Wild Oats XI leads a pack of four into the home stretch of the Sydney to Hobart race. (Instagram: Wild Oats XI)
Wild Oats XI is leading a pack of four yachts into the home stretch of the Sydney to Hobart yacht race after pulling off a tactical masterstroke before sunrise.
- There is a group of four yachts vying for line honours champion, all with a realistic chance
- After taking a more easterly track than the others, Wild Oats XI has pulled ahead coming around Tasman Island
- The yachts will face the run home up the River Derwent in little or no wind
With Comanche, Black Jack and InfoTrack close behind, Wild Oats XI will this morning enter the River Derwent in a bid to claim line honours in the yacht race.
Comanche had been in front most of Thursday, but was overtaken early this morning by Wild Oats XI, which is out to avenge last year’s disappointment of being penalised out of contention — with a rule breach resulting in Comanche being awarded line honours in 2017.
While Comanche led the group of four down the Tasmanian east coast overnight, Wild Oats XI took a more easterly track.
The move paid off, with the super maxi swinging in and snatching the front as the yachts prepared to round Tasman Island.
However, the notoriously fickle weather patterns of the River Derwent are predicted to provide little wind for the run home, a factor which may be favourable to the smaller, lighter Black Jack.
“Black Jack loves lighter weather so she’s right on Comanche’s hammer,” race media director Di Pearson said yesterday.
The winner is currently predicted to pass the post about 7:40am (AEDT).
ABC Hobart will be broadcasting the race finish live on Facebook.
The paths taken by Wild Oats XI (blue), Black Jack (2nd, red), Comanche (3rd, red) and InfoTrack (yellow) to Hobart, as at 5:45am Friday. (Rolex Sydney To Hobart)
Black Jack was first out of the Sydney Heads, repeating last year’s effort. (Rolex/Studio Borlenghi)