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Posts Tagged ‘WOXI’

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Clean Report

It’s been a busy day over in Hobart, even for an island with ‘mania’ in its name.  First, Race Organizer the CYCA finally managed to get Youtube to release the Sydney Harbour race start video that had been in copyright limbo since the start of the race, more than two days ago.  If you weren’t watching, that means you could only see it while it was live – after which point the feed disappeared completely until just a few hours ago.  We withdraw all the props we gave them…

…and give a whole new set of props to the Hobart Jury, who did what most competent juries would have this morning when faced with a blatant port/starboard foul and an unrepentant offender in Mark Richards: They hit the offender hard with a 1-hour penalty, taking away their overall race record time and giving the line honors win and the all-important course record to Comanche. All this despite Richards and team sailing a blinder up the Derwent, using Oats’ light air prowess to grind down Spithill and the almost all-pro Comanche crew and beat them over the line by 18 minutes. Watch Sailor Girl’s coverage of the finish here and her interview with Comanche owner Jim Cooney here.

If you’ve been on an eggnog bender for the past few days you may have missed the moment when Mark Richards and WOXI tactician Ian Murray got caught pulling the full Cat 1 move on live TV with the poorest supermaxi lee bow in history. We’ve pre-set the Yahoo7 coverage video above to the moment of the foul, and what is shocking is not necessarily Ricko’s screwup – after all, it’s been a dog’s life since he’s competed at high level match racing, and without his tatician getting him set up for the situation, he was clearly a bit overloaded before the crash tack.  The real surprise comes from that fact that such an experienced crew, anchored by the guy who developed the foiling America’s Cup penalty system –  wouldn’t just do their 720 and be on their way!  For fuck’s sake they’ve got POWERED WINCHES.  Do your turns and don’t leave the results of a 600+ mile race and an all-important legacy win and outright race record up to the freaking jury at the finish line.  WOXI won by 27 minutes – does anyone think a 720 would have taken that long?

To reiterate our opinion: It wasn’t the foul that hurt WOXI.  It was the failure to take their turns, combined with the idiotic comments of their skipper in both written and TV interviews. To wit, Ricko told ABC: “If that was a blatant infringement then obviously we would do our turn but it actually wasn’t,” 

“In our minds we were clear ahead and we’ve got video footage to prove it.”

“If you read the rule book we did the right thing and that’s all there is to it.”

Maybe not.  And maybe it’s time Ricko did a couple of Grade 3 match races to remind himself how the rules work.

As you’d expect, the Hobart thread on Ocean Racing Anarchy has gone insane, with 500 new posts (from Aussies who hate Kiwis, Kiwis who hate Aussies, and Americans who hate everyone) in just a few hours.  Check in here.

Title shout to a recently dead legend.

UPDATE: Richo and Sandy O respond to their penalty:

December 28th, 2017 by admin

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Screen Shot 2015-08-07 at 11.40.29 AM

In the best Aussie tradition of having the biggest, sharpest knife in the bush, the legendary machete that is Bob Oatley’s Wild Oats XI is going back under the knife for a massive refit before the 2015 Hobart.  And when we say massive, we mean cut in half and rebuilt from the mast forward, with a huge DSS-style fin at the beam…and that’s only part of the job.  Will the WOXI boys continue to stay just ahead of the new curves from VPLP, Verdier, and the Juank?  Apparently, all it takes is money, hard work, money, great crews, money, skilled boatbuilders, and a little more money.  Gotta do something will all that cash meant for an Aussie AC team, perhaps? (A team which, hilariously, continues to publish a website, hosted on the Americascup.com domain, that loads with a huge image of the Harbour with the words “2017 – Australia Gets Back In The Ring” as of a few minutes ago).

Check out the details over here, and WOXI’s Facebook is always good for something interesting.


August 7th, 2015 by admin

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SAILING - Rolex Sydney to Hobart 2006

Are you getting stoked for the Sydney Hobart Race?  We sure as shit are, and judging from longtime Sydney-Hobart photographer Andrea Francolini’s Facebook Page, he is too (and thanks AF for sending over a higher-res shot of this 2006 dunking for the SA’ers).  It’s not just the long-awaited US vs. AUS showdown between the wily, old, rarely-defeated veteran Wild Oats XI (going for her record-breaking eighth overall win) and the bleeding edge Kenny Read-led star-spangled Comanche.  Even better than this tête-a-tête is a big upswing in the typical fleet size (up to 117 boats for this year) thanks to the extra buzz of the race’s 70th anniversary.  Relive some of the great shots of the past with Andrea as well as some non-sailing Sydney vistas over here. The CYCA is on board with the nostalgia too – how about a movie from the 1974 race?

And for some classic SA shit talking between the Aussie fanboys and the yank shit-stirrers anxious to prove their maxi is bigger than yours, start here.

November 24th, 2014 by admin

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mark the knife

 Mark O’ Brien put his Monstacartoon pen to the Wild Oats XI appendage package, and as usual, it’s awesome.  Wanna buy a print of any of his work, or a cartoon of your own boat?  Hit him up here!  Credit to the great composer Kurt Weill (via Louis Armstrong here).  And get in the Sydney Hobart thread to post your own predictions for the race, and win brand new SA swag, and don’t forget our McConaghy Boats-sponsored coverage of the 69th Sydney Hobart Race, coming at you live from Oz in just a few days.  Like McC’s Facebook Page now, or you might well miss something….


December 19th, 2013 by admin

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With the Speedboat and a pile of Volvo 70s grinding and scraping their way to readiness for the 2013 Sydney-Hobart Race, Bob Oatley’s Wild Oats XI is looking both long in the tooth and a bit iffy for that all-important first-to-finish trophy.  What’s a billionaire to do when his 100′ Super Maxi starts to look old and tired?  There ain’t enough time to build a wider, more powerful boat, and you’ve already added yet another steering appendage up front to go with the canting keel, rudder, and two daggerboards.  Maybe you just need a little more cowbell.

That’s apparently what WOXI skipper Mark Richards thought, and the result is a nearly 3-meter DSS horizontal stability fin.  We’ve seen them before, and they’re performing with varied results, and the consensus is that, for the right boat, the DSS system is pretty damned sweet.  WOXI will test out the new foils next month at Hamilton Island Race Week.

We think this is the biggest DSS deployment yet, and you can bet your sweet ass that, if the Aussie “Swiss Army Knife” works, you’ll see a lot of retrofitting very soon; with the worldwide economy less stable than even Rolex’s sailing future, it’s a lot cheaper to cut a new hole in your boat than it is to build a new one.

There’s one massive problem we can see here:  One big fish or one waterlogged timber is going to tear a hell of a hole in a boat that averages 20 knots and touches 40 regularly.  Do they really need another point of failure?


August 14th, 2013 by admin


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