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More work for supermaxi Wild Oats XI

AAP logoAAP 2/11/2016 Adrian Warren

She's already had more nips and tucks than an ageing movie star but eight-time Sydney to Hobart line honours winner Wild Oats XI has gone under the knife again in the leadup to this year's race.

The supermaxi went in to the 2015 blue water classic after undergoing dramatic structural surgery, but was forced to retire with sail damage.

The new 11-metre long forward section of the hull has proven to be so efficient it has negated the need for the hydrofoil wing added three years ago.

"We no longer need the retractable horizontal wing to provide lift, it's like excess baggage, so we're going to remove it," Wild Oats XI skipper Mark Richards said.

"It's a decision that was also influenced by the fact that we'll save more than 300 kilos in hull weight."

Richards said the team wanted to win for former owner Bob Oatley, who died two weeks after the 2015 race, a campaign the skipper described as disappointing and unsettled.

"I didn't feel right about it for all of December. In hindsight I think we made the changes too close to race start," Richards said.

"This year all pressure is off. We're out there to do it for Bob, who is now in a better place.

"We've done a lot of work further developing the boat, the crew is probably the best ever and we have a better training schedule."

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