The Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2012 capped a historic staging with Bob Oatley’s supermaxi Wild Oats XI winning the line honours, first overall and breaking the race record for its second treble.
Bob Oatley and Mark Richard with the silverware as Patrick Boutellier presents the Rolex Yacht-Master
At 12.00pm today, Wild Oats XI was officially confirmed the overall winner of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s 2012 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.
The win cements Wild Oats XI, owner Bob Oatley and skipper Mark Richards’ place in history as the first to claim the treble; line honours, first overall and the race record - twice.
Richards steered the yacht to the treble in 2005, but it came in easier style than this time around, when the record was on, then off and on again in the closing stages. He said today that laying his hands on the Tattersall’s Cup (awarded to the overall winning yacht) was the ultimate achievement.
'There’s only a couple of boats competing for line honours, but the Tattersall’s Cup – it’s nearly the whole fleet - it’s a big deal,' he said.
The yacht shaved 16 minutes and 58 seconds off her 2005 record when she crossed the finish line on Friday 28 December at 07.23.12 AEDT.
Only one other yacht has ever won the trifecta; Captain John Illingworth’s Rani in the inaugural race in 1945.
This is Wild Oats’ sixth line honours victory. Only one other yacht Morna, later re-named Kurrewa IV, has done better. She won line honours seven times, but never won the race outright.
Richards is now setting his sights on equaling the record seven wins.
'You get close to something like that and it becomes a real goal for us,' he said. 'I’m sure there’ll be bigger and better boats out next year, so we’ll just see what happens.'
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2012