Offshore Yachting : Offshore Yachting Dec-Jan 2016
ROLEXSYDNEYHOBARTYACHTRACE2015ROLEXSYDNEYHOBARTYACHTRACE2015 WILD OATS XI AUS10001 Wild Oats XI (above) has her name on many records, including superseding Morna/Kurrewa IV ’s seven Sydney Hobart line honours victories by taking her eighth last year. The ‘Silver Bullet’ or ‘Swiss Army Knife,’ as Bob Oatley’s boat is variously known, has also twice taken the treble of line honours, race record and overall honours – in 2005 and in 2012, when she finished the race in a record 1 day 18 hours, 23 minutes 12 seconds. She has only twice been beaten to the Rolex Sydney Hobart finish line since launching in 2005: by Neville Crichton’s Alfa Romeo in 2009 and Anthony Bell’s Investec Loyal in 2011. Wild Oats XI is also the holder of the following race records: Sydney Gold Coast Open record (22 hours 3 minutes 46 seconds set in 2012), Cabbage Tree Island (12 hours 15 minutes 55 seconds set in 2012) and Port Hacking Bird Islet (10 hours 51 minutes 41 seconds set in 2013). Under the leadership of usual skipper, Mark Richards, the super maxi took line honours in the 2,225-nautical mile Transpac Race from Los Angeles to Honolulu in July this year. When Bob and Sandy Oatley’s family discovered Comanche was returning and George David’s latest Rambler 88 would join her, they took drastic but practical measures to make sure their 10-year-old would be on an even playing field with their near-new contemporaries. The boat was cut in half and ferried by water to Sydney City Marine, craned out of the water and trucked to the McConaghy yard (the boat’s original builder) in mid-September. A new, longer bow section was attached and two metres cut off the stern, necessitating reconfiguration of the sail plan and rig. Much of the design work for the new-look super maxi was done by the original designers, Reichel/ Pugh in the USA. By extending the bow forward, the yacht will have considerably more buoyancy, a feature that design tests indicate will make her considerably faster. She will also be lighter. “This is exciting,” Mark Richards said when sharing the first chainsaw cut with owner, Bob Oatley. “I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about it when we started. She will be an even better yacht when we have finished though. The more we cut, the better I felt.” Some wondered if such radical changes would disadvantage a crew learning to sail a different boat. Richards says not. “From a sailing point of view, nothing will have changed – that’s the joy of it. We haven’t changed any of the major components. The only difference will be a bigger jib and spinnakers,” he said. A recreated yacht and a tight- knit, first-class crew will be ready to withstand any challengers. The 2015 Rolex Sydney Hobart will decide if they got it right. 10 0FOOTERS FORM GUIDE 043 COMANCHE 12358 To use an old idiom, Comanche (below) was the ‘fly in the ointment’ in the race last year, and although owners Jim Clark and Kristy Hinze-Clark along with skipper Ken Read said the boat would not be back this year, they changed their minds. The Rolex Sydney Hobart may have been the domain of Wild Oats XI up until now, but we have seen what Comanche is capable of. Comanche left no doubt in anybody’s mind as to her speed when she unfurled her massive spinnaker and ran for Sydney Heads last year. Brand new, with few miles on the water, and her only prior race the SOLAS Big Boat Challenge, Comanche’s startling turn of speed, sailing almost on the edge of her hull, left everyone stunned. Even Mark Richards, microphoned up for Channel 7’s live coverage of the start, could be clearly heard: “She’s smoking – look at that thing go.” ROLEX/DANIELFORSTER/CARLOBORLENGHI YACHTS TO WATCH IN A DYNAMIC FLEET THAT STRETCHES TO BOATS UP TO 100 FEET, DI PEARSON DISCOVERS SOME OF THE HOTTEST YACHTS TO KEEP AN EYE ON IN THIS YEAR’S SYDNEY HOBART. Verdier Yacht Design and Vplp designed the American boat for fast broad reaching, so the 15-knot-plus south- easterly breeze on the Harbour was tailor-made. On July 12, the wide Comanche dubbed the ‘aircraft carrier,’ set a new 24-hour monohull speed record in the 2015 Transatlantic Race, covering 618.01 nautical miles (10 miles short of the Sydney Hobart distance) averaging 25.75 knots. Wild Oats’ record is 42 hours 23 minutes 12 seconds. However, the proof will be in the pudding in late December, when the two contest the same race, on the same ocean, in the same conditions. In August, Comanche beat George David’s new Rambler 88 across the Rolex Fastnet finish line in Plymouth by four and a half minutes after a race-long battle in stop-start conditions of the race where becalm took on a double meaning. She then took line honours in all four races at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup.
Offshore Yachting Oct-Nov 2015
Offshore Yachting Feb-Mar 2016