Thursday, December 28, 2006

Wild Oats XI Victorious

The Sydney-Hobart offshore race was certainly true to her nature...within 48 hours of the start two yachts have dismasted (Maximus and ABN Amro One), six crew members were injured and a total of eight boats were forced to retire.

The official Rolex site for the race is carrying news of a Wild Oats victory. Declares the latest update...the Australian maxi Wild Oats XI has taken back-to-back line honours wins in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, the first since 1964 and only the sixth time in the event’s 62 year history.

Wild Oats XI, owned by Bob Oatley and skippered by Mark Richards, crossed the finish line of the 628 nautical mile race at Hobart’s Castray Esplanade at 9:52pm tonight giving her an elapsed time of 2 days 8 hours 52 minutes and 33 seconds.

Navigator Adrienne Cahalan said that a crucial decision early in the race was whether to go offshore to pick up the current and stronger winds or stay closer to the coast where the seas were flatter but potentially there was less wind.

“We opted to go inshore and stay out of the current which meant staying out of the big waves and just looking after the boat for the first night. That’s what we did and it paid dividends."

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