Cabbage Tree Island Yacht Race: Wild Oats XI smashes her own record

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Bob Oatley and Mark Richards’ line honours aspirations for Wild Oats XI in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race came a step closer early this morning when the 100 foot super maxi smashed her own record in the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s Cabbage Tree Island Race.

Wild Oats XI shaved 1 hour 57 minutes 40 seconds of the 14 hours 13 minutes 35 seconds record it set in 2010, crossing the Rushcutters Bay finish line at 07:15:55 this morning, to set a new record time of 12 hours 15 minutes 55 seconds.

An ecstatic Richards, who had his near-full complement of Sydney-Hobart sailors aboard, including Kiwis Stu Bannatyne and Robbie Naismith, along with Tom Addis, all of whom are Volvo Ocean Race sailors, said this morning: “It was a really good race. We sailed in an 18/20 south/easterly most the way to the Island,” he said.

“It got a bit tricky around the Island though; we were hammered with rain and 25 knots and had to put a reef in the main. It got a bit bumpy coming home and got a bit light towards the end. The start was shocking – the rain killed the breeze,” said Richards, who praised the crew, mentioning Bannatyne and Addis as having done “a great job.”

“The daggerboard modifications worked well – she’s fully ready for Hobart – the race was a good test for the boat and crew,” said Richards who admitted it was a confidence booster for the 628 nautical mile race ahead.

Wild Oats XI’s skipper said they were thrilled to break the record. He said Ragamuffin-Loyal had trailed them by some 8 nautical miles for most of the race. “They might have done some damage,” he conceded when told Fischer’s boat was yet to finish. 

The 180 nautical mile race started on Sydney Harbour last evening at 7.00pm. It was the first time last year’s Rolex Sydney Hobart Wild Oats XI and line honours winner, Loyal, now known as Ragamuffin-Loyal, had faced each other since the Hobart last year.

This was Fischer’s first race since taking charge of the yacht in early October. At the 8.00am sked, Ragamuffin-Loyal was off Broken Bay. At that time, the back markers were around the Island, leaving it 5 nautical miles in their wake, with the bulk of the fleet spread along the coast.  

For full race results of the Cabbage Tree Island Race and provisional Blue Water Pointscore Series standings : 

By Di Pearson, CYCA Media

See Ocean & Coastal images :



Last Updated ( Saturday, 17 November 2012 )