Eight-time Sydney to Hobart line honours winner Wild Oats XI has made a triumphant return to the water by crossing first in the Sydney to Gold Coast race.

Competing in its first race since retiring from last year's blue water classic, the famed supermaxi completed the 384-nautical mile race in two days, one minute 16 seconds.

Mostly light and variable winds ensured the boat's 2012 race record was never in danger.