The revolutionary yacht that led an Australian team to victory in last year's Admiral's Cup in England, Wild Oats, now called Wild Joe, will contest the 60th Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race with America's Cup yachtsman Iain MURRAY as skipper.
The first offshore racing yacht built with designer Reichel/Pugh's new CBTF (canting ballast, twin foil) concept, Wild Oats became the fastest offshore racing 60-footer in the world under the ownership of prominent Australian winemaker Bob OATLEY.
She outsailed the maxis and super maxis at the 2002 Hamilton Island Race Week, shattered the record for the 2003 Pittwater to Coffs Harbour Race and then, in August 2003 was topscoring boat at the Admiral's Cup at Cowes, joined by Afterthought in a winning team from the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club in Sydney.
Wild Joe has been modified to meet the limitation on canting keels of 10 degrees of static heel to be eligible for the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race, but new owner Steven DAVID is confident the 60-footer will be a strong contender for IRC time correction honours in the 628 nautical mile race.
"The boat has a new keel bulb, a fixed bowsprit and has been optimised for the IRC rule which now decides the Overall Winner of the Rolex Sydney Hobart, "
David, head of a logistics advisory company with clients in South East Asia, said in Sydney today.
David previously campaigned the Swan 45, Joe, named after his late grandfather, Joe DAVID. "We wanted to keep the lineage going and, of course, Bob OATLEY has a new Wild Oats, a 66-footer,"
"Wild Joe has been back at her builders, Azzura Yachts, undergoing the changes but will be down in Sydney later this month to contest the Cabbage Tree Island Race, the Flinders Islet Race, the Canon Big Boat Challenge and the Rolex Trophy in the lead-up to the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race,"
Steven DAVID has put together an outstanding crew to campaign Wild Joe, headed by Iain MURRAY who skippered Raptor to an Overall win in the 1994 Sydney Hobart Race and then Bumblebee 5 to a Line Honours victory in the 2002 race.
In addition to Murray, the crew will include international sailors Chris LINKS, Darren JONES, Alby PRATT, David SAMPSON, Ian SMITH, Tony BELLINGHAM, Paul MONTAGUE, Peter MESSENGER, Sven RUNOW, Josh ALEXANDER and Josh WHITTAKER, several of whom were in the winning crew of Bumblebee 5.
The closing date for applications to enter the 60th Rolex Sydney Hobart is 5 November, with the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia already having received more than 50 nominations from all Australian States, Germany, Great Britain, New Zealand and the USA.