Please select your home edition
Edition
Bakewell-White Yacht Design

A toast to Robert Oatley

by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World Team on 2 Oct 2013
A toast to Robert Oatley .
Over the last decade we've all talked over a bottle or two of red that Australia has the sailors to win the America's Cup and the Oatley family had the money.

Now Bob and Sandy have, almost when we least expected it, given Australian sailing the key Challenger of Record role ahead of the 35th America's Cup.

In 1968, the largest coffee trader in Papua New Guinea sold up and move to Mudgee, in the central state wine growing region, to found the Rosemount Estate winery.


Growing steadily, the Oatley’s Rosemount won lots of awards and gained a large following.

Then in 1982 NSW Premier Neville Wran announced that he's made a decision to terminate his Political career. Asked exactly how and when he had made this important decision, he said the previous evening half way thru a bottle of Rosemount Gold medal Chardonnay.

At that moment, the value of the Oatley families Rosemount Winery went through the roof,

Choosing the perfect time to tack, the Oatley's sold to Southcorp in 2001, consolidating their gain and then sold their residual share in 2005, again on the right side of a significant wind shift. All in all $1.5 billion dollars headed into the Oatley's bank accounts.


Meanwhile in 2003 a quiet little drink at the end of Hamilton Race Week had prompted the family into buying Hamilton Island, home to the largest ‘offshore’ regatta in the Southern Hemisphere.


In 2011 the Oatley's through Hamilton Island Yacht Club Commodore Iain Murray, the Regatta director for the 34th America's Cup, invited Golden Gate Club Yacht Club vice Commodore Tom Erhman to come to race week, bring the Auld Mug with him. Jimmy Spithill came for the party too.


Oatley's super-maxi yacht Wild Oats XI has taken line honours in the Sydney to Hobart yacht race six times, and is set for another crack in December.

Now in 2013-2014 the Oatley’s have the opportunity to put their stamp on the 35th Cup as the Challengers of Record.

Later on we, and thousands of other Australian sailors, will give you free advice on reconfiguring the America’s Cup – right now we just want to raise a toast... to Robert Oatley.

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
Kosinska to hit out against the Hyeres heavy metal in 2016 Olympic bid
Natalia Kosinska (NZL) will face a star-studded field in the Womens RS:X event at Hyeres later this week. 2016 Olympic aspirant, Natalia Kosinska (NZL) will face a star-studded field in the Womens RS:X event at the third round of the Sailing World Cup Hyeres.
Posted on 26 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
Rio2016 - Winther hits ball firmly into Olympic selectors' court
2012 Olympic representative, Sara Winther has made a strong bid for inclusion in the 2016 NZ Olympic Sailing Team 2012 Olympic representative, Sara Winther has made a strong bid for inclusion in the 2016 NZ Olympic Sailing Team finishing 11th in the 2016 Laser Radial World Championships in Mexico. Running a self-funded campaign which took in the Princesca Sofia Regatta in Palma, Spain followed by the World Championship on Banderas Bay, Mexico, Winther placed 11th overall and 10th country.
Posted on 21 Apr
Sailing World Cup Hyeres - Kosinska flies out in RS-X Olympic bid
Women's RS:X Windsurfer sailor, Natalia Kosinska (NZL) flew out of Auckland today for the Sailing World Cup Hyeres Women's RS:X Windsurfer sailor, Natalia Kosinska (NZL) flew out of Auckland today for the Sailing World Cup Hyeres, in her final attempt to gain NZ Olympic selection. Kosinska has been training in her own program in New Zealand with the 2015 Women's World Champion, Chen Peina (CHN) in the RS:X Windsurfer, and Zhichao Zhang the Men's #4 at the 2015 Worlds in Oman
Posted on 18 Apr
Laser Radial Worlds - Winther makes top three in final Qualifying race
2012 Olympic Representative, Sara Winther continues to improve at the 2016 Laser Radial Worlds 2012 Olympic Representative, Sara Winther continues to improve at the 2016 Laser Radial Worlds and has moved up the leaderboard to be in 12th place at the end of the shortened Qualifying Round. She placed third in the only race sailed today and continues to improve as the regatta progresses, and her confidence builds.
Posted on 18 Apr
Laser Radial Worlds - Winther scores three single digit places - Day 3
New Zealand 2012 Olympic representative, Sara Winther has advanced three places up the points table New Zealand 2012 Olympic representative, Sara Winther has advanced three places up the points table at the 2016 Laser radial Worlds being sailed in Mexico. She now lies in 15th place overall after three days of racing. She achieved single digit scores in the three races sailed today, despite hitting marks in two races and having to perform penalty turns.
Posted on 17 Apr
Laser Radial Worlds - Kiwis locked in Olympic selection fight - Day 2
The points gap has narrowed between the two elading New Zealand contenders for 2016 Olympic selection The points gap has narrowed between the two lading New Zealand contenders for 2016 Olympic selection in the Womens Singlehanded Laser Radial class.
Posted on 16 Apr
Laser Radial Worlds - Winther off to a handy start in light airs
Sara Winther has got away to a handy start to the 2016 Laser Radial Worlds, being sailed in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico. Sara Winther has got away to a handy start to the 2016 Laser Radial Worlds, being sailed in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico. She is best placed of the three New Zealand competitors in the regatta, lying in 22nd overall after two races were sailing the Qualifying Round.
Posted on 15 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
Doyle Sails NZ - Never Look BackKilwell - 1Lancer Inflatables - BJ