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Wild Oats XI leads fleet out of Sydney Harbour

Wild Oats XI leads fleet out of Sydney Harbour

Defending champion Wild Oats XI led the 78-strong fleet out of Sydney Harbour on Tuesday at the start of the 62nd Sydney to Hobart yacht race.
Wild Oats was first to round the heads and turn south, followed by supermaxis Skandia and Maximus.
Conditions were expected to be difficult, with the fleet sailing in a big swell and into a stiff southerly breeze.
Last year, Wild Oats XI, owned by Sydney businessman Bob Oatley, became the first boat in the race's history to complete the triple of line and handicap honors and a race record.
It wiped more than an hour off the previous time to win the 61st version of the blue water classic in one day, 18 hours, 40 minutes and 10 seconds. Nokia set the previous mark for the 628-nautical mile (723-mile; 1,163-kilometer) race of one day, 19:48:02 in 1999.
Mark Richards, skipper of Wild Oats XI, has said the forecast indicates a good tactical race rather than one of survival.
Six sailors died and seven boats were sunk or abandoned during the 1998 race, which was hit by a terrible storm.
If Wild Oats becomes the first yacht in 42 years to claim back-to-back line honors, it will have to beat an imposing entry from New Zealand called Maximus.
After the yachts leave Sydney Harbour, they travel down the New South Wales state south coast and across the Bass Strait to the island state of Tasmania. After a sail up the Derwent River, the race finishes at Constitution Dock at the state capital Hobart.


Updated : 2021-06-19 17:27 GMT+08:00