Please select your home edition
Edition
Zhik Yachting Range

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Wild Oats XI perfectly prepared

by Rob Mundle on 25 Dec 2013
First light: Wild Oats XI nears the finish in last year’s Rolex Sydney Hobart race. She went on to claim the triple crown – line honours, first on handicap and a race record time © Rolex/Daniel Forster http://www.regattanews.com
If for no other reason, the crew of Bob Oatley’s Rolex Sydney Hobart race record holder – the thirty metre long supermaxi, Wild Oats XI – have declared that the yacht is now perfectly prepared, simply because the legendary chicken pies made by his granddaughter, Nicky, are back on the menu for the race.

'We didn’t have Nicky’s pies on board for the race last year,' said the yacht’s manager, John Hildebrand, 'and the guys complained all the way to Hobart.

'It was a problem we obviously had to fix, and fortunately for us, Nicky agreed to return to the kitchen and make a special batch for this year’s race. The guys love them, possibly because they have a special ingredient: apart from fresh chicken, they contain a liberal dose of Wild Oats Pinot Grigio, which most definitely tantalises the tastebuds.'

Yesterday, 40 of the delectable pies – two for each crew member – were the last items to be put aboard Wild Oats XI at Woolwich Dock in preparation for the start of the 628 nautical mile classic at 1pm on Boxing Day.

Now the crew must wait for the final pre-race weather forecast on Boxing Day so they can decide which sails to put aboard. That done, it will be 'all systems go!'

The official pre-race weather briefing at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia in Sydney yesterday did not bring any clarity to the major meteorological unknowns hanging over the race: in fact the forecast created as many questions as it did answers. The only thing that appears certain is that the largest and fastest yachts will have a relatively easy passage to Hobart while the smaller yachts at the tail of the fleet are likely to cop a hammering from a gale in Bass Strait, and down the east coast of Tasmania. Such gales are not uncommon in this race.

Yachting meteorologist, Roger ‘Clouds’ Badham, suggested that 48 hours out from the start he was still searching for some certainty in the forecast: 'Just when you thought the outlook was settling, the latest computer models for the weather have caused a total re-think for the whole race!'

If anything, the prognosis confirms that the race for line honours will be an even greater battle between the four 30-metre long supermaxis – Wild Oats XI, Perpetual Loyal, Ragamuffin 100 and Wild Thing. Also, the new, and untried, 80-footer, Beau Geste, could easily come into the mix.

The Rolex Sydney Hobart race starts on Sydney Harbour at 1pm on Boxing Rolex Sydney Hobart website

Related Articles

Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr
The Road to Rio now 99 days short
The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win. The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win in Hyeres, at some World championship events and Weymouth World Cup but for many crews: 'It's 106 miles to Chicago we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses.' Whoops wrong movie.
Posted on 28 Apr
America's Cup - Oracle Racing win in Court but with collateral damage
Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Mitchell focussed largely on the circumstances of the matter and introduced into the public arena some interesting documents to support his claims.
Posted on 23 Apr
Children of the Internet, Rio and Hong Kong
I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. The kind of conversations I have with her run along these lines.... In the olden days we did not have television until I left school and they had a thing called print magazines, that reported events between two weeks and four months after they happened. And her sceptical response... Hoh! Daddy, Hoh!
Posted on 14 Apr
Go fast girls - 49er FX sailors Paris Henken and Helena Scutt
Paris Henken and Helena Scutt will be representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics, which will be their first Olympiad. American’s Paris Henken (20) and Helena Scutt (23) recently won a berth to represent the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the high-performance 49er FX skiff, a goal that the team has been working on for almost three years. While this is their first Games, writing them off as Olympic newbies would require ignoring their recent results and their strong teamwork.
Posted on 13 Apr
World Sailing Cup V3 - A Dead Rat in a Shoe or Spring Daffodils?
While a host of major sailing events go from strength to strength, the Sailing World Cup has very major issues. Last night my Irish better half was sitting beside me on the sofa watching an Australian version of the popular TV Cooking Program My Kitchen Rules on a tablet with her headphones while I was watching Diehard II for the seventeenth time (it’s a boy thing) on TV. She suddenly spluttered and laughed, took off her headphones and motioned for me to mute Diehard. (Seriously!!)
Posted on 9 Apr
Volvo Ocean Race appoints stadium racing pioneer as new CEO
Sail-World forecast the appointment of Mark Turner as Volvo Ocean Race CEO a month ago. We profiled Turner at that time. Sail-World forecast the appointment of Mark Turner as Volvo Ocean Race CEO a month ago. We profiled Turner at that time. Today his appointment has been confirmed.
Posted on 31 Mar
Large spectator fleet heading north for boat watching season
I’m absolutely not going to lay claim to the phrase, but it is insanely apt and hilarious all at the same time, however. I’m absolutely not going to lay claim to the phrase. It is insanely apt and hilarious, all at the same time, however. Well then, boat watching season is definitely upon us once more. The whales will soon be gathering again off the coast of Queensland to observe all manner of racing and cruising craft as they head North for a Winter in the sun.
Posted on 29 Mar
Laser creator Ian Bruce passes away (1933 - 2016)
Ian Bruce, driving force behind the Laser dinghy, sadly passed away at his daughter's home on Monday March 21 2016. Ian Bruce, driving force behind the Laser dinghy, sadly passed away at his daughter's home on Monday March 21 2016. His legacy to our sport, Canadian sailing and his beloved Royal St. Lawrence Yacht Club will be praised and honoured for years to come.
Posted on 24 Mar
Rio 2016 - Kiwi women sailors jump to escape Olympic Selectors' axe
Two New Zealand sailors will head overseas on self-funded campaigns to gain selection in the New Zealand Olympic team Two New Zealand women sailors will head overseas on self-funded campaigns to gain selection in the New Zealand Olympic team in what is expected to be the final round of announcements.
Posted on 18 Mar
Schaefer 2016 660x82T Clewring One DesignNorth Technology - Southern Spars