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Rolex Sydney to Hobart yacht struck by lightning

Rolex Sydney to Hobart yacht race supermaxi, Wild Oats XI struck by lightning at the weekend.

Wild Oats XI was out of the water and in its cradle at Woolwich Dock, on Sydney Harbour, when a bolt of lightning struck the top of the 45-metre high carbon fibre mast during a thunderstorm early Sunday morning.

The 10 million volt-plus discharge from the lightning destroyed a significant number of electronic instruments.

What is not known at this stage is if any of the yacht’s carbon fibre rigging was damaged by the strike.

Wild Oats XI’s skipper, Mark Richards, said he was confident the yacht would be ready for the start of the 628-nautical mile classic on Boxing Day.

Richards added that while rigging checks would continue tomorrow, he believed no damage would be found.

The Rolex Sydney to Hobart race starts on Boxing Day at 13:00 hrs AEDT (02:00 hrs UTC).

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