Wild Oats XI
Wild Oats XI unusually retired from the past two Sydney Hobarts, when early on, her main split in half in 2015, leaving the gate open for Comanche. In 2016, hydraulic ram failure on the morning of Dec. 27 was her downfall. After taking line honours in the 2015 Transpac Race, radical modifications were made to the yacht – virtually cut in half – she re-emerged with a longer bow and shorter stern. Further tweaks were made after the Hobart and the super maxi took line honours in the 2016 Sydney Gold Coast race, then wiped over seven hours off her 2011 record in the Brisbane Keppel race. Pipped the newly re-christened 100ft Black Jack to the post (by 3mins 31secs) in the closest finish in 15 years in the 2017 Sydney Gold Coast race. Little has been done to the boat since, except her keel and its mechanism have been given a thorough going over and a new North 3Di RAW mainsail has been added.
In 2014, abnormally light airs in Bass Strait provided Wild Oats XI with her getaway card from a new Comanche, and she sailed to a record eighth Hobart line honours victory, outdoing Kurrewa IV/Morna’s record seven, held since 1960. Other achievements include triple victories of line/race record/overall win in the 2005 and 2012 Hobarts. She holds records in the Sydney Gold Coast (Open record set in 2012), Cabbage Tree Island (2012) and Port Hacking Bird Islet races (2013).Daniel Oatley, a Master Mariner and Bob’s grandson, joins the mostly tried and tested crew for a second time. Crew Steve Jarvin lines up for his 30th Hobart and a hopeful 14th line honours victory (his 13 are unprecedented) including two triple victories on this boat.
|Name||Wild Oats XI|
|Owner||The Oatley Family|
|Skipper||Mark Richards (15)|
|Navigator||Ian Burns & Juan Vila|
|Crew||A Henderson, B Marsh (1), C Harmsen (7), C Links (5), D Oatley (1), G Taylor (6), I Murray (23), J Hildebrand (12), J Whittaker (15), M Mason (3), M Shillington (11), P Magee (9), R Naismith (11), R Daniel (11), N Ellis, S Newton, S Jarvin, S Quigley, T Wiseman|