Wild Oats XI

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Wild Oats XI
Wild Oats XI about to finish 2011 Sydney to Hobart.jpg
Wild Oats XI at the finishing line, 2011 Sydney-Hobart
Yacht club  Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club
 Yacht Club Costa Smeralda
 Hamilton Island Yacht Club
Nation  Australia
Class canting keel IRC supermaxi
Sail no AUS–10001
Designer(s) Reichel/Pugh
Builder McConaghy
Sydney, Australia
Launched December 2, 2005
Owner(s) Robert Oatley
Racing career
Skippers Mark Richards
Notable victories 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013 Sydney–Hobart
2010 Pittwater–Coffs
Hull type Monohull
Crew 16–29 crew
Length 30.48 m (100.00 ft)
Beam 5.1 m (16.73 ft)
Draft 5.91 m (19.39 ft)
Displacement 32 t, of which 14 t ballast
Sail area mainsail 382 m2 (4,112 sq ft)
jib 228 m2 (2,454 sq ft)
genoa 535 m2 (5,759 sq ft)
spinnaker 880 m2 (9,472 sq ft)

Wild Oats XI is a maxi yacht, most famous for being the race record holder and an eight times line honours winner of the "blue water classic" Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. She is owned by Robert Oatley, and skippered by New South Wales yachtsman Mark Richards.

In her first season Wild Oats XI won the "treble" in the 2005 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, winning on elapsed (line honours) and corrected time (handicap) as well as setting a new race record. In the 2007 race, Wild Oats XI equaled the 59-year old record of Morna, by taking line honours in the race three times in a row. In the 2008 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, Wild Oats XI broke the record, winning an unprecedented fourth consecutive line honours.[1] Wild Oats XI won the Sydney Hobart "treble" again in 2012, setting a new record of 1 day 18 hours 23 minutes 12 seconds.[2]


Wild Oats XI is a state-of-the-art IRC supermaxi yacht designed by Reichel/Pugh with a Carbon/Nomex composite hull. As a distinctively narrow sloop at 5.1 m (17 ft) beam with an ambitious offshore racing program, she originally featured "canting ballast twin foil" appendages enabling her to carry a large sail plan without compromising stability. Her underbody has been updated continuously and now features a bow centerboard, twin daggerboards amidships, a canting keel with vertical winglets on the torpedo bulb and a centreline single aft balanced spade rudder. In 2013 Wild Oats XI was equipped with a Dynamic Stability System (DSS) which is a retractable horizontal foil deployed on the leeward side of the boat.[3][4] All mechanical systems onboard are powered by a continually running Diesel engine. The design decision was made to exclude manual backup systems and the boat is entirely dependent on the auxiliary. This severely limits the boats endurance as it cannot be sailed once the diesel fuel is exhausted. This design compromise was seen as worthwhile as it allowed a large amount of additional weight to be avoided and allowed a higher ballast ratio for a given displacement.


Wild Oats XI was built by McConaghy Boats.[5]

She was launched in December 2005 after a 9 month build and won her first Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race the same month.

Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race[edit]

Wild Oats XI made her Sydney to Hobart debut in 2005, and made an immediate impact on the race. Racing out of the heads, she led the whole way south to arrive in record time, breaking Alfa Romeo's 2002 record. In so doing, Wild Oats XI took line honours, won the Tattersall's Cup (for overall winner adjusted on handicap), and becoming the first boat since Rani in the inaugural race in 1945 to do all three feats.

The following year, 2006, Wild Oats XI was equally dominant, taking line honours in 2 days, 8 hours, 52 minutes and 33 seconds. Arriving at 9:52 pm, the yacht sailed into Sullivans Cove to rapturous applause by a large crowd gathered on the docks, who were appreciative of her achieving her 'double' despite being battered in heavy seas.[6]

The 2007 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race saw Wild Oats XI equal the 59-year old record of Morna, by winning a hat-trick of line honours titles. Wild Oats XI lined up for the start of the 2008 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race aiming to make history, and set a new record in her own right by becoming the only yacht to win four consecutive line honours titles, and did so, leading for the duration and completing the race in 1 day, 20 hours, 34 minutes 14 seconds. The 2008 race was not without difficulty for the crew though, as they picked up debris in Sydney Harbour which added excess drag, and also collided with a two-metre (6.5 foot) shark. The crew felt that the collision may have actually assisted them by dislodging the snag from their hull.[7]

The time set by Wild Oats XI in 2005 of 1 day, 18 hours, 40 minutes and 10 seconds, remained the race record until 2012 when it was bettered by 16 minutes.[8]

Wild Oats XI won line honours for the fifth time in the 2010 race, although the yacht's crew faced a protest against their win which could have resulted in disqualification. Under sailing instruction 44.1(A), yachts are required to report their position by radio as they pass Green Cape, the entrance to Bass Strait. The rule was created following the disastrous 1998 race in which five boats sank and six sailors died.[9] As the yacht passed the cape, the crew realised that a blown fuse had rendered their high-frequency radio non-functional. They reported their position to race organisers via satellite phone, but race officials forwarded a complaint to an international jury, alleging that the crew had violated what race committee chairman Tim Cox called "one of the fundamental safety rules of the Sydney to Hobart yacht race". The complaint was dismissed by the jury, and Wild Oats XI was awarded its fifth Sydney to Hobart line honours.[10]

In the 2011 race Wild Oats came second to Investec Loyal in a time of 2 days, 6 hours, 17 minutes and 26 seconds. They finished 2 minutes and 48 seconds behind.[11]

The 2012 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race saw the super maxi once again take line honours. The race time of one day, 18 hours and 23 minutes and 12 seconds broke the yacht's own race record by 16 minutes and 58 seconds.[12] She also completed the treble of Line honours, Handicap and race record for the second time. She is still only the second boat to ever achieve this feat.[13]

The crew of 2005 winner Wild Oats.


  1. ^ "Wild Oats XI claims Sydney-Hobart". BBC News. 2008-12-27. 
  2. ^ http://rolexsydneyhobart.com/standings/
  3. ^ François Chevalier & Jacques Taglang (2012-12-29). "Wild Oats XI". 
  4. ^ Peter Blakeman (2012-12-17). "Wild Oats XI set to fly". 
  5. ^ http://www.mcconaghyboats.com
  6. ^ "Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race 2006 - Wild Oats XI Wins Line Honors". Goaustralia.about.com. 2006-12-26. Retrieved 2012-12-27. 
  7. ^ "AFP: Wild Oats XI wins record fourth Sydney-Hobart yachting race". Google.com. 2008-12-27. Retrieved 2012-12-27. 
  8. ^ "Wild Oats XI wins trifecta". sail-world.com. Retrieved 2012-12-27. 
  9. ^ "Wild Oats XI facing protest". ABC News. 2010-12-28. 
  10. ^ Wild Oats XI's Sydney-to-Hobart victory hung on a $20 glitch, The Australian, 30 December 2010.
  11. ^ "Wild Oats XI". Official Site of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. 28 December 2011. Retrieved 28 December 2011. 
  12. ^ "Wild Oats breaks Sydney-Hobart record". ABC News. 2012-12-28. 
  13. ^ http://www.rolexsydneyhobart.com/standings/?raceId=99&categoryId=427&raceTime=

See also[edit]