Wild Oats XI
Wild Oats XI is the most successful yacht in the 70-year history of the Rolex Sydney Hobart race. She secured her seventh line honours victory under the guidance of Mark Richards in last year’s race. In 2012 she broke her own race record, which now stands at 1 day, 18 hours, 23 minutes 12 seconds, and won the race overall. It was the second time the supermaxi had achieved this historic treble, and the only boat to do so twice in the race’s history.
Once again, Wild Oats XI has been modified for the Rolex Sydney Hobart. Her bow has been streamlined, she will carry a new hydrofoil wing, and will be fitted with two new high-tech sails – a mainsail and a ‘code zero’ headsail. These modifications are aimed at keeping the nine-year-old yacht competitive against more recent designs. Richards and the crew now affectionately refer to their charge as the ‘Swiss Army Knife’, because of the number of appendages she boasts: a hydrofoil wing, a retractable forward centreboard, two retractable daggerboards, a canting keel, and the conventional rudder at the stern.
Wild Oats XI still holds the record for the most consecutive line honours wins – four – from 2005 to 2008, surpassing Morna’s record of three in a row achieved from 1946 to 1948. She also holds the race record for the CYCA’s Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race (22 hours, 3 minutes, 46 seconds, set in 2012) and the CYCA’s Cabbage Tree Island Race (12 hours, 15 minutes, 55 seconds, set in 2012). Richards and his crew will need to muster all their resources this year as four other supremely competitive supermaxis and their crews – including the new Comanche 100-footer from America – will be vying for a line honours win. Wild Oats XI’s navigator, Juan Vila, was navigator for the victorious Alinghi crew in the 2007 America’s Cup match.
|Yacht Name||Wild Oats XI|
|Skipper||Mark Richards (12)|
|Navigator||Juan Vila (1)|
|Crew||A Henderson (7), S Quigley (2), C Links (3), D Senogles (25), G Taylor (19), J Hildebrand (10), J Whittaker (5), M Shillington (8), M Mason (4), N Ellis (8), P MaGee (3), R Naismith (18), R Daniel (13), S Newton, S Jarvin (26), S Bannatyne (10), T Wiseman (8), I Murray|