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Wild Thing 100

Let's talk team wild thing with lisa seiffert  before the 2023 sydney hobart race..

Grant Wharrington's Wild Thing 100's not-so-secret weapon is growing from an 80 footer to a 100 footer over the past 12 months. Their biggest battle was to make it to the start line given the timeline, so they have in some ways already won their race to the race. Lisa is doing her second Sydney Hobart after battling cancer and is proof that racing with your family is one of the best things about the Hobart Race.


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wild thing 100 yacht

OFFSHORE SUMMER 2023/2024 | Wild Thing 100

In the world of 100-footers, it is not often that we get to welcome new members. With rising labour and material costs, these yachts, which regularly steal the spotlight, are scarce. However, this year we were able to add another one of these spectacular racers to the roster. ‘Wild Thing 100 ’ is the brainchild of proud owner and skipper Grant Wharington, better known as ‘Wharo.’

The recently rebuilt ‘Wild Thing 100’ has been transformed over the previous six months, extending its Length Overall (LOA) from 80 to 100 feet. The goal in mind? Complete the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race as a 100-footer. With this massive task ahead of the crew and owner, there wasn’t much time to spare to finish the extensive modifications and deliver the yacht to Sydney from the Gold Coast. To fully appreciate the effort of the team, let’s put it into human terms. This change would be the equivalent of having open-heart surgery, rolling out of the hospital, and then completing a marathon or a wrestling match. Wharo told us everything about what inspired this drastic change and what makes his program tick. It’s safe to say that this story is a pretty wild thing…

wild thing 100 yacht

Reflecting on earlier yacht design, Wharo explained that you had to come up with ingenious ways to have a long boat with a low handicap. Owners were rewarded for innovative features such as eliminating spinnaker poles or reducing sets of spreaders. The first rig on the original Wild Thing featured two sets of spreaders on a 40-metre mast. The turning point came when handicap limits were lifted; one of the main changes that this brought was that maxis were becoming much wider.

Quickly jumping to 2018 when Wharo purchased a Botin 80 called ‘ Stefan Racing .’ He said, “I had the idea of extending the boat to 100 feet pretty soon after buying it. As an 80-foot yacht, it had a very wide beam, which was the new trend for maxis like LawConnect and Comanche. And in all honesty, it was quite an average 80-footer, but I saw its potential. The hull had a great foundation to extend it, especially when compared to the costs of building a new hull.” With this realization, the game was afoot, the million-dollar question that was left to answer: “How do we make it longer overall and not blow out the handicap too much?”

wild thing 100 yacht

Having previously sailed on Syd Fischer’s the rebuilt Ragamuffin, he shared, “Syd had a hands-on approach, and I learned a lot from sailing with him. During the rebuild of Wild Thing 100 I was in between projects at work, so I was at the yard helping every single day. Wharo’s hands-on approach and trade background played a pivotal role in this process.” Despite doubts from others, Wharo and his team remained optimistic and passionate about this project.

To avoid delving too deep into the technical aspects of boat building, we asked Wharo to explain the mods in layman’s terms. “We cut the boat in half in front of the mast and stuck four metres of midbow in between those pieces, and then we put another two metres of stern at the back.” Now that doesn’t sound too complex, does it? Unfortunately for the Wild Thing team, it was. What the team accomplished with these specific changes was, of course, extend the LOA, but it also moved the mast further back by two metres. Ticking another box that is popular in modern yacht design. With the mast further back, you can run larger headsails while improving airflow when overlapping sails, the foot of each head sail is consequently two metres longer and all of this eventually translates into speed, lots of it. The number one hurdle for the team would prove to not be the actual rebuild but getting their compliances approved by the DNVGL. The biggest driver for boat speed is LOA; an increase in that would theoretically mean that the boat would be able to go faster. Consequently, the hull gets put under more stress. Because they started life at 80 feet, all the panels on the hull and deck had to be rechecked to see if they would be able to withstand this potential additional load as a 100-footer.

Wharo laughed: “In the 2022 RSHYR, we reached up to 32 knots in Stefan Racing, so we were not sure how much faster we would be able to go. Anyways the engineers had to calculate what the new pressure would be like at 100 feet, and this meant we had to reinforce parts of the boat with stringers and bulkheads.” Compliance sorted, new sails flaked, team ready, let’s go training then right? Don’t think so!

With unforeseen additional work, Wild Thing 100 would only be actually sailed while delivering it to Sydney ahead of the RSHYR. “We pulled the sails up as we left the Gold Coast; it was a building nor’easter, so that was an exciting. Nothing major failed, and we made our way to Sydney quickly. We were greeted at the CYCA by friends, family, and media. It was a great moment, but we still had work to do, so we put our heads down and got the boat as dialed in as we could.”

wild thing 100 yacht

The pro-am crew is mostly the same from Stefan Racing; this meant that Wharo knew how people would fit in and how the mindset and team works. “You soon figure out who you want to sail with. I am very lucky with my team; I just want to thank everyone that joined in with Theo, Paddy, and Tylor for putting in the hard yards and never giving up.” Matt Pearce, Wild Thing 100 team member, professional sailor and sailmaker at Doyle Sails Australia vouched for the quality of the build: “The boat operated faultlessly, a few small things happened but that is the case for Andoo Comanche or LawConnect too – that’s just sailing. We had a few gaps in our performance, but we are ready to tackle those areas head on”.

Admittedly the boat did not place where a 100-footer should. Is that an issue? Not necessarily, under the creed of finishing the boat, getting to Hobart, not break sh*t (Wharo’s words), and building a solid team, this campaign was extremely successful and truly one-of-a-kind. As the 6th boat across the line in between the 80 and 60 footers, the team is now focused on working out the kinks and making this giant go fast: “We are nowhere near knowing the full potential of the boat, so we are keen to figure it out. The biggest change will be adding a J0 to our sail inventory.” A sail that is flown from the masthead to the end of the bowsprit; this sail can be used to sail upwind in light wind and then it gets used again when sailing downwind in heavier breeze. “Not having the J0 was why our performance was not as good as it could be, so we are excited for this sail to arrive.” Many have asked if the boat will get a new rig as it still has the same mast as Stefan Racing, and the answer is not quite yet. There is undoubtedly too much to figure out, and as the lightest 100-footer, they want to keep that advantage, and a taller rig will mean a bigger handicap and more weight.

Not surprisingly, there were many doubters: “There ain’t enough time mate.” However, addressing the skeptics, Wharo stated, “There were a lot of doubters, but those who know me best knew it wasn’t going to not happen.” Drawing parallels to his past experiences such as getting “Brunel” ready for the first leg of the Volvo Ocean Race in ‘05/’06, he emphasized the importance of proving one’s capabilities through actions, saying, “The proof is in the pudding. I’d like to be known as someone who bites off more than they can chew and then chews like hell.”

wild thing 100 yacht

So, what’s the takeaway from the Wild Thing 100 story – listen to your instinct, work for what you hold dear, map out a plan and then jump into action. An incredible congratulations to the entire Wild Thing 100 squad for the journey they have completed over the last six months and a special shoutout to Wharo for generously sharing his insights and stories. Wishing you all smooth sailing, you wild thing!

wild thing 100 yacht

CYCA Principal Sponsor

Cyca official sponsors, helly hansen, club marine, income asset management, sydney brewery, lgt crestone, the luxury collection, winnings appliances, roads and maritime services, cyca youth sailing academy sponsors and supporters, helly hansen, forecasts.global, vibe hotels, network marine, sun foundation.

Sydney to Hobart yacht race: Andoo Comanche takes the day one lead with SHK Scallywag losing ground

Sport Sydney to Hobart yacht race: Andoo Comanche takes the day one lead with SHK Scallywag losing ground

A picture of Sydney to Hobart boat Andoo Comanche speeding through the water with other competitors behind.

Race favourite SHK Scallywag is one of the three first casualties of the Sydney to Hobart yacht race after the vessel's bow sprit broke early Tuesday evening.

Skippered by David Witt, the SHK Scallywag from Hong Kong, had recently undergone modifications, added some well-known crew and appeared to be in great shape.

But without the bow sprit, continuing the race would prove impossible.

Andoo Comanche has taken the lead late on a dramatic opening day of the race, after a string of incidents including a protest and a penalty turn. 

A boat making its way through waves

After a slow run in the early stages down the coast, the leading chances for line honours picked up speed later in the afternoon once they headed offshore to maximise their momentum.

The forecast predicts difficult weather for the fleet on Tuesday night and into Wednesday, with storm activity, erratic winds and possible hail.

As at 7:00pm AEDT, Andoo Comanche was leading, offshore between Lake Conjola and Milton, travelling at 24.4 knots.

LawConnect trailed by 3.8 nautical miles, travelling at 24.6 knots. Wild Thing 100 was third, 16.1 nautical miles behind Andoo Comanche.

Not long after SHK Scallywag retired, Arcadia from Victoria, along with Rum Rebellion, also reported they had left the race. 

The race began in typically tense fashion on Sydney Harbour.

LawConnect got the jump at the start and was the leader at the opening mark. But soon afterwards a problem getting their sail up led them to jibe away from the lead and the spectator craft, leaving Andoo Comanche and Scallywag with the advantage.

Two boats are close together in Sydney Harbour after the start of the Sydney to Hobart, with the boat nearest camera leading.

However with all crews pushing things to the edge, a protest flag came in from Andoo Comanche, claiming Scallywag had tacked too late, forcing them to take evasive action with their sail luffing, losing momentum.

Swearing could be heard on board Andoo Comanche as they shouted out their protest after the near miss.

Scallywag sailed clear in the lead and was first out of the Heads, but facing the possibility of a time penalty at the end of the race if Andoo Comanche's protest was upheld, skipper David Witt chose to execute a double penalty turn off Bondi. Scallywag lost ground due to the move.

Six years ago, Wild Oats XI chose to race on after a protest from Comanche, and the one-hour time penalty incurred at the end of the race ended its line honours hopes.

Later in the day, Andoo Comanche retook the lead, passing LawConnect with Scallywag in third. 

The winds were not strong on the way down the coast and the race was a lot slower than last year, with the leaders reaching Wollongong after three and a half hours of racing, an hour later than last year's race.   

Look back at how the day unfolded in our blog.

  • 7:45 AM 7:45 AM Tue 26 Dec 2023 at 7:45am Andoo Comanche still leads, Scallywag losing ground
  • 5:38 AM 5:38 AM Tue 26 Dec 2023 at 5:38am Andoo Comanche is officially leading ... but not by much
  • 5:28 AM 5:28 AM Tue 26 Dec 2023 at 5:28am Scallywag did do penalty turns

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Live updates

That's where we will leave it.

Andrew McGarry profile image

By Andrew McGarry

Right now the race for line honours is a head-to-head duel between Andoo Comanche and LawConnect, but it would be foolish to make too many predictions about how things will go into night one and beyond.

Please keep monitoring the story above the blog, which will be updated if there are any official announcements on Scallywag.

Thank you all very much for joining me on our live coverage of the race south from Sydney.

Thanks to Bob William s on board Sylph VI for talking to us mid-race, and thanks to everyone for your comments and questions. I'm sorry we couldn't get to answer all of them.

There will be more stories covering the race tomorrow as the race heads towards Eden and Bass Strait.

For now, I'm Andrew McGarry and it has been a pleasure to bring you day one of the blue water classic.  

Has there been more than one cat in the Sydney-Hobart?

Hi Andrew, I'm afraid Oli might not be the first cat in the Sydney-Hobart yacht race. Apparently a cat was on board the yacht Connella in the second race of 1946-47. (According to the Pittsworth Sentinel - Fri 10 Jan 1947 and others - Trove). - Nick

Andoo Comanche still leads, Scallywag losing ground

Five and a half hours down, and Andoo Comanche remains in the lead, heading south at 22 knots.

Last year's winner leads by 2.5 nautical miles from LawConnect, which is going at 18.8 knots.

There is now an increasing gap with the rest of the fleet. Wild Thing 100 is now third, 15.2 nautical miles from the lead, travelling at 17.3 knots.

SHK Scallywag (7 knots) is fourth, 18.1 nautical miles from the leader, and it appears David Witt's boat may have turned north-west. We have no confirmation of anything happening on board, but it does not look like a normal course right now.

LawConnect and Celestial

What do you think the chances are of law connect winning line honours and celestial winning handicap ? - Scott

It's very hard to pin down at this early stage of the race. You can tell which boats won't be playing a part in the overall result, but it's a difficult task to isolate particular boats and say where they might finish or who is likely to win.

Celestial is currently 10th overall, going at 13.5 knots 32 nautical miles south of Botany Bay.

The issue with overall is it's not just the speed you're going at, it's the handicap you have. Celestial has a lower handicap than most of the boats ahead of her, but they're all going faster.

If it all slows down, then Celestial could well improve position and be fighting it out.

As far as LawConnect goes, it literally is a three-way battle for line honours as things stand. Christian Beck's supermaxi is 1 nautical mile behind Andoo Comanche, and 3.6 nautical miles in front of SHK Scallywag. But right now, it's the slowest of the three.

The chances are that the head of the fleet will hit some difficult conditions later tonight and tomorrow, particularly once they get to Eden and points south. How the main contenders fair then will tell us a lot about which way the race for line honours is going to go.

I could see any of the three as a possible line honours winner right now. As it stands, it could well be a showdown between Andoo Comanche and LawConnect. If the winds drop, that may allow Scallywag to come through.

Line of the race so far

Does Oli the cat being on the boat make it a catamaran?? - Louise Teague

Bravo, Louise, that's a cracker of a pun.

I hope for Oli's sake, that he has a smooth passage to Hobart on board Sylph VI, and that he's not feline too poorly by the end of the race.

I'll show myself out ...  

is it going like Clockwork out on the water?

Can you tell us anything about the only South Aussie boat in the field which is apparently named 'Clockwork' please? What are its chances of winning overall (handicap) honours? - StevoR

Apologies for the delay in getting to your comment. Clockwork is a Sydney 38 class boat in this year's race.

It's 11.8m long, and there are 10 crew on board, led by owners Andrew Lloyd and Mary Ann Harvey.

At the moment, they are going along at a bit over 6 knots, which compares favourably with a fair number of the fleet right now. They are still nine nautical miles SE of Botany Bay, which tells you how favourable (or not) conditions have been this afternoon, four and a half hours into the race.

Clockwork is 76th in the race for line honours, and 81st in the race overall.

The current prediction is that it will cross the line in the late afternoon on New Year's Eve — when you put in the corrected time to take into account it's size and other factors, the race time would have it crossing the line at 4:25am on New Year's morning.

So they're unlikely to win the race overall, but they're finish time and placing will depend a lot on what weather they face and when and whether they can avoid the worst of the conditions their competitors may have to face over the next few days.

The race is tough - and not just for those on the boats

My partner, Michael, is skippering our boat 'Merit' in the race. I didn't race as don't do well on lack of sleep, but think I won't sleep anyway as will be refreshing the tracker every 5 minutes for the next 3 days! - Jo

I understand the nerves when you're following from on-shore, but that's amazing that Michael is in the middle of it all heading for Hobart as part of the blue ocean classic.

I know that I don't need to tell you what the tracker is saying, but for the rest of our readers, Merit — a 19.3m Volvo 60 round-the-world racing yacht - is going along in the middle of the pack at present.

Like many of the boats in their area, well offshore, south of Bundeena, the winds have dropped off. Merit is going at 2.2 knots, and is a little over 25 nautical miles from the lead.

Now that the leaders have picked up the big winds, the race is quickly separating into two, with the main part of the fleet with little momentum for the moment, and some leaders flying ahead with the best of the conditions.

Good luck to Michael and the rest of the crew (not to mention the other 102 crews out on the water), and I hope it's not too nervous a wait for you Jo until Merit reaches Hobart.    

Andoo Comanche is officially leading ... but not by much

We are three and a half hours into the race, and the leaders are passing Wollongong, which tells you the pace of the race is different this year.

In the 2022 edition, the leaders were going past Port Kembla two and a half hours after the start.

However, the winds are clearly picking up and the leaders are gaining momentum as they go down the coast.

A few minutes ago, LawConnect was leading narrowly, but things have changed again.

The new leader Andoo Comanche is flying along at 25.2 knots, 0.4 nautical miles ahead of LawConnect, which is currently travelling at 18.5 knots.

Scallywag is still third, racing the furthest offshore of the leaders. It's working for them, however, as they have closed the gap to 2.9 nautical miles, and they are the fastest boat out there at 25.6 knots.

The other supermaxi on the water, Wild Thing 100, is 10.4 nautical miles back in fourth. Grant Wharington's boat is going at a respectable clip, at 20.6 knots.

Scallywag did do penalty turns

Race officials have confirmed Scallywag completed a 720-degree penalty turn off the coast of Bondi Beach, to avoid a possible time penalty at the end of the race.

Reigning line honours champion and 2023 favourite Andoo Comanche lodged an early protest, accusing Scallywag of tacking too close to her.

The boats appeared to come within metres of each other as they made their way out of Sydney Harbour.

Comanche's crew could be heard on broadcast coverage yelling "protest" to the Hong Kong-based 100-footer before formally flying a red flag.

Scallywag thrives in lighter winds such as those reported at the start of the race and, hoping to lead the fleet out of the heads, was slow to react to the protest flag.

But the fact the incident had taken place in the harbour meant Scallywag had only a limited distance in which to complete the penalty turns, or risk receiving a time sanction on arrival in Hobart.

In 2017, Wild Oats XI opted not to respond to a protest from Comanche early in the race and a subsequent one-hour time penalty cost her a line honours victory.

Update on Sylph VI and Oli the cat

Skipper Bob Williams holds his cat Oli on board Sylph VI

As we said earlier, we are keeping an eye on the two-handed sloop Sylph VI on its way to Hobart.

The boat first competed in the race in 1961. Williams bought it 25 years ago, and he, along with first mate Chris Warren is on the way south — along with his cat, Oli.

Speaking to Williams, the 12.5m long boat is going well and has avoided trouble so far.

"We're where we expected to be — at the back of the fleet!" he said.

"It's bouncy conditions, but we've got a bit of breeze and we still have the fleet in sight."

Sylph VI was on the fourth start line, furthest back. But this meant they had less of the spectator craft to negotiate.

What of his historic fellow crew member, the first cat to sail to Hobart?

"Oli has crashed out on the starboard settee, with his head on the pillow — he looks very peaceful," Williams said.

It's going to be a long haul to Hobart, but they are going at a nice 6 or so knots at the moment, and things are good.

There will be some bad weather on the way, but they haven't hit anything so far.

"There are thunderheads around, we can see them, but nothing near us so far," Williams said. "There is potential for hail, so we'll have to keep our eye out.

"The main issue for us will be when we get further south and we get some very strong southwesterly breeze.

"We'll see how we go when we get down there."

How does Oli go in storms?

"I don't like rough weather that much either, but Oli usually finds a comfortable spot to curl up in, often down the back end of the quarterberth. "It's nice and cosy, he curls up in a ball and stays asleep for a while. Later he'll come out for a bit of food ... and a pee, maybe!"

You can follow their progress on Sylph VI (or for that matter on any of the boats in the fleet) on the race tracker .  

Seeking the breeze

Hi Andrew, With Scallywag & LawConnect heading further offshore, do you think their strategy is to pick up the Eastern Australian current or try to find a stronger breeze? What is the speed of the Eastern Australian Current in the fastest part of the current? I presume it’s position relative to the coast varies quite a bit as it makes it way down the east coast from the tropics, assuming Scallywag & LawConnect are looking for the current, how will they find the optimal part? Many thanks, Rob (Maryanne’s husband & Mandy’s Dad - so I just had to ask a question!!!) - Rob

I don't know the answer of where the strongest current is or will be. What I do know is that as of the final weather briefing this morning, the BOM were saying that this afternoon they expected light, variable winds closer to shore.

Offshore, the expectation was that winds would be E to SE 10-20 knots. The winds the supermaxis are currently experiencing are towards the lower end of that range.

My best guess is that the big four — who are all well out from shore right now — will be staying out there for the moment, in search of the strongest winds, rather than the current.

The prediction is that once the fleet gets beyond Eden, wind speeds will increase to 20 to 30 knots (albeit still E to SE winds blowing largely away from Hobart).

  Who knows who will benefit most from this. Will it be the smaller boats, or will the inevitable happen and the 100-footers pull ahead? We shall see.

First out of the Heads

Who was first out of the heads? - John

Sorry folks, for those who were keen to know who was officially first out of the Heads, it was actually Scallywag.

LawConnect was first around the first mark, but after their sail problems, they were overtaken by Scallywag, who were first to get out of the Heads.

After all the boats got hit with a wind drop, LawConnect then briefly took the lead, but again were not the first out.

It's been a crazy old start, eh?

Why do people jump off the boats?

Hi Andrew, can you please talk us through how and why the two crew from Scallywag ended up in the water? - Maryanne

Hello Maryanne,

The explanation for why the people jump off the boats is that they are not actually crew.

As part of the coverage of each year's race, camera operators and photographers usually go on board one or two of the leading contenders as they are going through the harbour and the Heads, in order to take pics / send back footage.

The issue is, of course, that unless they want to actually go to Hobart, they need to get off the boat at some point.

The only way to do that is to jump off, so that they can be picked up by waiting boats.

I haven't heard anything concerning coming out, so I presume all went smoothly, and the camerapeople and photographers are currently drying off (or filing pictures like mad, as the case may be....).

Change at the top?

This is definitely not your usual start to the Sydney to Hobart.

An hour into the race, the head of the fleet are usually heading southwards at a rate of knots — upwards of 20, in some cases — and there is definite momentum with one or other of the leaders.

Not so this year.

It's a game of cat and mouse out on the water right now.

Andoo Comanche is taking a (relatively) inside line, and has sneaked in front. The defending champion is just ahead, travelling at 11.4 knots at the minute. Between it and the coast is URM Group, the 21.8m long boat skippered by Marcus Ashley-Jones. It is going at 8.4 knots.

Further out to sea is LawConnect — it is further south than the others, but in terms of the lead it is officially 0.3 nautical miles behind Andoo Comanche, going at 9.2 knots.

Behind them is Philip Turner's Reichel Pugh 66 Alive — the boat that won overall in 2018.  

Alive (0.4 nm behind) is going at 7.4 knots on a similar line to Andoo Comanche. More smaller boats are in the mix, with Moneypenny (1.3nm back), No Limit (also 1.3nm behind) and Smuggler (1.6nm) all travelling in the middle channel.

The widest run of all is Scallywag, who is now almost out of picture on the tracker, searching for wind.

It's going to be a fascinating afternoon if the winds stay light and give the smaller boats a chance.

A question on the rules

Hey Andrew, I'm new to sailing so sorry if this is a dumb question. Who determines if Scallywag has to do the turns and how long they have to do them? - Maddy

Maddy, where things stand is that Andoo Comanche has put in a protest flag already after that close call in the harbour.

Andoo Comanche are claiming that Scallywag chose to tack too late, forcing them off course to avoid a collision.

From here it's all pending. The judges will be sitting in the protest room in Hobart, waiting for the race to finish.

While the boats are on the water, there will be no decision made. As the saying goes, it's now up to Scallywag's crew to decide if they are feeling lucky.

If they want to take the chance — and so far it looks like they do — then they will sail straight to Hobart and hope that the judges rule with them at the end.   A few years back, Wild Oats XI was issued with a one-hour penalty in Hobart for an incident near the start of the race.

If they are not so confident, then they need to do those two turns (or a 720 degree turn, for the mathematically inclined out there), before they get a certain distance down the coast. If they do that, then the protest is cleared, and it's all systems go - but Andoo Comanche and others would doubtless gain ground.

The upshot, Maddy, is that it's not hard and fast, and it depends on the final ruling. #ClearAsMud

A speed update for the leaders

The leaders are certainly not blazing a trail down south as things stand.

Scallywag leads, but the boat is travelling at 9 knots. It's nearest challenger, Andoo Comanche, is going at 9.6 knots.

LawConnect is further back and the furthest out to sea, searching for winds to fill their big sail. They are travelling at 6.9 knots.

Scallywag has clear air - will they keep it?

We are about half an hour into the race, and Scallywag still leads the fleet, with Andoo Comanche in second and LawConnect in third taking a wide line out of the Heads.

Alive is doing very well so far in about fourth spot, although they will be playing the long game to Hobart, looking more to the overall title than line honours.

Scallywag is still going straight ahead, and there is no sign of them turning to do the penalties.

They have until a little way down the coast (around Bondi) to take the turns, but if not they will have to rely on the judges seeing things their way once they get to Hobart!

Already the race record track of LDV Comanche (as it was in 2017) is beginning to stretch away from the fleet.

One day nine hours, 15 minutes and 24 seconds is a ridiculously fast time to Hobart, and any challengers will need EVERYTHING to go right to beat it.

Frustration on board Andoo Comanche

Sailing Master Iain Murray is speaking to Olympian Lisa Darmanin on Seven, and he's not happy.

Asked about the incident with Scallywag, Murray said:

"It's a classic port-and-starboard (incident). That's too close (from Scallywag).

"You can't do that with 100-footers. We'll see".

Asked about the speed of the boat, Murray said:

"We're really struggling to get up to speed in this wind."

A reminder of how to watch

In case you are trying to watch the action, a reminder to check out 7Mate on free-to-air or 7Plus if you want to stream it.

There's a LOT going on

Everyone is having issues with their sails. The conditions are not clear, and now Andoo Comanche is taking its time to change sails.

Behind them is LawConnect, but they have their sail fixed finally, and while Andoo Comanche is going up and down.

Now LawConnect has passed last year's winners — and there is some colourful language coming from the deck of Andoo Comanche!

Meanwhile Scallywag has taken advantage of their rivals problems, and they have sailed clear in first place!




Only 99 days to go until 2023 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race

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wild thing 100 yacht


Sydney To Hobart Yacht race 2023: Rebuilt Wild Thing Out To Make Waves, Entries, Distance, History

In preparation for the 2023 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, a sailing mad scientist has bizarrely enlarged the 'Botox boat' in an effort to shock and amaze competitors in the prestigious ocean classic.

With the intention of playing a leading role in this year's Sydney to Hobart yacht race, the 'Botox boat' has undergone more cosmetic procedures than an aging Hollywood icon.

Grant Wharington, a self-proclaimed "mad scientist" in the sport of sailing, is the mastermind behind the makeover of a boat that was originally 80 feet long into a supermaxi that is 100 feet long, with the goal of winning the Sydney to Hobart yacht race in 2023.

Wharington has also renamed the old Stefan Racing yacht boat, which will now be used for the Race South Wild Thing 100. Although she is still being prepared for the race in a boat shed in Queensland, she will be ready in plenty of time to be on the starting line of this year's race on Boxing Day.

In addition to having been cut into four pieces, fattened up in the middle, and extended in the rear, Wild Thing will be rebuilt as a supermaxi and will have a new livery for the race that has a stunning black and pink color paint job. The boat will be 20 feet longer than it was before it was cut up and rebuilt.

It will compete against the metamorphosis of the livid pink and rainbowed 80-footer Stefan Racing, which finished sixth over the line in the race the previous year, into a supermaxi with the ability to not only earn line honors but perhaps the prized overall win. Stefan Racing finished sixth over the line in the race the previous year.

wild thing 100 yacht

Wharington, who has previously expanded other yachts, remarked, "We cut her in half and put four meters in the middle and two meters at the back and it looks like it was almost meant to be."

Wild Thing 100's significant weight reduction in comparison to super maxi opponents Andoo Comanche, Scallywag, and LawConnect should put her in the lead in the 628-nautical-mile race to Tasmania later this year.

Originally from the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, Wharington is now located on the Gold Coast. "We are hedging our bets to see how it works out," he added.

Late on Friday, registration for the 2023 race closed, and a fleet of 100+ yachts is expected to line up at the start.

Eleven boats are from outside the country, and some are sailed by just two people.

wild thing 100 yacht

Former winner Black Jack from Queensland, who is currently racing in another country, and triple winner Wild Oats from New South Wales will not be competing.

With Wharington running in his 30th race to Hobart and also being a former winner with his old yacht Skandia winning back in 2013, the reinvented Wild Thing 100 will provide plenty of spice to the contest for line honors.

wild thing 100 yacht

In 1945, nine yachts sailed from Sydney to Hobart, and the 34-footer Rani won line and overall honors.

In 2023, the fleet will consist of various boats that have previously won the line or the handicap race, including John 'Herman' Winning's 100-footer Andoo Comanche, which finished with the quickest time to Hobart the previous year.

Love and War, winner of numerous races overall in the past, as well as Celestial, winner of the race a year ago, will both compete.

Wild Thing saga gets nasty as owner pays out on “Wharo” in court

Daily Telegraph. By Brenden Hills:

IT WAS the high-profile sailing partnership that promised a return to the glory days of its maiden win in the Sydney to Hobart Yacht race.

But the team behind the drama-plagued 100-footer Wild Thing has imploded in a mire of bankruptcy, financial disputes and accusations of incompetence that famously saw the vessel disqualified just three hours before the start of the 2012 race.

The boat’s skipper Grant Wharington has been bankrupted following a disastrous property project in Victoria and has fallen out royally with the boat’s alleged owner David Price over finances and the failures of Wild Thing .

Mr Wharington’s affairs are now being scrutinised by bankruptcy trustee Pitcher Partners and Mr Price ­appeared as a witness at his bankruptcy examination in the Federal Court of Australia on Wednesday.

Under questioning by ­lawyer Innis Cull, Mr Price blamed Mr Wharington for the team being disqualified from the 2012 race, which he believes Wild Thing would have won.

Continue reading here .


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Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2024

wild thing 100 yacht

Competitor Details

Official rolex sydney hobart merchandise.

Shop the official clothing range of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race and the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia in person at the Club in New South Head Road, Darling Point or online below.  

From casual to technical clothing, there is something for all occasions. Be quick as stock is limited!


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    Wild Thing 100 will be the newest 100 ft maxi to be launched when it makes its debut in this year's race. Owner Grant Wharrington has extended Stefan Racing, a Botin 80, which he sailed to fourth over the line in 2021 and 6th last year. Under the extension, the yacht has been rebranded as Wild Thing 100. Wharrington took Line Honours in 2003 ...

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    29/12/2023. They said it couldn't be done and that just drove Grant Wharington to prove the doubters wrong when he built the new 100 foot Wild Thing 100 in five months and made both the start and finish lines of the 2023 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. Wharington and crew, including son, Oli, on his third Sydney Hobart and 21-year-old ...

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    Wharington has also rebranded the old Stefan Racing yacht boat Wild Thing 100 for the race south. A massive 20-foot longer after being sliced into four pieces, fattened out in the middle, extended in the rear and then rebuilt as a supermaxi, Wild Thing will also sport a new livery for the race with a dramatic black and pink colour paint job.

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    Sun Hung Kai's RHKYC entry SHK Scallywag is back after finishing 3rd under David Witt in 2021, and Grant Wharington's Wild Thing 100 (formerly Stefan Racing 80) has had 20 feet added and will race for the first time as a 100-footer. It is shaping up to be a hotly contested John H Illingworth Challenge Cup.

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    Wild Thing saga gets nasty as owner pays out on "Wharo" in court. Daily Telegraph. By Brenden Hills: IT WAS the high-profile sailing partnership that promised a return to the glory days of its maiden win in the Sydney to Hobart Yacht race. But the team behind the drama-plagued 100-footer Wild Thing has imploded in a mire of bankruptcy ...

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