Bob Oatley’s perennial first-to-finish 100’ R/P Wild Oats XI shows off her new surgery for the 2012 Hobart – a pair of vertical winglets on the back edge of the bulb and a light-air daggerboard on the bow. They appear to be odd solutions to Oatley’s loss to Loyal last year, but time will tell…in just a week. They also show that even the best of the best still can’t dock a boat right; fast forward to 1:18 for the drama.
Syd Fisher’s Ragamuffin Loyal – the only boat to beat Wild Oats to Hobart in recent years – also had a Cat 1 moment last week when they crashed into a bridge and damaged the rig. Fisher’s chances for a repeat rapidly disappearing as fans wonder if the new bits will be properly tuned for the Boxing Day classic.
Meanwhile, the other ‘wild’ boat – Wharrington’s Wild Thing – has a secret new American partner that will be revealed over the next few days. But it’s also got something far more interesting; 6 sailor chicks in real roles as crew. Check out the rock star chix they’ve got…if there’s ever been a year for Wharro to win one, this is it. The fact that he chopped the boat in half and added both length and beam might help…
As usual, the best place to follow the race will be right here in the SA forums. You can also tune in to SailorChix Radio twice over the next week for some real-time action from Sydney; on Saturday morning at 0730 (Friday 1530 EDT) for an hour with our own Mr. Clean as a guest, as well as a two-hour plus special including live action from the course, on Boxing Day. Here are some more details from the girls.