Please select your home edition
Edition
Southern Spars

Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2012 – Wild Oats XI ready to break own record

by Rob Mundle on 21 Dec 2012
XI, WILD OATS XI, Sail No: 10001, Owner: Mark Richards, Design: Reichel/Pugh 30 Mtr, LOA (m): 30.5, State: NSW Rolex Sydney Hobart
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2012 line honours contender Wild Oats XI is very much in position of shattering the record she set in 2005 with strong north easterly winds expected to blow throughout 628 nautical mile ocean race six days from now.

Considering the preliminary forecast for the Boxing Day race, there is an excellent chance that the 30-metre long supermaxi, which is owned by Bob Oatley and skippered by Mark Richards, can better the record time she set in 2005.

Wild Oats XI averaged 14.9 knots that year to establish the mark of 1 day, 18 hours, 40 minutes and 10 seconds.

Skipper Richards says that given the current forecast for strong and favourable north easterly winds for much of the course this year, his charge could achieve a new record time below 1 day, 13 hours.

‘It’s an exciting forecast when it comes to a race record, and it could get even better for us over the next few days,’ said Richards. ‘We need to average only 18 knots to get there in 35 hours, and I think that is very achievable. Beyond that, it won’t take much more breeze for us to see an average speed above 20 knots – possibly as high as 25 knots. An average of 22 knots would see us in Hobart in 28 hours.’

Richards is, however, tempering this excitement with a realistic approach to the race.

‘It’s a Hobart race – a long race – and as has been seen all too often, plenty of things can go wrong. My biggest concern is that we hit something at high speed and damage the yacht. At the same time, crew safety will be paramount, so we won’t be pushing the boat beyond the limits.

'We must also recognise that there are three other big boats in this race, and any one of them has the ability to be first to Hobart. Wild Oats XI might be the favourite for line honours, but we are far from a certainty. Just look at what happened to us last year.’

Yachting meteorologist Roger Badham, who is providing a special race forecast service for Wild Oats XI and many other competing yachts, says the current outlook suggests that a race record time is distinctly possible, but he won’t be confident of that until after he completes his race forecast based on tomorrow’s weather models.

The current outlook is for a spinnaker start in a south easterly breeze on Sydney Harbor at 1pm on Boxing Day. Once clear of the Heads the fleet will encounter a weakening southerly wind for the first few hours. It will turn easterly then north easterly later in the day. That north easterly could blow at between 25 and 30 knots throughout the next day, making for an exceptionally fast downwind course into Bass Strait and on to the coast of Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2012
Southern Spars - 100Helm Events 660x82Bakewell-White Yacht Design

Related Articles

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race – the better mousetrap
Rolex Sydney Hobart 2012 - The grand classic ocean race is remembered for many things. Rolex Sydney Hobart 2012 - The grand classic ocean race is remembered for many things from records and personal achievements, to tribulations and unfortunately, disasters too. 2012 will be no different in that department. However, rising out of the turmoil with a plan and path forward is the Supermaxi, Wild Thing and her enigmatic Skipper, Grant Wharington.
Posted on 2 Jan 2013
Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race video selection
Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race 2012 - A selection of videos Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race 2012 - A selection of videos including pre-race drama, 50 Golden Years three part documentary and more footage of the race.
Posted on 2 Jan 2013
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2012 – Quartet of honorary gentlemen
Sydney Hobart Race 2012 presented its highest award to John Kirkjian, Peter Campbell, Rowan Johnston and John Honeysett The Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2012 presented its highest award to John Kirkjian, Peter Campbell, Rowan Johnston and John Honeysett for their individual contributions to the Boxing Day spectacle throughout the years.
Posted on 1 Jan 2013
Sydney Hobart 2012 – Maluka of Kermandie's arrival formally ends race
Sydney Hobart race officially ended after Sean Langman-skippered Maluka of Kermandie crossed finish line at 9.40.12pm he Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2012 officially closed its curtain after Sean Langman-skippered Maluka of Kermandie crossed the finish line at 9.40.12pm, ending up last on line in the 628-nautical mile ocean race for the second consecutive year.
Posted on 1 Jan 2013
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2012 – Prizegiving on New Year’s Day
Sydney Hobart Race 2012 scheduled to formally award the trophies to the overall and divisional winners on January 1 The Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2012 is scheduled to formally award the trophies to the overall and divisional winners of this year’s Boxing Day Race classic at 11:00am on Tuesday 1 January 2013 at the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania.
Posted on 31 Dec 2012
Sydney Hobart 2012 – Dump Truckers vow return
Justin Wells, Dump Truck crew vow to compete in 628 nautical mile race after being forced to retire The Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2012 had been a testing journey for 2012 Ocean Racing Rookie of the Year Justin Wells and the crew of Dump Truck, who vowed to make their return in the Boxing Day classic after retiring from this year’s race with the finish line just roughly 100 nautical miles away.
Posted on 31 Dec 2012
Rolex Sydney Hobart 2012 - The match races within the race
The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race has been billed as the match races within the race The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race has been billed as the match races within the race – long-time foes battling for glory across several divisions, with just seconds separating winner from loser, while many had nervous waits for final results.
Posted on 31 Dec 2012
Rolex Sydney Hobart 2012 - Boats flood into Hobart with tales to tell
Day five of the 2012 Rolex Sydney Hobart has seen a flood of boats arriving in Hobart, each with tales to tell. Day five of the 2012 Rolex Sydney Hobart has seen a flood of boats arriving in Hobart, each with tales to tell. This has been a difficult race for the smaller boats; they have experienced a range of weather from good to bad. Few would deny theirs has been a true Rolex Sydney Hobart.
Posted on 31 Dec 2012
Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race video selection
Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race 2012 - A selection of videos Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race 2012 - A selection of videos including an interview with Wild Thing owner Grant Wharington, clips from the race start and Wild Oats XI crew celebrating their victory.
Posted on 30 Dec 2012
Sydney Hobart 2012 – Gold medalist looks for more sailing challenges
Australian Paralympian great Liesl Tesch enjoys latest Boxing Day race adventure, eyes more Sydney Hobart Race voyages The fast and furious nature of their latest Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race adventure makes Australian Paralympian great Liesl Tesch and the DisABILITIES crew craving for more 628-nautical mile voyage in the future.
Posted on 30 Dec 2012