Wild Oats XI
Returning for the eighth year in a row isWild Oats XI with skipper Mark Richards at the helm and most of her regulars aboard, who are hungry for a sixth Rolex Sydney Hobart line honours title from eight starts, only beaten byAlfa Romeo in 2009 andInvestec Loyal last year, just to make things more interesting. Wild Oats XI is the holder of the race record, which she took in 2005 when she won the treble, in the time of 1 day 18hrs 40mins 10secs - the only boat to win the treble since Rani in the first race in 1945.
Bob Oatley's super maxi also holds the record for the most consecutive line honours wins - four - from 2005 until 2008, surpassing Morna's record of three in a row achieved from 1946-1948. In 2009, Wild Oats XI, along with a couple of others, underwent extensive modifications to increase her overall length from 98ft to 100ft, in accordance with the rule changes to extend the maximum length overall of yachts to 100ft.
After Investec Loyal beat her to line honours in last year's race, in light conditions that the lead boats felt on the Tasmanian coast, Wild Oats XI has a new configuration below the waterline. She still has the retractable daggerboards fitted for the 2011 race, but now has another retractable centreboard on the centerline, three metres aft of the bow.
Earlier this year, Wild Oats XI claimed her third line honours win in the Audi Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race and set a new Open race record of 22hrs, 3mins, 46secs, finally beating the 13 year record set by conventional yacht, Brindabella.The super maxi also broke her own 2010 Cabbage Tree Island Race record in November, slicing nearly two hours off it, firming her chances considerably. Features regular top crew, including navigator Adrienne Cahalan, coming up for her 21st Hobart race - the most by any woman.
|Yacht Name||Wild Oats XI|
|Skipper||Mark Richards (10)|
|Navigator||Adrienne Cahalan (20)|
|Crew||C Harmsen, G Taylor (17), I Murray (18), J Hildebrand (8), J Wilson (6), J Whittaker (10), M Shillington (17), N Ellis (7), R Naismith (16), R Daniel (11), S Beavis (3), S Jarvin (24), S Bannatyne (2), S Runnow (23), T Wiseman (8)|