Grant Wharington’s Wild Thing won line honours in the 2003 Rolex Sydney Hobart but the following year, leading the fleet to Hobart, she lost her canting keel, capsized and the crew abandoned ship. Wild Thing was rebuilt and went on to take line honours in the 2005 Sydney Gold Coast, Sydney Mooloolaba and Sydney Mackay races. In the 2008 Hobart, Wild Thing finished second to Wild Oats XI after mounting a challenge for line honours.
The yacht has spent the last 11 months languishing at Rivergate in Brisbane. Earlier in the year the yacht spent a few months on the hard stand being repaired after a pontoon, from up the Brisbane River, punched a hole in its stern as the late January flood waters raged down the river. Wild Thing, now painted black from the hull to the boom and then right up to the top of the massive 41 metre mast, ready to take on her eighth consecutive Rolex Sydney Hobart.
In last year’s Rolex Sydney Hobart, Wild Thing finished fifth across the line, despite an incident with a media boat in Sydney Harbour.
During the last seven years the yacht has undergone several changes to its keel. Built originally with a 4.8 metres fin, then modified to 5.2 metres in 2005 and then again to 5.5 metres in 2006, in 2009 Wharington ordered a radical increase to keel taking the hollow fin to 6.8 metres draft, over a metre deeper than his Hobart rivals.
|Yacht Name||Wild Thing|
|Skipper||Grant Wharington (23)|
|Crew||D Witt (16), P Davis (15), P Heyes (9), M Pearce (15), L Pritchard (3), L Parkinson (1), B Smith, D Brennan, J Fisher, M Donnan, C Wild|
|Club||Southport Yacht Club|
|Designer||Don Jones / Fred Barrett|