Please select your home edition
Edition
Kilwell - September

Rolex Sydney Hobart 2012 - Wild Oats XI crushes race record

by Di Pearson on 28 Dec 2012
Wild Oats XI crossed the finish line at 7.23.12 this morning © Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi http://www.carloborlenghi.net
In the 2012 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, Bob Oatley’s five-time line honours winner, Wild Oats XI, beat her 2005 record time this morning, in a gentle glide to the finish that kept everyone on the edge of their seats. She finished in one day, 18 hours, 23 minutes and 12 seconds, taking 16 minutes and 58 seconds of her old record.

The time difference was a long one in terms of how the crew would have been feeling in those last 16 minutes of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s 628 nautical mile race. Could they or couldn’t they?

At 5am today, Wild Oats XI’s 2005 record of one day, 18 hours, 40 minutes and 10 seconds seemed out of reach, but at about 7am, her dashed hopes were revived, and as the minutes ticked by, her chances improved.

Initially, skipper Mark Richards and his crew were a tantalisingly 40 minutes outside the record time and were expected to finish at about 8.30am. However, as the clock ticked, the super maxi picked up speed to around 15 knots and her finish time was upgraded to 8.00am, then 7.50am, 7.36am, 7.23am and 7.13am with five nautical miles to go.

The breeze eased. Richards ordered a bigger headsail to keep it moving, which ended with their record victory. It remains to be seen whether Wild Oats XI can go all the way and take the treble (victory on corrected time as well as line honours and the race record).

Dockside, Richards said: 'We’re all over the moon. How many places have this level of race with a fleet this size?

'Last year we were beaten by Investec Loyal (now Ragamuffin-Loyal) by three minutes, which was very disappointing. This year we beat them by much more.'

Syd Fischer’s Ragamuffin-Loyal that was about 45 miles behind the line honours winner.

'We’ll be back next year,' Richards said.


Of the new record, he said: 'We just kept chipping away. You expect it to be light in the Derwent and it did get lighter towards the end. This is a very testing event and the Derwent is very, very, testing. It’s always a tough race.

'We have a great bunch of people on board and we’re all good mates,' Richards said of the mostly long term crew who were aboard in 2005 and are still sailing the boat today.

Of navigator Adrienne Cahalan (who was aboard for the 2005 record) and co-navigator Tom Addis, Richards said: 'They did a great job. It’s a difficult job with meteorology to look at, all the updates and critical decisions to make.'

Richards also praised tactician Iain Murray, who has taken time out of his role as Regatta Director and CEO of the America's Cup Race Management (ACRM) organisation to return to sail the yacht again.

'I can’t wait to give the Oatley family a big hug,' Richards said, grinning from ear to ear.

He said that although the race was a relatively easy one 'we had some very hard and fast running conditions; we blew out a spinnaker and had some gear failure, so it wasn’t all smooth sailing'.

Covered live on Channel 7, the tension could be seen in the faces and movements of the Wild Oats XI crew, which included Murray, Cahalan and Addis and Steve Jarvin, who was thrilled to claim the record on his milestone 25th race, as they sailed the final miles to Castray Esplanade.

Through dint of luck, or just choosing the right boats, Jarvin also holds the record for the most line honours victories in the race’s history, this being his tenth.

Following his boat down the Derwent River aboard a spectator boat, owner Bob Oatley looked close to tears as his ever-evolving yacht made it across the line in record time. Joining Oatley in the celebrations were his wife Val, son Sandy and their families.

'We've never given up; we'll try to do it again next year.

'New wings on the keel helped enormously I'm sure, so did the new jib. The design, the crew, the sails and the modifications are what makes the boat fast,' Oatley said dockside.

'I’m over the moon,' he added, keen to reach Richards, or Ricko, as he’s known in yachting circles, and the crew.

Wild Oats XI will go into the history books as only the second boat in the history of the race to break its own race record. Only Morna, later renamed Kurrewa IV, exceeds that record, have cracked its race record Rolex Sydney Hobart website

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
From Olympic flag to Olympic Gold and maybe another
The Sydney Olympics was a Sailing double 470 Gold event for Australia. Having won the 420 World Championship in 2000, the feeder class to the 470, while still at school in Australia young Matt Belcher was given the honour of carrying the Olympic flag during the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
Posted on 28 Apr
The Road to Rio now 99 days short
The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win. The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win in Hyeres, at some World championship events and Weymouth World Cup but for many crews: 'It's 106 miles to Chicago we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses.' Whoops wrong movie.
Posted on 28 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
An interview with Jake Beattie about the 2016 Race to Alaska
In 2014, Jake Beattie and a few friends envisioned the Race to Alaska. Now, it’s time this wild race’s second edition. In 2014, Jake Beattie-the executive director of the Northwest Maritime Center in Port Townsend, Washington, and a few friends hatched the bold idea of a human-powered race to Ketchikan, Alaska, took flight. They decided that their human-powered race would start in Port Townsend, Washington and run to Ketchikan, by way of the inside passage between Vancouver Island and British Columbia.
Posted on 14 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
Go fast girls - 49er FX sailors Paris Henken and Helena Scutt
Paris Henken and Helena Scutt will be representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics, which will be their first Olympiad. American’s Paris Henken (20) and Helena Scutt (23) recently won a berth to represent the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the high-performance 49er FX skiff, a goal that the team has been working on for almost three years. While this is their first Games, writing them off as Olympic newbies would require ignoring their recent results and their strong teamwork.
Posted on 13 Apr
World Sailing Cup V3 - A Dead Rat in a Shoe or Spring Daffodils?
While a host of major sailing events go from strength to strength, the Sailing World Cup has very major issues. Last night my Irish better half was sitting beside me on the sofa watching an Australian version of the popular TV Cooking Program My Kitchen Rules on a tablet with her headphones while I was watching Diehard II for the seventeenth time (it’s a boy thing) on TV. She suddenly spluttered and laughed, took off her headphones and motioned for me to mute Diehard. (Seriously!!)
Posted on 9 Apr
Volvo Ocean Race appoints stadium racing pioneer as new CEO
Sail-World forecast the appointment of Mark Turner as Volvo Ocean Race CEO a month ago. We profiled Turner at that time. Sail-World forecast the appointment of Mark Turner as Volvo Ocean Race CEO a month ago. We profiled Turner at that time. Today his appointment has been confirmed.
Posted on 31 Mar
Large spectator fleet heading north for boat watching season
I’m absolutely not going to lay claim to the phrase, but it is insanely apt and hilarious all at the same time, however. I’m absolutely not going to lay claim to the phrase. It is insanely apt and hilarious, all at the same time, however. Well then, boat watching season is definitely upon us once more. The whales will soon be gathering again off the coast of Queensland to observe all manner of racing and cruising craft as they head North for a Winter in the sun.
Posted on 29 Mar
Naiad/Oracle SupplierNorth Technology - Southern SparsKilwell - 4