sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery

 

Sail-World.com : Wharington’s Wild Thing ready for Sydney Hobart line honours challenge

Wharington’s Wild Thing ready for Sydney Hobart line honours challenge

'Lean, mean, fighting Wild Thing machine'       Click Here to view large photo

Sneaking softly back into the maxi yacht scene with Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race line honours its primary goal, is a sinister, powerful looking yacht.

Grant Wharington’s 30 metre Wild Thing, painted black from the hull to the boom and then right up to the top of the massive 41 metre mast, projects an alluring image of power. Combine this image with a determined skipper and a trimmed down program, and what you see is a lean, mean, potential line honours killing machine.


Wharington finally has the keys to Wild Thing back in his pocket, delivered today. The yacht has been languishing at Rivergate in Brisbane for the last 11 months. Actually, earlier in the year the yacht did spend a few months on the hard being repaired after a pontoon, from up the Brisbane River, punched a hole in its stern as the late January flood waters raged down the river.

Wild Thing was designed by Don Jones, built by Hart Marine in Melbourne and launched in 2003. The yacht has had a chequered Sydney Hobart Yacht Race history. Her first race in 2003 was a crowning moment for the Skandia sponsored team taking out line honours. It was then a dramatic year in 2004 when the keel was lost and the boat capsized in the Tasman Sea. Back on the water and in the race in 2005 and 2006, Wild Thing finished third both times. In 2007 the team limped into Hobart to finish 10th after the top of the mast snapped during a broach. Then in 2008 they battled Wild Oats to finish second on line. Sadly their race in 2009 Wharington pulled the pin on the race not long after the start stating he was uncomfortable with the state of the rigging.

In 2010 the yacht returned to its former name, Wild Thing, and headed south again, but not before almost collecting a race media boat which hung around their bow for just a moment too long. Safely across the line in Hobart and the team finished fifth.

During the last seven years the yacht has undergone several changes to its keel. Built originally with a 4.8 metres fin, then modified to 5.2 metres in 2005 and then again to 5.5 metres in 2006, in 2009 Wharington ordered a radical increase to keel taking the hollow fin to 6.8 metres draft, over a metre deeper than his Hobart rivals.

This, Wharington claims, effectively gave the yacht the upper hand against Bob Oatley’s Wild Oats XI and Anthony Bell’s Investec Loyal by making Wild Thing about four tonnes lighter than Wild Oats and six tonnes lighter than Loyal. The only problem with the latest keel change is that Wharington still doesn’t feel that the maximum performance has been achieved as yet. 'The yacht really hasn’t been tested with the new keel. We know we are very fast downwind and reaching, and running we are at least as fast as Wild Oats and Loyal. Upwind we are probably a little bit slower, but that’s okay. Every yacht has got to have its point of difference.'

Previously carrying impressive Wild Thing and then sponsor branding, the yacht has now been repainted, getting rid of the scrappy look which it carried at the start of last year’s Hobart race. 'The yacht needed a complete rebirth and in anticipation of getting another sponsor we wanted it to have a good background for a sponsor’s name and logo. So we thought no one has an all-black yacht. There are plenty of silver ones out there and a couple of white ones, so we figured we might as well go something a bit different.

'It's the perfect blank canvas, ready for a new sponsor,' Wharington said.

Grant Wharington’s maxi Wild Thing, a perfect blank canvas for a new sponsor -     Click Here to view large photo


Other changes to the yacht in preparation for the 67th Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race have been to reduce crew numbers back to the bare minimum and to strip the yacht of extra sails.

Wild Thing will race with 10 crew. Wharington, now based on the Gold Coast, will lead a national team. Navigator and tactician will be former 18 Foot Skiff sailing champion and another now Queenslander, David Witt. In the middle will be Australian Sports Boat champion Paul Hayes, Sydney’s Matt Pearce and Peter Davis, Welsh sailor Led Pritchard and Adelaide’s John Fisher. On the mainsheet will be Perth’s 49er class sailor Tom Johnson who will be slipping in a performance in the ISAF Worlds in early December before joining the Wild Thing team. On the bow will be another young 49er class sailor from Perth, Luke Parkinson. One other crew member is still to be announced.

The choice of 10 crew, which Witt advised has been endorsed by Cruising Yacht Club of Australia's (CYCA) Sydney Hobart Yacht Race Committee Chai, Tim Cox, has been carefully thought out by Wharington and Witt. 'We figure that each crew member weighs about 250kg with their wet-weather gear, food, water and safety gear. Wild Oats will carry 18 crew and Loyal will carry 24. We will carry just 10,' Witt said.

Wharington has also decided to race with only two jibs and two spinnakers. They will carry a jib on the main forestay which can be reefed, a heavier jib on the baby forestay, a downwind code zero and an A2 spinnaker. He expects this sail combination will save them a ton less of deadweight in sails on board. 'If you talk about the sailing weight of both yachts, we are probably around six tons lighter than Wild Oats which is a huge amount – that is about 20% lighter.' That is the sort of difference that could make, or break, a line honours performance.

The Queensland team, representing Southport Yacht Club, will be on the water training tomorrow before heading down to the Sydney in time for the CYCA's SOLAS Big Boat Challenge on the 13th December




by Tracey Johnstone

  

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

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=91383

5:05 AM Fri 2 Dec 2011 GMT






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

Click for further information on
2011 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race

Related News Stories:

09 Jan 2012  McConaghy built Loki's jubilant Tattersall's Cup victory
07 Jan 2012  2011 Rolex Sydney Hobart images
04 Jan 2012  Bob Robertson weathers another Rolex Sydney Hobart
02 Jan 2012  Rolex Sydney Hobart - Trophy presentation in Hobart
02 Jan 2012  A special mission of loyalty for a lost mate
02 Jan 2012  Rolex Sydney Hobart: Post Race Protests - is there another way?
01 Jan 2012  Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race overall
31 Dec 2011  Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Divisional winners awarded
31 Dec 2011  Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Natelle Two arrives in Hobart
31 Dec 2011  Maluka last in for New Year in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race
MORE STORIES ...

News - USA and the World

Rolex Sydney Hobart: Hats Off Tasmania For The Huge Crowds *Feature by Crosbie Lorimer, Hobart, Tasmania
Ken Read, skipper of Jim Clark's super maxi Comanche, has been amazed at the level of interest shown by Australians in sailing and particularly in this race. When he first arrived in Sydney with Comanche, Read was clearly very envious of the crowds that turn up for this race every year ... [more]  

Wild Oats XI crossed the finish line 49 minutes ahead of Comanche in the most anticipated battle of the supermaxis. Crosbie Lorimer spoke to some of the crew from both boats to get their take on the race and the duel between the two front runners. ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - It was the space of just six nautical miles that made the difference when it came to Bob Oatley’s supermaxi, Wild Oats XI, claiming a historic eighth line honours in the 628 nautical mile Rolex Sydney Hobart race. ... [more]  

Three very long-standing Australian members of the OK Dinghy class were inducted into the OKDIA Hall of Fame during the opening ceremony of the 2014 World Championship at Black Rock Yacht Club, Melbourne, Australia, on Sunday 28 December. Bill Bell, Roger Blasse and Andre Blasse were all presented with engraved crystal mementoes to mark the occasion. ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Have a look at the IRC standings, the list of boats leading the Rolex Sydney Hobart overall on handicap; it’s a long time since such venerable names have graced the top of the list en masse as they do today. ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Ever wondered about the cost of breaking and damaging gear – and the repercussions of it in a long race such as the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race? Well wonder no longer. Three boat owners confidentially whispered this morning 'Don’t tell the wife, but….' ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - the boats dock in Hobart so do the stories. Everyone has a tale to tell, some funny, some of outright terror, some apocryphal to tell about the Rolex Sydney Hobart. This morning Daryl Hodgkinson jumped off his Cookson 50 Victoire with a yarn about crabs, pots and British pluck under fire. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart: Tough Stuff Down the Tassie Coast *Feature by Crosbie Lorimer, Hobart, Tasmania
By nine a.m. this morning (Monday) ten boats were finished, amongst them several of the 50 footers arriving in a group just before 8am. The consistent theme amongst all those we interviewed was the strength of wind late yesterday on the run down the Tasmanian coast. ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Comanche was finally defeated by Wild Oats in Hobart. But the new record breaker has shown great potential in the medium and strong wind. It still remains to work on its performance in the low wind. ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - It is going to be a busy day in Hobart, with more than two thirds of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race fleet expected to arrive into Hobart today. ... [more]  

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]  

Before the start of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race, Ken Read, skipper of the US supermaxi Comanche gave this tour above and below decks of Jim and Kristy Clark's new 100ft flyer. ... [more]  

Sail-World is now running live in the changed website format. If you are running on a Mac with iOS please scroll to the bottom of the site and check that your region is set for your region and not some other. It can be correctly set up using the drop down boxes. Then go to the top, click refresh, and you should be away. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart: Wild Oats XI and Comanche Finish Images *Feature by Crosbie Lorimer, Hobart, Tasmania
The Comanche and Wild Oats XI teams were equally gracious in victory and defeat on the dockside in Hobart today. It had been a close fought battle and while Comanche had reeled Wild Oats XI back in overnight to within 9nm , there simply wasn't enough air to power up the American boat in the run across Storm Bay and up the Derwent River. ... [more]  

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]  

After being dismasted a short time ago in the Rolex Sydney Hobart, Giacomo is motoring to the lee of Maria Island. In other race news, a very disappointed Bill Wild has retired his Reichel/Pugh 55, Wedgetail, from the race after suffering mast damage in the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s 628 nautical mile race at approximately 7.40pm off Schouten Island. All are safe and well on board. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2014: Spithill was one of six helmsmen on Comanche. 'We can’t leave it at that,' he declared after finishing in Hobart. He says that on his watch this morning the boat reached a top speed of 32 knots and knows what she is capable of. 'Everybody got to see the true potential of this boat at the start. ... [more]  

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]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - 'This is the sweetest victory by far,' Wild Oats XI skipper Mark Richards declared today after steering the silver-grey thoroughbred to a record eighth line honours victory in the Rolex Sydney Hobart. 'To rewrite a bit of sailing history doesn’t come along every day. To win a Hobart is a great honour but to win an eighth; I can’t believe I am here,' Richards said. ... [more]  

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]  

The Volvo 70 Giacomo lost her rig in the vicinity of Maria Island about 5.30pm local time yesterday evening. A second yacht Wedgetail (an RP55) lost the top off her mast in the same area at the same time. Giacomo is a Volvo 70 owned and skippered by Jim Delegat (NZL) and has a full New Zealand crew aboard ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart Wild Oats XI takes number eight by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World Team
Wild Oats XI finished at 303pm, with her big A2 flying. Her elapsed time was two days two hours three minutes and twenty six seconds 02:02:03:26 That was some eight hours outside the race record she set in 2012 of 1 day, 18 hours, 23 minutes and 12 seconds. ... [more]  

At the 2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race photographer Daniel Forster was on the water and provided this gallery of images from Day 2. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart: Wild Oats XI scores comfortable 8th win by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com/nz
Wild Oats XI (Oatley family) has crossed the finish line for the Rolex Sydney Hobart race to take her eighth win in the offshore classic. She crossed the finish line in the Derwent River sailing on port tack with a big asymmetrical headsail flying, and accompanied by a bevy of spectator craft as she crossed the finish line at 3.00pm local time. ... [more]  

In Alamitos Bay Yacht Club's annual Boxing Day race the hometown Gibbs brothers, Riley, 18, and Sawyer, 16, started last in their 49er skiff but passed all of the other boats of various types to finish first in brilliant sun but cool light air Sunday. ... [more]  

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]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - The crew on the American super maxi Comanche have not thrown in the towel. They do not believe the race for line honours in the Rolex Sydney Hobart is over despite Wild Oats XI’s commanding lead. ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Bob Oatley’s 10 year-old super maxi Wild Oats XI is racing towards an historic eighth line honours victory in the Rolex Sydney Hobart this morning. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart: Wild Oats rounds Tasman Island by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com/nz
Seven time race winner, Wild Oats XI (Oatley family) looks set to take her eighth win, after rounding Tasman Island just before noon, local time. The supermaxi rounded the landmark with a ten mile lead over the US supermaxi Comanche and has about 35nm to sail in a direct line to the finish line off Hobart. ... [more]  

With the front runners in the Rolex Sydney Hobart expected to sneak through in light to moderate tail winds, the weather prognosis for the remainder of the fleet is, well, interesting. The simple analysis is that fresh northerly winds will give the fleet a fast ride on Sunday and during the daylight hours of Monday. ... [more]  

Wild Oats XI (Oatley family) is expected to cross the finish line, around 4pm on Sunday and take her eighth line honours win. The race leaders are making good time down the coast of Tasmania, and at daybreak had approximately 100nm to sail. ... [more]  

Sydney to Hobart - Another 40 foot white-wash? by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World team
With the Supermaxi battle probably all over in this 70th Rolex Sydney to Hobart race, unless Wild Oats XI drops her rig in the next five hours, she is set to take her eighth line honours victory so at last the attention will shift to the real race, the battle for handicap honours. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart: Your Turn, Then My Turn, Then Your Turn! *Feature
Sydney-Hobart: First, Second and Third! *Feature
Rolex Sydney Hobart 2014; Handicap Honours Predictions VIDEO *Feature
Sydney Hobart 2014: A ridge too far for Comanche
2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Images by Daniel Forster
2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Honing in on halfway
Sydney Hobart Race: 'The Old Girl' proves she's still got great legs
2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Drama among the supermaxis
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race images by Howard Wright
2014 -15 Barcelona World Race - Food, food, some not so glorious!!
2015 Fireball World Championship - Notice of Race released
Rolex Sydney Hobart: Supermaxi Race Start VIDEO *Feature
Rolex Sydney Hobart: Perpetual Loyal forced to retire with hull damage *Feature
2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart: Clouds backs the small boats for overall win
Rolex Sydney to Hobart: Replay video coverage on Sail-World *Feature
Sydney Hobart - Comanche leads but Oats XI keeps the rubber band on
Will Comanche take a scalp?
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2014- Southerly takes its toll
Rolex Sydney Hobart: Comanche leads in softening morning breeze *Feature
Rolex Sydney Hobart - Comanche take a gun to the knife fight + Video
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2014 - Supermaxi contest + Video   
Rolex Sydney Hobart: Images from the flying start on Sydney harbour   
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2014: Start photos by Andrea Francolini   
Sydney Hobart 2014 The Cutting edge Formula 1 yacht still leads   
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2014 – Grand dame heads back to Sydney   
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Day 1 start images by Carlo Borlenghi   
Rolex Sydney Hobart: Race Start Images by Crosbie Lorimer *Feature   
Clipper Ventures 10 starts Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race   
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Another year another record   
Rolex Sydney Hobart 2014 – Comanche on the warpath   
2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart - Spithill to grind on Comanche   
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race – Spinnaker start forecast   
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Wild Oats XI ready to go   
Adventures of a Sailor Girl: Hobart coverage - December 26 - Live   
Rolex Sydney Hobart - The Peyron Perspective -Old People On New Boats *Feature   
2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart - Spithill to grind on Comanche   
Rolex Sydney Hobart; Wild Oats XI trials Goose for Christmas   
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2014 - The Weather Gate *Feature   
For Christmas a Shiny new Sail-World.com *Feature   
Sydney-Hobart: Wacky Races 3 – Gravel and Red Max versus VMG *Feature   


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.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT