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29 December 2005, 09:13 am
Wild Oats Wins The Treble
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Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2005
Hobart, Australia

Wild Oats XI has been confirmed as handicap winner of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, making her the first yacht to win the fabled treble since Captain John ILLINGWORTH and his yacht Rani won the inaugural race across Bass Strait 60 years ago. Geoff LAVIS, Commodore of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, confirmed this afternoon that none of the boats still racing could challenge Wild Oats's position at the top of the IRC handicap leaderboard.

Bob OATLEY built this hi-tech multi-million dollar maxi to win line honours. To break the course record was an added bonus. To win the Tattersalls Cup for fastest yacht under IRC handicap was beyond his wildest dreams. There was a tear in his eye yesterday as he looked down the list of past winners engraved on the base of the JJ Illingworth Trophy, the prize for first boat to Hobart. He flew back to Sydney this morning, but how must he be feeling now to have won the most coveted trophy of all, the Tattersalls Cup?

Commodore LAVIS this afternoon reported, 'The oldest boat in this year's fleet, Ray WHITE Koomooloo, which was Overall Winner in 1968, has been the closest competitor to threaten Wild Oats XI all day. It shows that any well sailed, well founded boat has a realistic chance of winning this race.'

The Commodore paid tribute to OATLEY and the crew of Wild Oats XI, who launched this state of the art 98 foot maxi less than a month ago. 'This treble has eluded all past competitors but now finally it's happened. It's a difficult thing to do and how many years before it happens again, well that's anyone's guess. This year the weather was quite benign, and quite kind to these big boats. You can't expect that too often in this race.'

By 1900 hours local time this evening, 28 yachts had crossed the Hobart finish line, with four yachts retired, the most recent being Star Dean - Willcocks, due to rigging problems. The remaining 53 yachts still racing are expected into Hobart before the end of 2005, with the possible exception of the diminutive Gillawa. Dave KENT's 33 foot cruiser is lagging some way behind the fleet, but he can expect the same rousing reception from the people of Hobart, however long it may take him to get there.

Top Ten Line Honours Finishers

1. Wild Oats finished at 0800 hours 28 December
2. Alfa Romeo finished at 0916 hours
3. Skandia finished at 1345 hours
4. Konica Minolta finished at 1446 hours
5. AAPT finished at 1742 hours
6. Loki finished at 0119 hours 29 December
7. Coogans Stores finished at 0127 hours
8. Seriously 10 finished at 0153 hours
9. Hugo Boss finished at 0214 hours
10. ABN AMRO finished at 0234 hours

Provisional IRC Standings
Recorded at 1920 (AEDT), 29 December 2005

1. Wild Oats XI (confirmed as IRC handicap winner)
2. Alfa Romeo
3. Konica Minolta
4. Chieftain
5. Skandia
6. Wedgetail
7. Loki
8. Hardys Secret Mens Business
9. Quantum Racing
10. Wot's Next

For all the news on the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race CLICK HERE.
Rolex Media (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Wild Oats XI has completed a fantastic treble:© Carlo Borlenghi/Rolex
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