Sydney Harbour maxis EBay auction

Bid for places on board some top yachts competing in the SOLAS Big Boat Challenge

Friday December 3rd 2010, Author: Jennifer Crooks, Location: Australia

The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia has today launched its annual 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 maxi yacht dash around Sydney Harbour on Tuesday 14 December.

Eleven Rolex Sydney Hobart entrants have offered two places onboard for the auction. They include: Wild Oats XI, Investec LOYAL, Lahana, Wild Thing, YuuZoo, Wild Oats X, Limit, Brindabella, Southern Excellence and Rodd & Gunn Wedgetail (one place only).

Other boats to also offer places are Quest, the overall winner of the 2008 Rolex Sydney Hobart and Spirit of the Maid.

One of the most exciting days on Sydney Harbour each year, the annual big boat dash around some of the Harbour’s most famous landmarks will again bring together a number of Rolex Sydney Hobart line honours contenders for this pre-Boxing Day showdown.

Bob Oatley’s Wild Oats XI, will be vying for their fourth line honours win in the SOLAS Big Boat Challenge, after suffering defeat in last year’s race at the hands of Neville Crichton’s Alfa Romeo after a ‘wine glass’ spinnaker mishap cost them the lead in the race. The celebrity crew onboard Sean Langman and Anthony Bell’s Investec Loyal will bring additional glitz and glamour to the harbour, all while doing battle with Wild Oats XI for line honours glory.

This will be the fourth year that the fleet will race to raise awareness and money for the CYCA’s Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Trusts, which supports search and rescue organisations Australia-wide.

Wild Oats XI

Wild Oats XI is hungry for her fifth line honours win in the Rolex Sydney Hobart, after finishing second to Neville Crichton’s Alfa Romeo in last year’s race. Wild Oats XI currently holds the record for the most consecutive line honours wins – four - she surpassed Morna’s record of three in a row achieved in the 1946-1948 races when she won in 2008. In 2009, Wild Oats XI underwent extensive modifications to increase her overall length to 100ft, in accordance with the rule changes to extend the maximum length overall of yachts from 98ft to 100ft. Two places are on offer on one of Australia’s most recognised supermaxis.

Make a bid for the two places on Wild Oats XI here

Investec LOYAL

Sean Langman and Anthony Bell’s 100 footer Investec Loyal has been repainted to white and had its systems and sails upgraded for this year’s bluewater classic. The crew includes another who’s who of Australian sporting stars including Olympic swimmer Geoff Huegill and seven-time world surfing champ Layne Beachley as well as a world class race crew headlined by Americas Cup sailor Billy Merrington and North Sails’ Michael Coxon. One of two 100 foot supermaxis entered for the Rolex Sydney Hobart, they will sail to raise money for the Loyal Foundation. Two places are on offer aboard this celebrity studded boat

Make a bid for the two places on Investec-LOYAL here


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. Since taking ownership of the boat, Millard and Honan have made modifications aimed at making the yacht perform to the best of her abilities under her IRC rating.

Make a bid for the two places on Lahana here

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 eighth time for the Boxing Day start of the 66th race to Hobart. The design of this 30m maxi is an ongoing process with its configuration refined no less than five times since its launch in October 2003, including a radical 7m keel for last year’s Hobart race.

Make a bid for the two places on Wild Thing here


Ludde Ingvall made his Rolex Sydney Hobart comeback last year after a five year break. In 2005 Sean Langman chartered this powerful 90-footer with a canting keel and finished fifth across the line. Ludde Ingvall skippered the boat through gale force conditions to take line honours in 60th Rolex Sydney Hobart when the boat was then called Nicorette. She also finished a close 2nd in the IRC overall placings in the same year.

Make a bid for the two places on YuuZoo here


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) returns to the start line after a two year absence under new owner Jim Cooney. 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 Audi Sydney Gold Coast Race, the Bird Island Race, Sydney Mooloolaba Yacht Race, Sydney Noumea Race, and the Sydney Wollongong Race.

Make a bid for the two places on Brindabella – the people’s yacht - here

Wild Oats X

Built for Australia’s Admiral’s Cup defence, Wild Oats X has subsequently enjoyed considerable success, including line honours win in the Audi Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race (2009, 2007 and 2005), first in the 2008 Audi Sydney Harbour Regatta IRCA, second in the 2004 Maxi Worlds, overall victory at Hamilton Island Race Week 2005, and the 2005 and 2006 Pittwater to Coffs Harbour races. A full re-fit of this 66- footer was undertaken in 2009 that included a new mast and new sail plan.

Make a bid for the two places on Wild Oats X here


West Australian yachtsman Alan Brierty launched Limit three weeks prior to the start of 2008 Rolex Sydney Hobart, with the boat finishing a credible seventh on IRC. Limit then sailed to New Zealand to compete in the Auckland to Noumea race, where the boat won line honours and every division (IRC, ORC and PHRF) in a very slow race. This year, Limit has sailed around the Pacific racing in various events including the Coastal Cup and the Pacific Cup in the USA, where they won the Fastest Passage trophy finishing the race in 6d, 16h, 19m.

Make a bid for the two places on Limit here

Rodd & Gunn Wedgetail

Bill Wild’s new yacht Rodd & Gunn Wedgetail, is the well known ex-Yendys. The former Yendys owned by Geoff Ross, is a custom Reichel/Pugh 55, that has an impressive racing record that includes placings in the Rolex Trophy Series, the Audi Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race and a sixth in IRC Division 1 in the 2009 Rolex Sydney Hobart, 6th IRC overall and 1st in Division 1 in the 2006 Hobart and 3rd in Division 1 in the 2007 Rolex Sydney Hobart. This boat is a step up from Wild’s previous Wedgetail, a Welbourn 42. One place is available on this tried and tested ocean racer

Make a bid for the one place on Rodd & Gunn Wedgetail here

Southern Excellence

Andrew Wenham purchased this extensively campaigned Volvo 60 earlier this year. Under a previous owner, the boat took line and PHS honours and set a new course record during the 2006 Gosford to Lord Howe Race, returning in 2007 to claim line honours again. The boat scored a line honours win in the 2007 Melbourne to Vanuatu race for which it also holds the record, set by a previous owner. This boat has sailed competitively throughout the CYCA’s sailing calendar and along the eastern seaboard in ocean races including Audi Sydney Gold Coast, Audi Hamilton Island Race Week, Lord Howe Island and the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.

Make a bid for the two places on Southern Excellence here


Bob Steel’s current Quest is a state-of-the-art TP52 with which he has notched up some impressive wins including 2009 NSW IRC State Champion, Audi Sydney Harbour Regatta (IRC Division 1), Sail Port Stephens (IRC Division 1), 2008 Skandia Geelong Week and finished second over the line in the 2008 Audi Sydney Gold Coast Race. Quest is the CYCA’s Blue Water Champion for 2009/10 and together with his yacht master Mike Green were jointly named CYCA Ocean Racer of the Year late last year.

Make a bid for the two places on Quest here

Spirit of the Maid

Spirit of the Maid is a Volvo Ocean 60 racing yacht which has a long and illustrious history of international yacht racing. Originally launched in 1997 as Illbruck, she competed the 1997 / 1998 Volvo Round the World Yacht Race winning several of the legs. Spirit of the Maid was designed with the rigours of the Southern Ocean in mind and is also equipped with a movable water ballast system where up to 2500 litres of water can be taken on and transferred from side to side to aid stability and thus increase speed. The fastest she has been clocked at is 36.8 knots which equates to 68 kph, quite a speed for a yacht. Bruce Absolon purchased the yacht last year and renamed her as a tribute to his previous ocean racer Ausmaid

Make a bid for the two places on Spirit of the Maid here

Bidding for all 11 items will close on 10 December 2010. Terms and conditions apply, see the individual URLs 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 $550,000 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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