Australia's undisputed Super Lightweight World Champion, Kostya Tszyu, will swap his boxing gloves for sailing gloves tomorrow when he joins the crew of Nicorette for the 8th annual Canon Big Boat Challenge on Sydney Harbour.
On 3 November, Kostya made boxing history when he defeated IBF Champion Zab Judah, and so became the first boxer ever to hold all the major titles in the Super Lightweight division.
Nicorette skipper Ludde Ingvall invited Kostya to come on board for the race. "I have never met Kostya, but everyone has told me what a great sportsman he is and that he is family man who does a lot of work for youth charities. It will be a pleasure to race with him. We will put him to work on the grinders. I suspect he is going to give my big grinders a run for their money!"
"This has been an incredible year for me," said Kostya, "but very demanding. "Now I can relax and try few new sports. The opportunity to sail with a team that has won the Sydney to Hobart is wonderful".
The who's who of big boat racing will line up tomorrow for the Canon Big Boat Challenge, the only opportunity the Sydney Hobart Race line honours contenders have to square off before the Boxing Day start.
Twelve entries have been received for the maxi showdown including the 2000 Telstra Sydney to Hobart Race line honours winner Nicorette, the five-time line honours winner in this event, George Snow's Brindabella and Sean Langman's Grundig, which was recently lengthened to a 66-footer.
Spirit, the black-hulled international America's Cup class yacht seen regularly on the harbour will race tomorrow as Spirit - Xbox and will be up against Ian Treleaven's Line 7, John Kalbetzer's IMS racer Bumblebee 5, Bob Robertson's MBD 60 Eureka and the handicap winner of last year's Canon Big Boat Challenge, Colin O'Neil's Aftershock.
Bob Oatley's Another Duchess, sistership to Aftershock, will also be part of the impressive line up as will CYCA Vice Commodore Martin James' Farr 65 Infinity III, the brand new luxury cruiser/racer Icon (Richard Robbins) and making a brief return to racing, Charles Curran's Sydney 60 called Sydney.
Notably absent on the day will be Grant Wharington's Melbourne maxi Wild Thing, which arrives at the CYCA on December 16 after a long absence overseas competing on the European maxi circuit.
The 14 nautical mile spinnaker race starts at 12.30pm off Point Piper and finishes off the Opera House. Good vantage points for spectators include Bradleys Head, Darling Point and the Opera House.