Please select your home edition
Edition
T Clewring - Generic

Hamilton Island Race Week - New configuration for Wild Oats XI

by Rob Mundle on 25 Jul 2012
Wild Oats XI under spinnaker © Andrea Francolini Photography http://www.afrancolini.com/
In the IRC Grand Prix division at next month’s Audi Hamilton Island Race Week, five-time line honours winner and race record holder in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race, supermaxi Wild Oats XI, will be testing a new underwater configuration while going for outright victory .

The yacht’s owner, Bob Oatley, decided that the seven-year-old, 30-metre long sloop needed a ‘makeover’ after being narrowly beaten in the battle for line honours in last year’s Hobart classic. Wild Oats XI could not match Anthony Bell’s Investec Loyal in light winds approaching the finish and was beaten into Hobart by just three minutes and eight seconds after racing for 627 nautical miles.

Wild Oats XI had been fitted with new, retractable daggerboards prior to that race, and after the finish Bob Oatley left Hobart convinced they slowed the boat in light weather.

Now, after three months of surgery which was carried out at Sydney’s Woolwich Dock, Wild Oats XI will appear at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week still carrying the same daggerboards, but with another retractable centreboard fitted on the centreline just three metres aft of the bow.

Wild Oats XI’s first test will come this weekend when she starts in the 384 nautical mile Audi Sydney Gold Coast Race, but the current weather forecast for the race from yachting meteorologist Roger Badham is for strong winds and a probable race record for Wild Oats XI. If that is the case then the race testing of the new light weather configuration will have to wait until Audi Hamilton Island Race Week, which starts on August 17.

Wild Oats XI skipper, Mark Richards, said the modifications to Wild Oats XI were made after exhaustive trials and analysis earlier this year.

We weren’t able to trial the two new daggerboards prior to the Hobart race, so it was only then that we found out that we had a speed problem in light winds’, Richards said. ‘When the yacht returned to Sydney we did a series of tests using extremely accurate GPS readings so we could analyse the yacht’s performance, and that led to us designing a symmetrical and retractable centreboard to be fitted near the bow.


‘We now expect to use that centreboard when sailing in winds of up to seven knots, then go through a transition phase as the wind increases in strength to a point where the centreboard is eventually fully retracted and the leeward daggerboard completely down.’

Richards said he was looking forward to being able to test Wild Oats XI over the full range of wind strengths usually experienced on the island courses at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week.

Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2012, which will be staged from August 17 to 25, is open to a wide spectrum of sailboats – from sport boats to cruising yachts, cruiser-racers and Grand Prix level keelboats, plus high-performance multihulls. The fleet is now approaching 150 in number, so it is likely between 180 and 200 yachts will be competing.

Audi Hamilton Island Race Week website

Zhik ZKG 660x82T Clewring Cruisingupffront 660x82

Related Articles

Oman Air stay top of Extreme Sailing Series table with podium place
Oman Air stayed top of the overall leaderboard after posting a third place in Act six and shifted focus to the next Act. Oman Air stayed top of the overall leaderboard after posting a third place in Act six in Madeira and immediately shifted their focus to the next Act in Lisbon, Portugal, in two weeks.
Posted on 25 Sep
Olympic Gold medalist and Volvo Ocean Race winner up for WS Board
Torben Grael (BRA) is amongst the 15 nominations for one of seven places on the Board of Directors of World Sailing Torben Grael (BRA) is amongst the 15 nominations for one of seven places on the Board of Directors of World Sailing in November. The five times Olympic medalist, Volvo Ocean Race winner and several times America's Cup competitor will bring a much needed sailing edge to the Board of World Sailing if he can navigate the politics of the controlling body of the sport.
Posted on 25 Sep
Olympic Gold medalist and Volvo Ocean Race winner up for WS Board
Torben Grael (BRA) is amongst the 15 nominations for one of seven places on the Board of Directors of World Sailing Torben Grael (BRA) is amongst the 15 nominations for one of seven places on the Board of Directors of World Sailing in November. The five times Olympic medalist, Volvo Ocean Race winner and several times America's Cup competitor will bring a much needed sailing edge to the Board of World Sailing if he can navigate the politics of the controlling body of the sport.
Posted on 25 Sep
Norauto foils to victory at the GC32 La Reserva de Sotogrande Cup
Racing in a light wind Minoprio’s desire to win the leeward position on the start line put Norauto in front in all races Racing in a light westerly Levante wind, Adam Minoprio’s desire to win the leeward position on the start line put Norauto in front in all three races, and he went on to win two of them.
Posted on 25 Sep
Team Tilt finish second at the GC32 La Reserva de Sotogrande Cup
Team Tilt added a second place to scoreboard this weekend at the penultimate event of what has been a successful season The seven crew members on board the 32-foot flying catamaran posted three outright wins from 15 races to finish second overall after Adam Minoprio on Norauto. Team Engie, skippered by Sebastien Rogues finished in third place.
Posted on 25 Sep
Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge - Images from Régates Royales
The final round of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge is underway at Cannes in the 38th Régates Royales. The final round of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge is underway at Cannes in the 38th Régates Royales with classic yachts and Dragons. Eugenia Bakunova of mainsail.ru was on the water at Cannes and provided this gallery of images from the penultimate day of the regatta.
Posted on 25 Sep
Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge - More images from Régates Royales
Second gallery from the final round of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge at Cannes The 38th Régates Royales, the final round of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge is underway at Cannes. Eugenia Bakunova of mainsail.ru was on the water at Cannes and provided this second gallery of images from the penultimate day.
Posted on 25 Sep
World Sailing - Henderson sets out foundations of his President bid
Paul Henderson is standing for another term as President to get some significant and vital issues facing Sailing address Paul Henderson is standing for another term as President to get some significant and vital issues facing Sailing addressed by sailors with their input both individually and via their International Class Associations. Henderson sets out below what he believes will be the foundations of his next Presidency.
Posted on 25 Sep
World Sailing President nominated by 45 Member National Associations
Incumbent World Sailing President, Carlo Croce (ITA) has welcomed nominations from 45 Member National Associations Incumbent World Sailing President, Carlo Croce (ITA) has nominations from 45 Member National Associations [MNAs] for his re-election as the President of Sailing’s International Federation. Nominations for the position of President have been formally published by World Sailing and show widespread support for Croce.
Posted on 25 Sep
World Sailing President nominated by 45 Member National Associations
Incumbent World Sailing President, Carlo Croce (ITA) has welcomed nominations from 45 Member National Associations Incumbent World Sailing President, Carlo Croce (ITA) has nominations from 45 Member National Associations [MNAs] for his re-election as the President of Sailing’s International Federation. Nominations for the position of President have been formally published by World Sailing and show widespread support for Croce.
Posted on 25 Sep