How close is too close! Watch as the super-maxi yacht, Scallywag, is skilfully manoeuvred between two patrol boats to avoid disaster during the Sydney's Big Boat Challenge

It was certainly a heart in your mouth moment for the crew of the super-maxi yacht, Scallywag.

The 100-foot racing yacht was forced to squeeze between two patrol boats just after the start of the Big Boat Challenge in Sydney, Australia.

Footage of the near collision shows Scallywag was just feet away from hitting the New South Wales Roads and Maritime Services patrol boat.

Speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald, the super-maxi’s skipper, David Witt, said: “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 – very, very lucky,” he added.

The patrol vessel was one of eight on the water during the race assisting with traffic control on the water.

A spokesman for the New South Wales Roads and Maritime Services said the congestion during the race brought them “unique challenges”.

He added that staff work closely with race organisers and “where improvements are identified in any aspect of the race, including our own conduct, they are made.”.

The Big Boat Challenge is the chance for skippers to showcase their yachts ahead of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, which begins on Boxing Day.

Scallywag placed third overall in the race, losing out to its rival Wild Oats XI.

The eight times Sydney to Hobart winner won in a time of one hour, four minutes and 14 seconds.

Perpetual LOYAL crossed the line three minutes and 11 seconds later to take second while Scallywag was just over five minutes behind Wild Oats XI.