It's neck and neck for the Sydney to Hobart!
It's only a matter of hours before the new record holder crosses the finish line in Hobart, with any one of six yachts in the running to take line honours. There have been perfect conditions for the Boxing Day race, downwind all the way with wind speeds in the 20-30 knot sweet spot for the super maxis. Running downwind is hard on gear though, and race favourite Wild Oats XI had to pull out when a hydraulic ram that drives the canting keel broke. They're headed for Eden, while the rest are doing 25+ knots towards Hobart. Expected to reach the Derwent around sunrise tomorrow.
With such a close race, it could honestly be anyone's game once they reach the calmer waters in Tassie, races are quite often won and lost in the wind shifts up the river, and what was a 10nm lead in Bass straight amounts to mere seconds at the finish line.
Back in the pack, the race for Handicap Honours is raging, with two Corintihan Division entrants, Cromarty Magellan and Ausreo only seconds apart on Handicap. In actual terms they're 6nm apart, not much in an ocean race, but it's a big gap to third place with more than 40 minutes separating them. In the IRC Handicap, it's Giacomo up front who are currently placed second on line honours. If they can keep up with Perpetual Loyal they might be in for the double banger, but nobody knows what could happen in the Derwent.
All will be revealed tomorrow morning, when there's going to be one crew cheering and a whole lot more saying 'We we so close!'