Seven down, Wild Oats crew already eyeing eighth win
THE owner of Wild Oats XI, 86-year-old Bob Oatley, says the supermaxi will be back next year for a crack at an eighth line-honours win after equalling the record of seven on Saturday night in the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race.
Leaving early challengers Perpetual Loyal and Ragamuffin in its wake, Oatley's boat crossed the finishing line in the River Derwent in a time of two days, six hours, seven minutes and 27 seconds.
In doing so, skipper Mark Richards and a crew boasting a combined 250 Sydney to Hobart races between them, equalled the number of line-honours wins in the Bluewater Classic achieved by Morna/Kurrewa IV in the 1940s and '50s. "We'll go on and do more now I hope," Oatley said.
Oatley paid tribute to skipper Richards and said this year's triumph had been the best yet.
Richards said he and the crew were proud of their latest success.
"That's a big deal," he said. "It's the most famous yacht in Australian history I'd say."