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Sail-World.com : Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Strong fleet ready for action
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Strong fleet ready for action

'Wild Oats XI in action'    Andrea Francolini    Click Here to view large photo

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - A fleet made up of 94 yachts, including 22 international entrants, five 100-ft Maxis, seven former winners and the current race record holder, is arguably the strongest in recent race history. Running for the 69th uninterrupted year and sponsored by Rolex since 2002, the 2013 edition of the 628-nm race starts – as is tradition – on 26 December from Sydney Harbour.

'What an amazing line up we have this year, it’s a very exciting prospect for all of us,' comments Mark Richards, skipper of Bob Oatley’s 100-ft Maxi Wild Oats XI. Six-time line honours winner and current race record holder (1 day, 18 hours, 23 minutes and 12 seconds), Wild Oats XI is one of the race’s symbolic names and has undergone extensive structural improvements over the course of the past year in a bid to equal Morna’s (later Kurrewa IV) record of seven line honours victories. It will not be easy; she faces a stringent examination of her credentials with the emergence of a new rival.

Anthony Bell’s Perpetual Loyal is another 100-footer, and is expected to provide a stern test. 'It will be a tough battle with Wild Oats XI,' explained Bell, line honours winner in 2011 with his previous boat, 'we’re up against the best maxi racing team in the world – they’re like the Ferrari team of ocean racing.' Perpetual Loyal, the former Rambler 100, boasts vast speed potential and a talented crew including Australian Olympian Tom Slingsby.

'This will be my first Rolex Sydney Hobart and my first offshore ocean race. I haven’t been sick on a yacht before – only once when I was on a fishing boat – so I’m curious as to how I’ll fair!,' said Slingsby, ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year in 2010. 'The two boats are very different craft,' added Richards. 'Wild Oats is a long, narrow boat, Perpetual Loyal is very beamy and a very powerful boat. It’s going to come down to the conditions.'

Perpetual Loyal powered up. -  Crosbie Lorimer   Click Here to view large photo

Wild Oats XI and Perpetual Loyal know that focusing only on each other could have detrimental consequences, with the fleet comprising three other 100-ft yachts with similar ambitions of finishing first – Wild Thing, Zefiro and Ragamuffin 100. Skippered by Australian sailing legend Syd Fischer, 86 years young and preparing for his 45th Rolex Sydney Hobart, the latter will not lack experience. Tony Ellis will compete alongside Fischer for an incredible 41st time while taking part in his 47th ‘sail south’ to Hobart, Tasmania.

The fleet is peppered with former winners, both sailors and boats. 2012 was a fast boat edition with Wild Oats XI claiming the overall win on handicap and the famous Tattersall’s Cup. The limelight, as history proves, can be stolen by any boat in the fleet, professional or amateur-crewed. Recent winners include a vast range of yacht types – including the 47-ft Love & War in 2006; the 40-ft Two True in 2009 and the 60-ft Loki in 2011.

'As a kid it’s something you always dream of. Just doing the race is fantastic, but to be a winner is the ultimate in sailing for Australian blokes,' explained Geoff Boettcher who led the 51-ft Secret Men’s Business 3.5 to success in 2010. It is one of the seven former winners to participate in the 2013 race although will sail as under the guise Primitive Cool with John Newbold.

The last overseas entrant to win the race was American Roger Sturgeon’s 65-ft Rosebud, back in 2007. A statistic the large contingent of overseas entrants will seek to alter, in particular Karl Kwok from Hong Kong, who could become the first foreign owner to win the race twice.

Kwok last won the Rolex Sydney Hobart in 1997 and this year inaugurates his latest Beau Geste. Also seeking a place in history is Martin Power’s Bacardi, a yacht that will set a record for most Rolex Sydney Hobarts completed if she finishes for a 28th time.

Event website


by Jennifer Crooks RSHYR media


  

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2013 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race

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News - USA and the World

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The overnight and morning finishes have been marked by some very close racing in the Rolex Sydney Hobart race. The battle for third place was won by Ragamuffin (Syd Fischer), after the canting keel supermaxi dropped back significantly yesterday afternoon, and then powered through in the fresh northerly ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart: Wild Oats XI and Comanche Finish Images *Feature by Crosbie Lorimer, Hobart, Tasmania
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Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2014: In what skipper Mark Richards described as the crew’s most hard-fought line honours triumph, Wild Oats XI held off the impressive challenge posed by Comanche, the newly-launched entry from the United States. Completing the race in 2 days, 2 hours, 3 minutes and 26 seconds, Wild Oats XI finished eight hours shy of the race record she set in 2012. ... [more]  

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Top international yachting photographer, Carlo Borlenghi was in the air above the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race fleet and provided these images of the third day of racing in the classic ocean race, as the leaders closed in on the finish, and the dock celebrations by Wild Oats XI. ... [more]  

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Photographer Andrea Francolini was on the water at 2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race line honours finish and provided this gallery of images. ... [more]  

Wild Oats XI entered the Derwent River some forty minutes ahead of Comanche at the Iron Pot and gybed her way up river in 5-10 knot southeaster, bright sunshine and crystal clear light to take a record breaking eighth line honours win in this race at 3.03pm The size of spectator fleet that accompanied Wild Oats XI and the crowds on the dock were much the largest ever sen for this race. ... [more]  

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Rolex Sydney Hobart Wild Oats XI takes number eight by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World Team
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2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Wild Oats XI is still leading the 2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart, some 38-nm from Hobart, and hoping to close in on a record eighth line honours win. ... [more]  

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Rolex Sydney Hobart: Wild Oats rounds Tasman Island by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com/nz
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Rolex Sydney Hobart 2014; Handicap Honours Predictions VIDEO *Feature by Dale Lorimer, Hobart, Tasmania
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Sydney Hobart 2014: A ridge too far for Comanche by Bruce Montgomery, RSHYR Media
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By Grand Prix ocean racing standards she’s an old girl, and there’s no denying she’s had a few makeovers during the past decade, but Bob Oatley’s 30-metre long supermaxi, Wild Oats XI, was leaving no doubt today that when it came to speed she’s still got great legs. ... [more]  

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