SOLAS Big Boat Challenge

Tuesday 11 December, 2018

When it comes time for the biggest racing yachts in Australia to flex their collective muscle on the world’s most beautiful harbour, it’s hard to escape the fact that the serious countdown to the start of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race has begun.

Black Jack on its way to the finish line. Image: Andrea Francolini

The CYCA’s SOLAS Big Boat Challenge, one of Sydney’s most spectacular sporting and harbour fixtures, has for 25 consecutive years marked the start of the Rolex Sydney Hobart lead-up events.

In 2018, the SOLAS Big Boat Challenge will continue to showcase close and intense racing between the competing yachts whilst providing quality viewing of the world class boats from shores and vantage points all around the harbour.

In 2017 Peter Harburg’s Black Jack (formerly Alfa Romeo) returned to Sydney Harbour to take on the undefeated Wild Oats XI who had claimed line honours for the previous six years. Being the last boat to take line honours before Wild Oats’ wining streak they were eager to show what the new team could do.

Joining the supermaxi’s in 2017 was Wild Oats X and Beau Geste. While not being able to take line honours title, Wild Oats X was able to complete a well executed race and take the win on IRC.

Crown Prince Frederik and Princess Mary taking part in the race. Image: Andrea Francolini

Since 2006 the CYCA has dedicated the event to raise awareness and funds for its SOLAS Trusts, which were established following the 1998 Sydney Hobart Yacht Race when six lives were lost.

The SOLAS Big Boat Challenge will start off Point Piper and will take the impressive invitational fleet around Sydney Harbour, with the finish off the Sydney Opera House.


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