CYCA opens eBay auction for SOLAS Big Boat Challenge

The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia has once again launched its eBay auction that provides an exclusive opportunity to bid for places onboard 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 9 December.

Five Rolex Sydney Hobart entrants have offered places onboard for the auction, they include; Perpetual LOYAL, Ichi Ban,  Brindabella, and Southern Excellence II , all providing two places available for auction, with Black Jackmaking one guest spot available. The other yacht to offer two places is the 60 foot sleek day racer, The Red Hand.

The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s annual invitation-only maxi yacht race, the SOLAS Big Boat Challenge, will once again be a day that showcases the power, speed and glory of these technologically advanced racing machines prior to the 2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.

In a much anticipated event, this will be the first time Bob Oatley’s super maxi Wild Oats XI and Anthony Bell’sPerpetual LOYAL will line up against Jim Clark and Kristy Hinze-Clark’s Comanche from the USA.

This will be the eighth year the fleet will race to raise awareness and money for the CYCA’s Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Trusts, which have donated just over $900,000 to search and rescue organisations Australia-wide and provide assistance (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!

Perpetual LOYAL 

The rivalry between Perpetual LOYAL and Wild Oats XI is still going strong with Bell once again, the bridesmaid to the Mark Richards skippered Wild Oats XI in the Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Yacht conducted in July. This was the first time they had met since last year’s Hobart race. Bell will compile some of Australia’s most well known celebrities to join his heavyweight team that includes America’s Cup and VOR sailors all with the aim to generate funds for the LOYAL Foundation, which has raised over $4 million for children’s charities to date.

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

Ichi Ban

Yachting Australia President and past CYCA Commodore Matt Allen launched his latest Ichi Ban – a Carkeek 60 – just one month prior to last year’s Rolex Sydney Hobart. Built in Dubai at Premier Composites and arriving in Australia in November 2013, Allen had limited time to fully test the boat, but she still impressed finishing eighth overall and third in her division in the blue water classic. Allen has since campaigned Ichi Ban in many regattas and offshore races and has achieved some notable results this year, including taking line honours and winning overall at the CYCA’s Sydney Newcastle Race in February.


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


Australia’s most famous maxi Brindabella, a former line honours winner of the Rolex Sydney Hobart and holder of the record for a conventionally ballasted boat (1d, 20h, 46m, 33s set in 1999). Designed by Scott Jutson,Brindabella still turns heads today with her sleek lines and elegant sail plan and still holds many Australian east coast race records including the Sydney Mooloolaba Yacht Race, Sydney Noumea Race, and the Sydney Wollongong Race.

To make a bid for the two places on Brindabella log on to: eBay – Brindabella

Southern Excellence II

Since buying the former Ichi Ban in March last year, Andrew Wenham has breathed new life into the yacht now known as Southern Excellence II, upgrading a number of systems on the boat to improve her IRC rating and to suit his requirements. In July, Southern Excellence II was the fifth boat to cross the finish line in the Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race, resulting in a seventh place in IRC Division 0. In April, she claimed her second consecutive line honours win in the Gosford Lord Howe Island Yacht Race in a time of 35 hours, 41 minutes and 34 seconds – just over half the time she took in the protracted light air 2012 race.

To make a bid for the two places on Southern Excellence II log on to: eBay – Southern Excellence

Black Jack

One guest spot is available on Black Jack. Peter Harburg purchased this yacht in early 2013 and continued the Black Jack name for his friend and Formula One legend, the late Sir Jack Brabham. Modifications were made to ensure the yacht was up to Australian standards before she made her Australian racing debut last July. In her maiden Australian ocean race with new owner Peter Harburg, last year’s Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race, the former 2011 to 2012 VOR entrant Telefonica, finished third on line and third in IRC Division 0 following a tight tussle to the finish with the top two, Wild Thing and Lahana. Black Jack finished second overall in the Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race and was the third boat to cross the line behind Wild Oats XI and Perpetual LOYAL.

To make a bid for one guest spot on Black Jack, log on to: eBay – Black Jack 

The Red Hand

Launched in August 2013, designed by Dunning and built at McConaghy Boats, The Red Hand is a super sleek 60 foot day racer that regularly competes in Sydney Harbour Races. With that comes extensive local knowledge from her experienced crew which will ensure she is a very competitive boat on the day

To make a bid for two guest spots on The Red Hand, log on to: eBay – Red Hand 

Bidding for all items will close on 4th December 2014.  Terms and conditions apply, see the individual URL’s for details.

The highly charged SOLAS Big Boat Challenge is a big attraction to spectators both on and off the water, and starts at 12.30pm on Tuesday December 9. Starting off Steele Point it takes the yachts on a two lap, 14 nautical mile sprint course which passes many of Sydney’s famous landmarks along the way, including Fort Denison, Mrs Macquarie’s Chair and the Sydney Opera House, which provides the picturesque finish line.

– Louise Bashford, CYCA Media

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