Sunday, December 28, 2008

Wild Oats breaks record - Sydney Hobart Race

Photo: © ROLEX/Carlo Borlenghi Richard de Leyser, Rolex Australia, Mark Richards and Bob Oatley, skipper and owner of WILD OATS, at the Line Honours Presentation in Hobart, Tasmania.

Wild Oats XI strode majestically up the Derwent River this morning to beat Skandia by one hour seven minutes and score a record fourth consecutive line honours victory in the Rolex Sydney Hobart after one of the best tactical battles seen at the head of the fleet in the race's 64-year history.Lighter winds off the Tasmanian coast in the last 18 hours of the race robbed Wild Oats XI of the chance of beating the race record she set in 2005 at one day 18 hours 40 minutes and ten seconds. The drop in wind strength did give Mark Richards and crew the opportunity to make use of Wild Oats XI's bigger wardrobe of headsails to catch and pass Skandia, which had led her with better speed and sound tactics for the first 22 hours. -