The supermaxi yacht Wild Oats XI, owned by the Oatley family, is one of the fastest and most technologically advanced ocean racing yachts in the world. Her record in Australia¹s international offshore classic, the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race, is unrivalled.
The sleek, 30-metre (100ft) long ocean racing thoroughbred is undisputedly the most successful yacht in the event’s 76-year history. Helmsman Mark Richards is recognised as the race¹s most successful skipper.
Wild Oats XI¹s success went further in 2020 Hobart race
Wild Oats XI was launched only a matter of days before her first Rolex Sydney Hobart race in 2005, yet she proved so fast that the supermaxi blasted its way to a rare triple crown – line honours, a race record time and overall handicap victory. The time for the 628 nautical mile course was 1 day, 18 hours, 40 minutes, and 10 seconds.
This was pioneered successfully in 2013 and proved once again to give the yacht an advantage over the fleet.
Wild Oats XI has rewritten the Rolex Sydney Hobart record books many times. Apart from being first to finish on nine occasions, the Oatley family’s pride and joy was the first yacht ever to take four back-to-back line honour victories.
In 2009, after being lengthened to 100ft, the supermaxi surrendered its line honours crown to the almost identical Alfa Romeo but returned to its winning ways the following year.
In the 2012 Rolex Sydney Hobart, Wild Oats XI again took the triple-crown of line and handicap honours and a race record time.
In 2015 the stern was shortened by 2m and 12m forward sections were replaced by a 14m longer, sleeker bow, keeping the midship sections unmodified and in effect moving the entire sail plan aft by 2m.
The boat faced challenges between 2015-2017 but made a comeback in 2018 when Wild Oats XI won its ninth line honours in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, with a time of 1 day, 19 hours, 7 minutes and 21 seconds. This win made Wild Oats XI the most successful yacht in the race’s history with Mark Richards holding the title of the skipper with the most line honours victories.