From water to wheels for the Wild Oats crew
IT’S been wheels not water for the crew of Bob Oatley’s record-breaking supermaxi Wild Oats XI, who last weekend completed their most arduous Sydney to Hobart challenge yet.
Instead of being a recordbreaking run over 628 nautical miles for the famous racing yacht, its crew have covered a gruelling 2167 kilometres from Sydney to Hobart by pedal power alone.
The trip by bicycle not boat took 15 days to complete – more than 13 days longer than Wild Oats XI’s record time for the Sydney Hobart race – and all in the name of charity.
The Wild Oats XI sailors were among more than 100 cyclists taking part in the Variety Cycle, a Variety Club charity event to raise money for sick and disadvantaged children in Australia.
Ironically, it was Wild Oats XI crewmember, Steve ‘Mothy’ Jarvin, a veteran of 27 Sydney Hobarts, including all 10 of Wild Oats XI’s races, who came up with the con- cept of a fund-raising ride from Sydney to Hobart after he completed the last Variety Cycle from Sydney to Uluru.
Jarvin and two other Wild Oats XI team members, Nathan Ellis and Bryce Rutherford, rode the entire distance from Sydney while four others flew to Hobart to support them on the final leg.
Not surprisingly, once they reached the finish they did what tens of thousands of yachties have done at the end of the Hobart race over the past 70 years: they got back on their bikes and went straight to the legendary Customs House hotel on the dock-front to quench a very demanding thirst.
The Wild Oats XI team had even more reason to celebrate.
They were the most successful team in the fund-raising effort, collecting almost $50,000 for the charity. Additionally, ‘Mothy’ was the second highest individual fundraiser.
With the Variety Cycle having taken them from sea level to near the summit of Tasmania’s Cradle Mountain, which stands at 1545 metres, ‘Mothy’, Nathan and Bryce agreed they were look- ing forward to this year’s Rolex Sydney Hobart race – because it will be a lot easier than the bike ride.
Anyone still wishing to support the Wild Oats XI team with a donation can go to https://thevarietycycle2015.everydayhero.com/ au/nathan-ellis.
FROM BOAT TO BICYCLE: Three of the Wild Oats XI Variety Cycle team, Steve Jarvin, Nathan Ellis and Josh Whittaker. Wild Oats XI, in the background, is being prepared to contest this year’s Trans Pac Race, from Los Angeles to Hawaii. Photo by TJ Edwards.