Big addition

The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia has been named host of the inaugural Australian Maxi Championship.

14 July 2021


The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia (CYCA) has confirmed that the Sydney-based club will host the first Australian Maxi Championship regatta, introduced by Australian Sailing.

The regatta will be conducted over four races and will this year feature Maxis (80–100 foot), Mini Maxis (60–79 foot) and Racer Cruisers (over 60 feet).

This first edition is expected to place from 3–7 December 2021. With the Audi Centre Sydney Blue Water Pointscore Cabbage Tree Island Race acting as the series opener.

Races 2 and 3, scheduled for 6 December, will be passage races that will both start and finish in Sydney Harbour. These two races will be conducted near the coastline to provide an exciting spectacle for crowds along the coast.

The SOLAS Big Boat Challenge on Tuesday, 7 December, will round out the series for the Maxi and Mini Maxi divisions, while the Racer Cruisers is set to take on another passage race.


“The CYCA is excited to host the inaugural Australian Maxi Championship, which provides additional valuable racing for Maxis and Racer Cruisers in the build-up to the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race,” said CYCA Commodore Noel Cornish AM on the announcement.

“There will be great racing pedigree across the three divisions for the 2021 series, such as nine-time Rolex Sydney Hobart Line Honours winner Wild Oats XI.

“We look forward to working with Australian Sailing and the fleet to lay a solid foundation for what will be an entertaining series for years to come.”

Peter Harburg, the owner of the RP100 Black Jack, expects the Australian Maxi Championship to bring together a world-class fleet.

“The Black Jack crew has always been keen to test itself against the world’s best and had gone to Europe in 2020 to compete in a number of key events for Maxi yachts,” he said.

“Sadly, these were not to be, and on returning to Australia, many of the disappointments and frustrations of race cancellations continued.

“We are very much looking forward to the opportunity to get back on the water later this year and to be involved in the inaugural Australian Maxi Championship series.

“Australia has the greatest fleet of 100-footers in the world, as well as countless other great Maxis across the various classes, and the opportunity to race against these crews, as well as other renowned international competitors, in the lead-up to one of the greatest offshore races, the Rolex Sydney Hobart, is truly exciting.”

“The Australian Maxi Championship is a fantastic initiative of Australian Sailing and the CYCA,” added David Griffith AM, CYCA Director and owner of the JV 62 Whisper. 

“As most major yachting centres in the world hold such events, it is timely for Sydney to host one for our big boats that will gather together just before the 2021 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.

“The spectacle of these big boats will be instrumental in raising interest in ocean racing and will inspire young sailors to aim to be part of this scene.”

In line with the announcement, CYCA has also declared that entries now open.

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