooloolaba, Sydney Noumea and Sydney Wollongong Race. An experienced crew NSW Waratahs props Jeremy Tilse and Paddy Ryan.

To make a bid for one guest spot on Brindabella – CLICK HERE

Ichi Ban

Yachting Australia President and past CYCA commodore, Matt Allen, launched Ichi Ban, in 2013. Finishing fourth in the 2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart line hours, the Carkeek 60 design recently won the Cabbage Tree Island Race, a pre-cursor to the Sydney Hobart, in November. Some of Australia’s best yachtsmen crew this boat.

To make a bid for one guest spot on Ichi Ban – CLICK HERE

Perpetual LOYAL

The rivalry between Perpetual LOYAL and Wild Oats XI is well documented and will continue this December starting with the SOLAS Big Boat Challenge. After retiring in the early stages of the 2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, this super maxi bounced back to win line honours in the 2015 Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race in July.

Anthony Bell has added some of Australia’s best known celebrities to join his heavyweight crew, including Olympic medallists, America’s Cup and Volvo Ocean Race sailors, as well as former Australian Cricket captain, Michael Clarke, as he aims to generate funds for the LOYAL Foundation, which has raised over $5 million for children’s charities to date.

To make a bid for TWO guest spots on Perpetual LOYAL – CLICK HERE  

Wild Oats XI

Wild Oats XI secured her eighth line honours victory under the guidance of Mark Richards in last year’s Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, and holds the race record, which stands at 1 day, 18 hours, 23 minutes 12 seconds set in 2012.

Bob Oatley’s super maxi has recently undergone her most comprehensive modifications since being built 10 years ago.

A 10-metre section was cut off the bow and a new longer bow section attached. Two metres was cut off the stern and changes were made to the hull configuration, sail plan and rig. 

To make a bid for one guest spot on Wild Oats XI – CLICK HERE  

Bidding for all items will close at 4pm on Sunday 13 December, 2015.  Terms and conditions apply, see the individual URL’s for details.

The highly charged SOLAS Big Boat Challenge is a big attraction for spectators, both on and off the water. It starts at 12.30pm on Tuesday December 15, off Steele Point, Vaucluse. It is not for the faint-hearted, as skippers push for the best position on the line before heading off on a 14 nautical mile course to Manly and back, via some of Sydney’s famous landmarks, including Fort Denison and Mrs Macquarie’s Chair, for two and a half laps. The finish is off the picturesque Sydney Opera House, where the line honours winner is decided.

Stacey French – CYCA Media

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