The Race Committee of the Rolex Sydney Hobart has announced this morning that Grant Wharington’s super maxi Wild Thing will not be allowed to race.
Just two and a half hours before the start of the race, Cruising Yacht Club of Australia Commodore, Howard Piggott, announced: "The Race Committee of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race will not be accepting the entry of the boat Wild Thing as a result of non-compliance with the Notice of Race, in particular NOR 4.1, dealing with documentation to be lodged and verification of construction requirements.
"The Race Committee has worked with the owner of the boat, Grant Wharington, to allow him up to three hours prior to the start of the race to provide the documentation required however that has not been forthcoming, and the Race Committee has no option but to not accept the entry of Wild Thing."
Piggott said the Race Committee had been working with Wharington over recent days to try to get the necessary documentation lodged, and had extended the deadline until 10am this morning, three hours before the start.
Wild Thing has undergone extensive modifications in recent months, including a new a section of her hull that added two feet to her overall length. The race rules require that a boat designer and builder provide declarations that the yacht has been built to ABS standards.
"This is the final decision of the Race Committee, that puts safety first," Piggott told the media at a press conference.
He added: "It's disappointing; we've made every effort. I assure you we want to see boat's racing. However, it's out of our hands. We must comply with the Notice of Race, and ensure our safety standards are maintained. I believe we just have to get on with it now and go out and yacht race."
By Jim Gale, Rolex Sydney Hobart media team