Wild Oats XI wins Big Boat Challenge
SYDNEY (AP) — Wild Oats XI trumped its brand new super-maxi rival Comanche Tuesday to win the Big Boat Challenge on Sydney Harbor, the traditional warm-up to the Sydney to Hobart blue water classic starting Boxing Day.
Comanche, co-owned by Netscape founder Jim Stephens, was at the front of the fleet early as Wild Oats XI suffered spinnaker trouble, but Wild Oats XI took over to finish the 14-nautical mile (16-mile) course more than an minute ahead of Comanche.
Comanche was helmed by American Ken Read and was sailing competitively for the first time. America’s Cup-winning skipper James Spithill was among the crew.
It was the eighth line honors-win in the race for Wild Oats XI, which has also taken line honors in the Sydney to Hobart race seven times.