• Wild Oats XI leaving Sydney Harbour at the start of the 2018 Rolex Sydney Hobart. Photo Kurt Arrigo/Rolex.
    Wild Oats XI leaving Sydney Harbour at the start of the 2018 Rolex Sydney Hobart. Photo Kurt Arrigo/Rolex.
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This year's Rolex Sydney Hobart fleet includes just two 100ft supermaxis after Wild Oats XI and Comanche failed to enter by the deadline.

The Oatley family has issued a statement, clarifying why the big silver boat will not be on Sydney Harbour on Boxing Day.

Since 2005, Wild Oats XI has proudly been on the starting line each year for the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. 2020 has been no ordinary year for our employees and business interests, and as such our family has made the decision not to enter Wild Oats XI in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.

Our best wishes are with all crews who are racing and it is our hope that Wild Oats XI will return to the starting line on Boxing Day in 2021.

We would like to extend our deepest thanks and gratitude to Skipper Mark Richards, the Wild Oats XI crew and our supporters.

Perhaps broadcaster Channel 7 will now be forced to discover that there are other boats in the race, apart from the supermaxis, and provide coverage of the TP52s, the Double-handers and the smaller boats in the fleet.

Unfortunately the Double-hander fleet has been reduced significantly following the CYCA's diastrous decision not to allow them to compete for the Tattersall Cup, the overall handicap prize, after threats of protest from several owners of larger, fully-crewed boats.

Originally making up nearly one-third of the 90+ boat fleet, there have been at least six withdrawals, with more likely to follow.

- Roger McMillan

 

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