The first boat to finish receives a royal welcome in Hobart
WILD OATS XISail No: AUS 10001Owner: Robert I OatleyState: NSWDivision: IRCDesign: Reichel Pugh 98LOA: 30.00 m Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2008 ROLEX/Daniel Forste
“It would not be the same growing up in Australia not watching the Boxing Day Test [cricket match] followed by the start of the [Rolex] Sydney Hobart, one of the great sailing challenges”, says Phil Waugh, the Australian rugby union star and crewmember of the first boat to finish the 2011 Rolex Sydney Hobart.
Such is the significance of the Rolex Sydney Hobart in the Australian national psyche that the 2011 Young Australian of the Year Jessica Watson, the youngest person to sail alone around the world, took on the race in 2011 as “her next big challenge”.
Robert Oatley, the owner of Wild Oats XI the race record holder, six times first to finish, and twice overall winner keeps returning because: “it is one of the hardest yacht races in the world to win, and I am very proud to win it.”