Sydney to Hobart 2016: Perpetual Loyal out first as Wild Oats XI butchers the start

Flashback: Wild Oats suffered a shocker start in Sydney to Hobart 2016 RACE READY: Local yacht Dare Devil is lining up for the 2016 Rolex Sydney-Hobart, one of just two to fly the Hunter flag in the 2016 race.
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Perpetual Loyal heads out to sea during the 2016 Sydney To Hobart Yacht Race on December 26, 2016. Photo: Brendon Thorne/Getty Images

Erin Molan aboard ‘Perpetual Loyal’ prior to the race start during the 2016 Sydney To Hobart Yacht Race on December 26, 2016 in Sydney, . Photo: Brendon Thorne/Getty Images

The crowd in Sydney. Photo: Brendon Thorne/Getty Images

Perpetual Loyal heads out to sea during the 2016 Sydney To Hobart Yacht Race on December 26, 2016. Photo: Brendon Thorne/Getty Images

The Sydney crowd line vantage points. Photo: Brendon Thorne/Getty Images

Perpetual Loyal heads out to sea during the 2016 Sydney To Hobart Yacht Race on December 26, 2016. Photo: Brendon Thorne/Getty Images

Perpetual Loyal leads Wild Oats XI and Scallywag at the race start during the 2016 Sydney To Hobart Yacht Race on December 26, 2016 in Sydney, . Photo: Brendon Thorne/Getty Images

Donna Hay puts on boots aboard ‘Beau Geste’ prior to the 2016 Sydney To Hobart Yacht Race on December 26, 2016 in Sydney, . Photo: Brendon Thorne/Getty Images

Wild Oats XI competes at the race start during the 2016 Sydney To Hobart Yacht Race on December 26, 2016 in Sydney, . Photo: Brendon Thorne/Getty Images

Perpetual Loyal during the 2016 Sydney To Hobart Yacht Race on December 26, 2016 in Sydney, . Photo: Brendon Thorne/Getty Images

Perpetual Loyal lduring the start during the 2016 Sydney To Hobart Yacht Race on December 26, 2016 in Sydney, . Photo: Brendon Thorne/Getty Images

Beau Geste heads out to sea during the 2016 Sydney To Hobart Yacht Race on December 26, 2016 in Sydney, . Photo: Brendon Thorne/Getty Images

Ready for anything: Balance skipper Paul Clitheroe (second right) is preparing for a rough ride despite favourable conditions. Photo: Kirk Gilmour

One of the favourites: Wild Oats XL Photo: Edwina Pickles

Perpetual Loyal heads out to sea during the 2016 Sydney To Hobart Yacht Race on December 26, 2016. Photo: Brendon Thorne/Getty Images

TweetFacebookWIND BACK TO 2016: Anthony Bell’s Perpetual Loyalstarted strongest in the 2016 Sydney to Hobart, leading the fleet of 88 out of the Heads after race favourite Wild Oats XI started poorly.

Perpetual Loyal looked to be benefiting from the move to replace its celebrity crew with several of those who helpedComancheto victory in the 2015 Sydney To Hobart.

Eight-time line honours winner Wild Oats XI missed the start and skipper Mark Richards had to manoeuvre his way past some smaller yachts to stay in touch with the other supermaxis.

Close on the early race leader’s tail was Beau Geste, with Scallywag the third boat out of the harbour.

Perpetual Loyal and Scallywag both had sail issues approaching the first mark, by which Wild Oats XI had moved into third.

Manly yacht Enigma was the first race-day casualtyafter withdrawing on Monday morning with engine trouble.

With Jason Bond’sBeneteauFirst 47.7 pulling out, the fleet was reduced to 88 for the 628 nautical mile journey to Hobart.

Favourable weather conditions hadthe super maxis on track to smash the race recordof one day, 18 hours, 23 minutes and 12 seconds, set by Wild Oats XI in 2012.