Video: Scallywag in near miss during Sydney Hobart warm-up
by Chris Jefferies
The Ragamuffin 100 racing yacht Scallywag had a near miss earlier this week (December 13) during the warm-up for the Rolex Sydney Hobart regatta.
The 14-mile SOLAS Big Boat Challenge is traditionally used as a shakedown for the main event and it almost turned sour when a maritime patrol boat and a spectator vessel got a little too close to the action, as this dramatic aerial footage shows:
Eyewitness reports claim that Scallywag was inches away from colliding with the two vessels, with her skipper having to thread the 30.48 metre sailing yacht through a highly congested area.
Despite this hair-raising turn of events, Scallywag went on to claim third place in the SOLAS Big Boat Challenge, with Wild Oats XI coming home first for the ninth time in her highly decorated career.
David Witt, skipper of Scallywag, later explained the close call to the Sydney Morning Herald: “I wasn't planning on going through the gap — I thought the maritime boat would back up, it's supposed to get out of the way. We spun the roulette wheel and came up with zero. [We were] very, very lucky.”
Recently purchased by Seng Huang Lee, Scallywag is competing at the Australian regatta for the third year running. Having finished third in 2014 and second in the 2015 Sydney Hobart Race, the crew will be hoping to go one better and win the top prize this year. A must-see for anyone taking a superyacht charter in Australia, the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race 2016 gets underway on December 26.