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Top 4 moments from the 2015 Sydney Hobart race

Top 4 moments from the 2015 Sydney Hobart race

3 of 4 3/4
Wild Oats XI

Race favourite Wild Oats XI retires with ripped mainsail

Picture courtesy of Rolex/Steffano Gattini - Rolex Sydney Hobart - regattanews.com

With eight line honours wins under her belt, 30.48 metre Wild Oats XI is the local hero on the start line of the Sydney Hobart. She was the defending champion and in 2012 set the race’s fastest time. Wild Oats XI was fresh from an extensive refit and full of confidence to take on Comanche and the other supermaxis.

The yachts set off from Sydney Harbour on the afternoon of December 26 in perfect sailing conditions. In the middle of the night a southerly buster came out of nowhere and a team spokesman said Wild Oats XI’s mainsail was split in half by gusts up to 44 knots. The damage was un-repairable and the super maxi was forced to retire.

When they were back in Sydney, skipper Mark Richards expressed his disappointment when he spoke to local news: “a few things went wrong for us, when that happens it’s a snowball effect. We got the mainsail down, back under control and we had a look at the sail and it was shredded. Everyone knew straight away that it was over.”

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