Wild Oats XI enters the Derwent River for the historic race win. A FrancoliniAudi GAYCARBOYS (4)

 

 

 

  • Wild Oats XI has claimed a record-breaking eighth line honours win
  • Audi has recently came ‘on board’ as a major sponsor of the history- making yacht, extending  it’s  sailing sponsorship portfolio
  • A gap of just six nautical miles meant victory for Wild Oats XI in the 70th annual Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race

Hobart, December 30, 2014 – It was the space of just six nautical miles that made the difference when it came to Bob Oatley’s supermaxi, Wild Oats XI, claiming a historic eighth line honours in the 628 nautical mile Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.

There were anxious times for everyone – sailors and race followers alike – as the Jim Clark-owned and built Comanche, skippered by Ken Read, continued to make gains. But the advantage Wild Oats XI had established earlier in the race withstood the test.

What followed was the most spectacular finish seen in the race’s 70-year history, Wild Oats was escorted  Wild Oats XI enters the Derwent River for the historic race win. A FrancoliniAudi GAYCARBOYS (1)up the Derwent River by hundreds of small boats, their wakes leaving a swathe of white water that looked like vapour trails. At the same time thousands of people lined the river banks and the docks to welcome the big boat to their city.

Bob Oatley, aged 86, was dockside to greet his yacht and crew. Inevitably the media descended on him with the big question: “Will you be going for a ninth win next year?” His answer was simple: “Ten wins sounds better to me.”

Wild Oats XI’s newest sponsor, German carmaker, Audi, announced it had joined the team in November, to celebrate the upcoming 10th anniversary of its relationship with Audi Hamilton Island Race Week and the Oatley family.

“An historic win like this is an unbeatable way to extend our partnership with Hamilton Island and the Oatley family. It was an incredibly emotional experience and without doubt proved what a great team the Wild Oats XI crew is, led by Mark Richards, and of course the great man himself, Bob Oatley. Even with such strong competition from a brand new boat like Comanche and her highly experienced crew, the Wild Oats XI team focussed on sailing a flawless race and proved that teamwork, a clear strategy and the drive to succeed can make all the difference – and produce a record-breaking performance.”

“The Audi team here in Australia could not be more proud,” Mr Doyle said.

 Wild Oats XI enters the Derwent River for the historic race win. A FrancoliniAudi GAYCARBOYS (2)