A second clean Sweep for Wild Oats XI as the full results list takes shape

Four days after the start of the 2012 Rolex Sydney Hobart Race, a handful of boats were still to finish, but the silverware was all accounted for. Yet just two days after the start, Rob Oatley’s Wild Oats XI had not only taken line honours, but had won the race overall and broken the course record, beating their previous record time set in 2005 by 16 minutes and 58 seconds.

Even more impressive was that this was the second time Oatley’s boat and team had scored the triple, the only boat to have achieved a double clean sweep in the history of the race.

Wild Oats XI had attracted attention before the race following several modifications to her configuration that had led to speculation that, combined with favourable forecast conditions, she could set a new record.

“New wings on the keel helped enormously I’m sure, so did the new jib,” said Oatley after the race. “The design, the crew, the sails and the modifications are what makes the boat fast.”

But modifications had also been at the centre of a dispute between the organisers and Grant Wharington who was refused entry to the race ‘Wild Thing’ after, ‘non-compliance of the notice of race,’ according to CYCA Commodore Howard Piggott.

“The race committee did not receive written declarations from the designer and builder that the modifications have complied with the ABS (American Bureau of Shipping) standards,” said Piggott.

The second boat to cross the finish line in Hobart, Syd Fischer’s Ragamuffin-Loyal, was also the subject of confusion as last year’s overall race winner was deemed to have been OCS and had failed to return to re-cross the start line. But following a request for redress, the International Jury found that the race committee had failed to notify the crew of Ragamuffin-Loyal after five minutes that they had jumped the start, leaving the crew unaware that they should have returned and restarted.

But as the remaining few boats in the 76 boat fleet approached the finish line, there was no confusion as to who had taken the major silverware.

Line Honours
1 – Wild Oats XI, Robert Oatley
2 – Ragamuffin Loyal, Syd Fischer
3 – Lahanaa, Peter MIlard & John Honan

IRC Overall
1 – Wild Oats XI, Robert Oatley
2 – Loki, Stephen Ainsworth
3 – Black Jack, Peter Harburg

1 – Black Jack, Peter Harburg
2 – Jazz, Chris Bull
3 – Calm, Van der Slot, Williams, Ainley