Hamo’s high hopes for Sydney to Hobart race
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