mind your back!

As the 100-foot mastodons prepare for battle in the 384nm Sydney-Gold Coast Race starting this Saturday, Wild Oats XI is finally back in the water after a two-year Covid layoff.

Nicknamed “The Swiss Army Knife” this much-modified Reichel-Pugh has, at various stages since its launch in 2005, sported every appendage known to man.  

Its most recent go-fast foil is the towering front canard, shown above.

No doubt it helps the boat track and reduces leeway, but spare a thought for any foredeck crew who find themselves working up at the pointy end on a dark night.

WOXI has always had a tendency to nosedive. One big wave over the bow might make that foil and its supporting crane something of a hazard. Maybe that’s why the supermaxi has those nifty handrails along each gunnel? Click pic to take a closer look.