Powerboat-World.com
 
 
News Features Cruising Photos Videos Events Newsletters Submit

 

Sail-World.com : Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2012 – Wild Oats XI ready to break own record

Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2012 – Wild Oats XI ready to break own record

'XI, WILD OATS XI, Sail No: 10001, Owner: Mark Richards, Design: Reichel/Pugh 30 Mtr, LOA (m): 30.5, State: NSW'    Rolex Sydney Hobart    Click Here to view large photo

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2012 line honours contender Wild Oats XI is very much in position of shattering the record she set in 2005 with strong north easterly winds expected to blow throughout 628 nautical mile ocean race six days from now.

Considering the preliminary forecast for the Boxing Day race, there is an excellent chance that the 30-metre long supermaxi, which is owned by Bob Oatley and skippered by Mark Richards, can better the record time she set in 2005.

Wild Oats XI averaged 14.9 knots that year to establish the mark of 1 day, 18 hours, 40 minutes and 10 seconds.

Skipper Richards says that given the current forecast for strong and favourable north easterly winds for much of the course this year, his charge could achieve a new record time below 1 day, 13 hours.

‘It’s an exciting forecast when it comes to a race record, and it could get even better for us over the next few days,’ said Richards. ‘We need to average only 18 knots to get there in 35 hours, and I think that is very achievable. Beyond that, it won’t take much more breeze for us to see an average speed above 20 knots – possibly as high as 25 knots. An average of 22 knots would see us in Hobart in 28 hours.’

Richards is, however, tempering this excitement with a realistic approach to the race.

‘It’s a Hobart race – a long race – and as has been seen all too often, plenty of things can go wrong. My biggest concern is that we hit something at high speed and damage the yacht. At the same time, crew safety will be paramount, so we won’t be pushing the boat beyond the limits.

'We must also recognise that there are three other big boats in this race, and any one of them has the ability to be first to Hobart. Wild Oats XI might be the favourite for line honours, but we are far from a certainty. Just look at what happened to us last year.’

Yachting meteorologist Roger Badham, who is providing a special race forecast service for Wild Oats XI and many other competing yachts, says the current outlook suggests that a race record time is distinctly possible, but he won’t be confident of that until after he completes his race forecast based on tomorrow’s weather models.

The current outlook is for a spinnaker start in a south easterly breeze on Sydney Harbor at 1pm on Boxing Day. Once clear of the Heads the fleet will encounter a weakening southerly wind for the first few hours. It will turn easterly then north easterly later in the day. That north easterly could blow at between 25 and 30 knots throughout the next day, making for an exceptionally fast downwind course into Bass Strait and on to the coast of Tasmania.

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2012




by Rob Mundle

  

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

http://www.powerboat-world.com/index.cfm?nid=104902

2:20 PM Fri 21 Dec 2012 GMT






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

Click for further information on
2012 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race

Related News Stories:

28 Dec 2013  Limited Edition photographic release 40 years in the making
30 Jan 2013  Sydney-Hobart Race 2012 - How the other half lives
16 Jan 2013  Wild Oats XI completes mission after historic treble
06 Jan 2013  Rolex Sydney Hobart dominated by Reichel/Pugh designed yachts
02 Jan 2013  Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race – the better mousetrap
02 Jan 2013  Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race video selection
01 Jan 2013  Blue Water Point Score 2012 - Ainsworth, Loki part ways on high note
01 Jan 2013  Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2012 – Quartet of honorary gentlemen
01 Jan 2013  Sydney Hobart 2012 – Maluka of Kermandie's arrival formally ends race
31 Dec 2012  Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2012 – Prizegiving on New Year’s Day