Honours at the line: Wild Oats X enters the Coffs Harbour Jetty yesterday to claim line honours in the Pittwater to Coffs Harbour yacht race.
Honours at the line: Wild Oats X enters the Coffs Harbour Jetty yesterday to claim line honours in the Pittwater to Coffs Harbour yacht race. Trevor Veale

Wild Oats wins 30th yacht race

PERIODS of little to no breeze throughout Sunday night stopped Wild Oats X from eclipsing its own race record as it claimed line honours in the 30th Pittwater to Coffs Harbour yacht race.

Skipper Mark Richards is always pleased to cross the finish line first but he admitted the changing conditions caused his crew some frustration before edging out a plucky Quest for line honours by a margin of 36 minutes and 34 seconds.

“We had some great rides, at times we were doing 27 knots but we hit a couple of still patches as well,” Richards said.

“It was 27 knots one minute and then nothing the next but that’s racing.”

“We had one goal and that was to get here first. Whether that is by 10 hours or 10 seconds it doesn’t really matter, that’s the goal,” he said.

“It was always going to be a small boat race on handicap which is fine, share it around as we’re just happy to be here first.”

Yesterday’s line honours victory was the sixth time in nine years that a Wild Oats boat has crossed the finish in first place, the third time the honour has gone to Wild Oats X.

Richards admitted the changeable conditions made this one of the hardest victories earned, if not the hardest among the bagful of wins.

“We had no wind at one stage and there was a big shift just past Smoky Cape and it took miles out of us,” the skipper said.

“What can you do?

“You’re sitting there in the dark and waiting to get going again, then the sun comes up and you see what’s going on better and, fortunately, we had a little bit bigger boat that when the breeze did come up we could get away again. It was still good fun.”

Good fun maybe but after a Sydney to Hobart and then this race, the crew deserves a rest.



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