Wild Oats XI takes it all in Sydney to Hobart
WILD Oats XI has made Sydney to Hobart history, becoming the first boat to clinch the line honours, race record and handicap treble since Rani in the inaugural event in 1945. The Australian super maxi yesterday won the yacht race's IRC division, making it only the sixth boat in history to win line honours and handicap. The official announcement will be made today, but Wild Oats has set an impossible target for the 2005 fleet. Ray White Koomooloo was the last boat in contention for handicap honours but rough weather has thwarted her hopes. By 5pm (AEDT), Koomooloo still had 115 nautical miles to cover before 2200 to snatch handicap honours. She would need to average an impossible 23 knots to beat Wild Oats' mark.
Wild Oats finished the 628 nautical mile race just after 8am yesterday, smashing Nokia's 1999 line honours record by more than an hour. The $10 million hi-tech carbon fibre yacht is the first boat since Sovereign in 1987 to win line honours and handicap. Wild Oats had contested only a handful of short races after her launch in November before taking on the gruelling Bass Strait conditions.