More structural damage for Sydney to Hobart favourite
If bad luck comes in threes then Wild Oats X1 is due a change in fortune ahead of the Sydney to Hobart start on Boxing Day.
After racing against the clock to have major structural damage repaired when the mast fractured at deck level, the crew missed valuable racing time when the Big Boat Challenge on Sydney Harbour was cancelled due to thick bushfire smoke.
The team suffered a third setback when a spreader on the mast broke during a recent training sail, involving more repairs for the team and time offt the water.
"It was a loss of another days sailing,'' said tactician Iain Murray, aboard for all of Wild Oats XI's nine previous line honours wins and part of the brains trust in the predominently Pittwater crew.
"But the boat is good. We are good.''
Wild Oats' on-water lead-up concludes this week after the supermaxi completed a 24 hour qualifier on Monday.
"She was ripping round for a day in a lot of wind, it was a good test,'' said Murray of the yacht which has spent big chunks of December being worked on at Woolwich Dock.
"The program is back on schedule and we are just ticking off all the things we have to do, the compliances, procedures of safety, getting the race gear on the boat.''
The battle for tyhe 2019 Sydney to Hobart line honours will be fought out between Neutral Bay businessman Jim Cooney and his Comanche team, Lane Cove's Christian Beck and his InfoTrack team, the Queensland yacht Black Jack and the Hong Kong superrmaxi Scallywag which is based in the inner west and raced by a predominantly Sydney crew.
With the exception of Scallywag, all these yachts are former line honours winners for either current or former owners.