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Wild Oats XI claims its ninth victory, skipper Mark Richards reveals how

Wild Oats XI has claimed its ninth victory in the 74th Sydney to Hobart yacht race, after a tight battle with rival supermaxis.

The nine-time winner overtook defending line honours champion Comanche,  before sunrise, crossing the line in Hobart shortly after 8am today.

The win comes after Wild Oats XI was stripped of line honours in last year’s race, with a rule breach and time penalty handing victory to arch-rival Comanche.

Comanche is in second place with Black Jack and Infotrack closely behind.

The quartet spent Thursday duelling down Tasmania’s east coast but Wild Oats XI took a more easterly route near Tasman Island to take the advantage overnight.

Lighter winds in the River Derwent were tipped to favour the smaller Black Jack but Wild Oats XI was able to gather enough speed to get home.

Wild Oats XI won the race in one day, 19 hours and 17 minutes.

Winning skipper Mark Richards tells John Stantely the win came down to “amazing teamwork”.

“Teamwork, fantastic support from the Oatley family, a fantastic yacht and just fulfilling Bob Oatley’s dream of winning this race has been a big deal for us.

“We never gave up. We were behind the eightball for most of the race and we came through at the end when it really counted.”

Click PLAY below to hear the full interview

JOHN STANLEY
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