Wild Rose has won the 2014 Rolex Sydney to Hobart yacht race, crossing the line with a time of three days, 10 hours, 47 minutes and 43 seconds.
The NSW yacht, formerly called Wild Oats when owned by Bob Oatley, who took line honours in his supermaxi, finished at about 8pm last night, as its handicap rivals searched for a plane that crashed in front of them in Storm Bay.
The win is skipper Roger Hickman’s third overall victory in the blue water classic, but his first on Wild Rose and “icing on the cake”.
“To win on this beautiful boat, the boat that Bob Oatley created, the boat that I’ve been privileged to sail on for many, many years and own is just wonderful,” said the sailor who was this month named 2014’s Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s Ocean Racer of the Year.
“It’s wonderful for the sport that a little boat can win from time to time.”
Wild Rose broke its steering cable on Monday morning when the boat broached while racing downwind in a 30-knot breeze with the spinnaker up. But the managed to repair the damage and continue on.
The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia commodore John Cameron announced the 29-year-old 43-footer had taken out handicap honours today after reviewing of the results of seven yachts that diverted from the race to help locate the plane and two people, the pilot and a photographer, who remain missing.