As is customary every year around this time, the Rolex PR machine has trundled out a media release gushing over the early entries for the Sydney-Hobart race. The start on December 26 is still 98 days away but more than 60 boats have already submitted their initial paperwork.
Four 100-footers have entered: the usual suspects Andoo Comanche, LawConnect, and SHK Scallywag, plus Wild Thing 100 (the former 80-foot Beau Geste which has now been stretched to 100).
But what the release from the race sponsors doesn’t mention is the elephant that isn’t in the room. Wild Oats XI, the Reichel/Pugh supermaxi that has headlined the event since 2005 and won line honours nine times, is not listed as an entrant.
SA readers will recall that WOXI was damaged during the recent Hamilton Island regatta. She was then nursed home to Sydney and is now waiting for access to her shed at Woolwich Dock.
Entry to the dock by water has been restricted since the fire that destroyed Andiamo, the 92-foot motor yacht that also belongs to the owners of Wild Oats. Gossip in the offshore community is that Oats will not be heading South on Boxing Day, and is probably soon to be offered for sale.
Another prominent yacht yet to lodge their entry is 2022 overall winner Celestial.
That might be of interest to fellow TP52 Caro. The Fastnet winner ran a close third to Celestial in the 2022 Sydney-Hobart and has entered the Australian classic again.
– anarchist David