Skandia Wild Thing, the Australian super-maxi, skippered by owner Grant Wharington, has taken 21 minutes off the Barcolana Yacht Race record

On Sunday 9 October 2005, Skandia the Australian super-maxi, skippered by owner Grant Wharington, together with a mixture of his Skandia-Wild Thing crew and the Italian-based Sailing Planet crew led by Furio Benussi and Stefano Spangaro took 21 minutes off the record for the Barcolana Yacht race. In this 12.5 mile dash across the Gulf of Trieste in the Adriatic Sea, Skandia completed the course in 58 minutes 21 seconds.

With over 850 boats on the start line, the Barcolana is a race like no other; a true celebration of the sea with overwhelming support from the local community who sail alongside numerous international entrants.

The win, and the record breaking, was particularly emotional for Furio Benussi and Stefano Spangaro – 37 years ago their fathers had organised the first Barcolana (known as the Autumn Cup). The support of the local community was obvious as they crowded onto the dock hour after hour to offer their congratulations.

Wharington commented: “This place is just amazing the race has enormous support from the entire community, and we have been looked after so well. The passion of the place really takes over. We have had many, many people from all walks of life on board to have a look and a chat over the last few days, in addition to a number of charity sailings Sailing Planet organised with us – the enthusiasm and desire of these people to take part in the regatta, one way or another, is overwhelming. The fact that we managed to smash the record and make a real impact has been an added bonus – Trieste has been a fantastic experience for us all.”