In the Press


A Bittersweet Rolex Sydney Hobart

December 30, 2016 · Posted by kate

Hobart (December 30, 2016) – The Reichel/Pugh Team congratulates all competitors in the 2016 72nd edition of the annual 628 nm Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. The race concluded with several highlights for Reichel/Pugh-designed yachts:

RP66 Alive, a canting keel design launched in 2006 from Westerly Marine as Jim Madden’s Stark Raving Mad, and formerly Peter Harburg’s Black Jack, finished in the top ten for line honours and corrected to 6th in ORCi Div 1.

RP40 Chutzpah, launched in 2007 from Hart Marine and owned by Bruce and Drew Taylor, corrected to 2nd in IRC/ORCi Div 2.

RP51 Primitive Cool,
launched in 2009 as Secret Men’s Business 3.5 from Hart Marine and now owned by John Newbold, corrected to 10th in IRC Div 1.


In 2012, R/P-designed Wild Oats XI, owned by the Oatley Family and Skippered by Mark Richards, posted a race record time of 1d:18h:23m:12s with an average speed of just 15 knots. Ideal record-breaking conditions two-days prior to this year’s race suggested the possibility of clipping three to six hours off the record pace. Earlier this year, the “silver bullet” averaged 21 knots when she set a new record for the 350 nm Brisbane to Keppel race. The top speed the yacht has recorded to date is 35 knots (65 km/hour). Speeds following the Reichel/Pugh-designed modification of the 11-metre long forward section of the hull which proved so efficient that further modifications recently removed the horizontal hydrofoil wing. “The new bow shape has made a dramatic difference to the yacht’s speed both upwind and down,” said Wild Oats XI’s skipper Mark Richards. “When racing downwind offshore we can now sail the yacht at more than 30 knots without any fear of nose-diving. This improvement means we no longer need the retractable horizontal wing to provide lift – it’s like excess baggage – so we’re going to remove it. It’s a decision that was also influenced by the fact that we’ll save more than 300 kilograms in hull weight.”

Racing for her 9th line honours in 12 starts and in the running for her third handicap victory, she sailed this edition in the memory of the yacht’s late owner, Bob Oatley, who died in January this year at age 87. In the afternoon of the first day, Wild Oats XI reported that they were holding a steady lead on the 88-boat fleet and already some 90 minutes ahead of the 2012 race record pace. After the yachts entered the Bass Straits approximately twenty hours into the race, Wild Oats XI was forced to retire for the second year in a row due to a heartbreaking hydraulic ram failure. For all the news from the Wild Oats team click to visit their site.


Highlights of the 2016 race can be found on the Rolex Yachting YouTube channel


Title image courtesy of Kurt Arrigo
Race starts and Wild Oats XI courtesy of Daniel Forster

Newbold’s RP 51 Primitive Cool Finishes Sydney Hobart 4th Overall

December 31, 2015 · Posted by kate

RSHYR2015Congratulations to the owners and crews of the Reichel/Pugh designed yachts that competed in the 2015 ROLEX Sydney to Hobart Race.
Photos © Rolex

John Newbold’s RP 51 Primitive Cool (AUS), designed & engineered by Reichel/Pugh and built by Hart Marine, Melbourne, finished 4th overall and second in Division 1 with a time of 04:10:36:19. Primitive Cool was formerly the Secret Men’s Business which won the Sydney Hobart overall in 2010. Read More …

2015 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race Start

December 26, 2015 · Posted by kate

Click to access the start of the 71st Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race here and follow Reichel/Pugh’s entries: RP100 Wild Oats XI owned by Robert Oatley and skippered by Mark Richards, built by McConaghy and launched in 2005 (now retired due to torn mainsail); RP78 canting keel performance cruiser Lupa of London Read More …

Video | Wild Oats XI Evolution

December 19, 2015 · Posted by kate

How does a ten year old yacht remain at the forefront of one of the great ocean race classics?

With her distinctively slim and elegant hull, Bob Oatley’s Wild Oats XI has taken line honours in eight out of the last ten Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Races. In collaboration with Reichel/Pugh, her original builders McConaghy Boats have recently completed her most radical evolution yet. On the eve of the 628 nautical mile 2015 RSHYR on December 26th, McConaghy TV shares a film about forging this new reality. Additionally, Reichel/Pugh’s Jim Pugh breaks down the carefully calculated modifications to boost her performance in up-range conditions. Calculations that will hopefully place Wild Oats XI ahead of the 110 yacht fleet into Hobart for the ninth time in 11 starts.

Visit the builder’s site at

Title photo from August 2015 © Andrea Francolini

WILD OATS XI Preparations Reaffirmed for the Sydney Hobart Race

December 15, 2015 · Posted by kate

Sydney, Australia (December 14, 2015) – After a perfect start in light winds at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s annual SOLAS Big Boat Challenge bash around Sydney Harbor, Bob and Sandy Oatley’s super maxi 100-foot Wild Oats XI steadily drew away from the bigger, wider, more powerful 100 footers, Ragamuffin 100 and Perpetual Loyal, on every leg of the 14 nautical mile course. In the end, 3 minutes 50 seconds separated the slim and elegant Wild Oats XI from the fleet as they crossed the finish line off the Opera House first. Read More …

Back to top