Offshore Yachting : December January 2008
offshore | 109 Hobart Yacht Race line honours contenders to square off in a racing format. All eyes will be trained on the three 30-metre gladiators in town to prepare for the Boxing Day ocean classic, in particular Bob Oatley's Wild Oats XI, which will make its racing comeback in this event after being dramatically dismasted in Italy in September during the Rolex Cup. The back-to-back Rolex Sydney Hobart line honours winner (2005 and 2006) and winner of the 2005 Tattersall's Cup (overall handicap winner) is expected to sail against the 2003 line honours victor, Grant Wharington's Skandia from Melbourne, and newcomer to the event, Bill Buckley's New Zealand maxi, Maximus. The race crew for Mike Slade's brand new 30-metre ICAP Leopard from the UK is due to arrive in Sydney on the 19th of December so at this stage, the boat is not expected on the start line. The tight 14-mile Harbour course will only offer these canting keel giants limited room to stretch out but it will provide Sydneysiders with a unique opportunity to see the might of these maxis before they line up again on the 26th of December for the serious business of trying to beat each other to Hobart. The CYCA will use eBay to auction places aboard competing boats with the proceeds going to the SOLAS Trusts, which were established following the stormy 1998 Sydney Hobart Yacht Race when six lives were lost. To date, the SOLAS Trusts have donated close to $350,000 to search and rescue organisations in every Australian state and the ACT. Bidding on eBay will close on 2 December with the winners taking their place either on the start boat or on one of a number of competing maxis for this once in a lifetime opportunity. Wild Oats XI, Skandia, Ichi Ban and the 1997 Sydney Hobart line honours winner Andrew Short Marine Brindabella were quick to offer two guest spots each to the highest bidders when the initiative was first announced. The SOLAS Big Boat Challenge will start at 12.30pm off Steele Point at Nielsen Park and will take the fleet twice around Sydney Harbour, passing popular tourist destinations such as Mrs Macquarie's Chair and Fort Denison before finishing for the cameras in front of the Opera House. For the first time, the CYCA will also offer spectators the chance to view the SOLAS Big Boat Challenge from aboard a spectator vessel. Tickets for the three-hour charter (12pm-3pm), which will depart from the CYCA in Rushcutters Bay on Tuesday 11 December, are $90 per person including lunch (cash bar). Bookings at CYCA reception on 02 8292 7800 or email email@example.com Proceeds from the charter will also go to the SOLAS Trusts. --Lisa Ratcliff 27th Pittwater and Coffs Harbour Offshore Series Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club will host a revamped 27th annual Pittwater & Coffs Offshore Series from Friday 28 December 2007 to Saturday 5 January 2008. The Pittwater to Coffs Harbour Race up the New South Wales North Coast is the major race in the 27th annual Pittwater & Coffs Offshore Series. This year, the club expects that more than 60 yachts from a dozen yacht clubs will once again compete in this and the other four shorter races. Race Director Chris Stone has made some interesting modifications to the format for this summer's event. "We thought it was time to offer a change in the lead-up races to provide the skippers and crew the opportunity to 'warm-up' and test some tactics for the long race to Coffs, so we have included a 50 nautical mile overnight ocean race as race one starting on the Friday, 28 December," Stone explained.
October November 2007
February March 2008