Wild Oats XI out of Sydney to Hobart race

December 26, 2015

SYDNEY (AP) Defending champion Wild Oats XI was forced to retire from the Sydney to Hobart yacht race late Saturday due to sail damage while leading American super maxi Comanche also was damaged but remained in the race.

A team spokesman said Wild Oats XI's mainsail was split in half by winds of up to 44 knots (81 kph, 50 mph) off the New South Wales state south coast. All crew members were reported safe.

Comanche had also initially decided to retire with a broken rudder, but the yacht's crew later changed its mind and decided to continue the race while making repairs at sea.

Another American yacht, Rambler 88, took over the race lead, with Comanche second.

Another super maxi, Perpetual Loyal, also had a broken rudder and withdrew.