Hamo’s high hopes for Syd­ney to Ho­bart race

Whitsunday Times - - ON THE WATER -

HAMIL­TON Is­land’s owner Bob Oat­ley has high hopes for this year’s pres­ti­gious Rolex Syd­ney - Ho­bart race, with his record-holder Wild Oats XI again con­test­ing the race.

Crew aboard the 30-me­tre long su­per­maxi yacht have spent the past 10 days test­ing a rad­i­cal, carbon fi­bre, wing­like hy­dro­foil, hoped to pro­vide the speed needed to achieve a sev­enth line hon­ours win in the 628 nau­ti­cal mile clas­sic, which starts on Box­ing Day.

Wild Oats XI skip­per Mark Richards said this year’s Syd­ney - Ho­bart race was go­ing to be one of the most keenly con­tested in re­cent times, for both line and hand­i­cap hon­ours.

“Wild Oats XI has just had her eighth birth­day, so we had to do some­thing to give the old girl a new lease of life. I think this wing will do it, es­pe­cially if we get fast down­wind con­di­tions dur­ing the race,” he said.

Richards de­scribed the re­cent trial re­sults as “quite re­mark­able”.

“There was an im­pres­sive in­crease in speed. We’re not get­ting too car­ried away, but from what we have seen, if we get the right con­di­tions in the Ho­bart race the wing might make the dif­fer­ence,” he said.

For more in­for­ma­tion on the race visit www.rolexsyd­ney­ho­bart.com.

HIGH HOPES: Wild Oats XI crew­man, Nathan El­lis, shows off the yacht’s rad­i­cal new carbon fi­bre, hy­dro­foil wing, to be put to the test in this year's Rolex Syd­ney Ho­bart race. Photo by An­drea Fran­col­ini

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