by Tony Wilmot
Bob Oatley’s 30-Metre Super-Maxi Wild Oats X1 is a $1.65 favourite with Sportingbet Australia to pull off a Makybe Diva feat and win Sydney to Hobart Line Honours for the third consecutive year.
The Blue Water Classic is regarded as the Melbourne Cup of the sea and punters believe Wild Oats XI can pull off a Makybe Diva-like hat-trick.
Sportingbet Australia Betting Manager Bill Richmond agrees and says a recent re-jigging had the current race record holder looking very tough to beat.
'They tested a new mast in the recent Big Boat Challenge and had Wild Oats X1 absolutely flying', said Richmond.
'They’re the current titleholders and will do everything in their power to bring up a hat-trick.'
SAILING - Rolex Trophy 2007 RTS, Sydney (AUS) - 13/12/07 - WILD OATS XI - ph. Andrea Francolini - Rolex Trophy 2007
Richmond said that the withdrawal of New Zealand’s Maximus with keel damage meant that Fastnet winner City Index Leopard ($3.00) and 2003 winner Skandia ($5.00) seemed the likely dangers to Wild Oats X1.
'City Index Leopard has a top notch crew', said Richmond.
'You don’t win the Fastnet by not being able to sail and they will be very keen to create history by completing the double.'
'Meanwhile, they’ve rejuvenated Skandia with some modifications to her keel and Grant Warrington is one of the most experienced skippers doing the rounds.'
'Skandia was only beaten by 10 seconds in the Big Boat Challenge and could be worth a wager at decent odds.'
Sydney to Hobart Line Honours
Sportingbet Australia Market
Wild Oats XI 1.65
City Index Leopard 3.00
Ichi Ban 13.00
Andrew Short Marine Brindabella 81.00
Quantum Racing 81.00
Wot Yot 81.00
DHL - The Daily Telegraph 101.00
George Gregan Foundation 101.00
Hugo Boss II 101.00
Cougar II 151.00
Living Doll 201.00
All Others 251.00 +
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Bill Richmond Trading Floor Manager 0402 967 787
Tony Wilmot Acting Communications Manager 0415 125 818