sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Sail-World.com : Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Wild Oats XI set to fly
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Wild Oats XI set to fly

'Wild Oats XI'    Peter Blakeman

The Wild Oats XI officially unveiled on Sunday the three key changes in her armoury in an attempt to win line honours for Boxing Day’s Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race and even shatter the record of 1 day, 18 hours, 40 minutes, and 10 seconds the supermaxi booked seven years ago.

Bob Oatley’s Rolex Sydney Hobart race record holder – and five time line honours winner – Wild Oats XI, today unveiled three significant additions to her armoury for this year’s race, which starts on Boxing Day.

All three changes have been designed to improve Wild Oats XI’s speed in light winds, and to provide an even better opportunity for her to break her race record time of 1 day, 18 hours, 40 mins, 10 seconds, which the 30-metre long supermaxi set in 2005.

The improvements have come as a consequence of the big boat missing line honours in last year’s 628 nautical mile Hobart race by a mere three minutes after sailing for two days, 6 hours and 17 minutes.

Two of the changes have been made to the underwater configuration, and the third to Wild Oats XI’s sail inventory.

Keel Winglets: The most interesting change underwater is to the keel where winglets have been added to the aft end of the yacht’s 12-tonne lead ballast bulb. These are not dissimilar to the winglets seen on the wingtips of modern commercial jet aircraft. At the same time, Wild Oats XI’s winglets could be said to have a lineage which extends back to the 1983 America’s Cup winner, Australia II, and her famous winged keel. Just as was the case with that yacht, and today’s jet aircraft, Wild Oats XI’s winglets have been designed to reduce drag by straightening out the flow of water coming off the trailing edge of the keel bulb: they minimise what are called tip vortices – speed-sapping turbulence in the form of small eddies. They have been designed by hydrodynamic and aerodynamic specialists, some of whom are involved with the latest America’s Cup yachts.

17/12/12, Sydney, Australia, Wild Oats XI revealing speed enhancing underwater modifications at Woolwich Dock -  Peter Blakeman   Click Here to view large photo


Retractable Bow Centreboard: After watching his yacht miss line honours in the 2011 Rolex Sydney Hobart race, octogenarian Bob Oatley was convinced that one of the primary reasons for the yacht lacking speed in light winds was the drag caused by the two daggerboards which were fitted just prior to that race – and he was right.

After extensive testing back in Sydney, and three months of hull surgery, Wild Oats XI was relaunched carrying the same daggerboards, but with another retractable centreboard fitted on the centreline three metres aft of the bow. Mark Richards, the yacht’s skipper, explained this modification: ‘We weren’t able to trial the two new daggerboards prior to the last Hobart race, so it was only during the race that we realised we had a speed problem in light winds.

'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 use that centreboard when sailing upwind in winds of up to seven knots, then we go through a transition phase as the wind increases in strength to a point where the centreboard is eventually fully retracted and one of the two existing daggerboards is completely down. When sailing downwind all three appendages are retracted to reduce drag.’

17/12/12, Sydney, Australia, Wild Oats XI revealing speed enhancing underwater modifications at Woolwich Dock -  Peter Blakeman   Click Here to view large photo


Code Zero Headsail: If there was one thing missing in Wild Oats XI’s sail arsenal last year it was the very latest and largest possible Code Zero light-weather headsail – but that will not be the case this year. Bob Oatley has had made especially for this year’s race a headsail of gargantuan proportions – 535 square metres … larger than two tennis courts. It is so large that the foot (bottom) of the sail will extend from the tip of the bowsprit to a point that is three-quarters of the way along the deck of the 30-metre long yacht. The sail, from North Sails in Sydney, is made using the very latest technology. The ultra-lightweight 3DI fabric comprises carbon, aramid and Dyneema yarns.

17/12/12, Sydney, Australia, Wild Oats XI revealing speed enhancing underwater modifications at Woolwich Dock -  Peter Blakeman   Click Here to view large photo


Mark Richards, who has skippered Wild Oats XI to all five of her Rolex Sydney Hobart race victories, gave his overview on the changes to the yacht: ‘Last year’s line honours result confirmed that every second counts, even in a race over 628 nautical miles, so this year we have gone in search of where we can gain seconds as well as, possibly, hours.

‘The winglets on the keel will make us just that little bit faster in all weather, and the new retractable centreboard will give us more speed in light winds, as will the huge Code Zero headsail. That sail is like replacing a rifle with a canon.

‘As was all too evident for us last year, we can’t control the weather, but we can go into the race knowing that we can do no more when it comes to having the fastest possible yacht, and that is the case this year. Thanks to Bob Oatley’s commitment, Wild Oats XI has never been better prepared for a Rolex Sydney Hobart race. Now it’s up to us – the crew – and the weather to decide the outcome.’

The critical nature of these improvements is seen in the fact that had Wild Oats XI been just one second per mile faster in last year’s race she would have completed the course almost 11 minutes faster than she did – more than three times the difference between line honours and second place!


by Rob Mundle

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=104770

6:36 AM Mon 17 Dec 2012GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.


Related News Stories:

16 Dec 2012  CYCA Trophy Series 2012 - Final Day images by Andrea Francolini
16 Dec 2012  Trophy Passage Series 2012 – Ichi Ban edges Lahana for overall crown
16 Dec 2012  Trophy Passage Series 2012 – Lahana squeaks past Ichi Ban in Race 2
14 Dec 2012  Wild Oats XI to unveil new keel modification ahead of Boxing Day race
14 Dec 2012  Trophy-Passage Series 2012 - Important pre-Hobart hit out
14 Dec 2012  Rolex Sydney Hobart - Ragamuffin-Loyal crew prepare for action
13 Dec 2012  Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2013 - Ragamuffin-Loyal suffers injury
12 Dec 2012  Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Helsal to pay respect for Joe Adams
11 Dec 2012  Rolex Sydney Hobart - It's anyone's race
10 Dec 2012  Big Boat Challenge 2012 – All-out war to unfold off Sydney Harbour
MORE STORIES ...






News - USA and the World

Team GBR’s Sparky on the Road to Rio (Part Two) *Feature by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World Team,


Team GBR’s Sparky on the Road to Rio (Part Two) by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World Team,
















Team GBR on the Road to Rio (Part One) by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World team,
















































ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres - Sailors tweet about opening day
49er Blog: Glorious racing to kick start Hyeres World Cup
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Continuous close racing
ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyères - Fluttering flags whet sailors appetite
Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta - Race 4 images by Jude Robertson
ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres - US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider Day 1
ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres - Day 1 Nacra 17 images by Thom Touw
ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres - Day 1 Laser images by Thom Touw
ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres: Ioannis Mitakis leads Finns after day 1
RC44 Cascais Cup - Fresh faces join the line-up
ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres - Excellent racing on opening day
ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres - Images by Yvan Zedda and Franck Socha
ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres - Day 1 images by Franck Socha
Hyeres World Cup: Kiwis lead but Outteridge Jensen back in 49er fray
Belcher and Ryan lead from the start in Hyeres
ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyères - Race day 1 ready for lift off
Clipper Round the World Race 11 - Tense match downwind racing on Day 2
Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta - Day 3 an absolute gem
Quantum Key West 2015 dates confirmed
Flying Tigers 'Psych' - on Lake Lanier they pronounce it Zhik
ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres: Anticipation intensifies as start nears   
Clipper Round the World Race - Race 11 start images by Chuck Lantz   
27th Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta 2014 - Big breeze on the butterfly   
Rolex China Sea Race 2014 - Pryde and Joy for Hi Fi   
Clipper Round The World Race - A flying start on Day 1 of Race 11   
Cammas on Caudrelier – different styles, same objective   
Clipper Race - Californian crew member continues fundraising journey   
Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta - Race 2 images by Jude Robertson   
Les Voiles de St Barth - Images by Christophe Jouany   
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Fleet sets sail in race 11   
Congressional Cup - Canfield and Team US One best star-studded field   
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Race 11 to get underway to Panama   
Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta - Race 1 images by Jude Robertson   
Rolex China Sea Race - Hi Fi collects the coveted IRC Overall title   
Rolex China Sea Race - First arrivals in Subic Bay   
Rolex China Sea Race 2014 - a sniff of a hat-trick for Neil Pryde   
America's Cup Book Review: Winging It - Oracle Team USA's comeback *Feature   
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race: Switzerland drops trou for charity   
Rolex China Sea Race 2014 - nip and tuck for IRC honours   
Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta - 27th edition underway   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
X6XL WAS US