A spectacular start for the Rolex Sydney Hobart as the fleet of 157 set off from four lines on Sydney Harbour in a building 10-15 knot north to nor-easterly breeze.
The 100ft Comanche, 2017 Rolex Sydney Hobart line honours winner and race record holder, took the lead soon after exiting Sydney Heads.
As yachts have made their way further down the coast and pass Batemans Bay, the stronger breezes from earlier in the day have subsided with the pace of the fleet slowing dramatically.
In the race for overall victory, many yachts have shuffled through the top placings of the leader board with the current weather conditions favouring the 40-foot range of yachts.
Thursday at 22:30 hrs UK time as the dawn broke in Australia, SHK Scallywag 100 of Seng Huang Lee, Hong Kong, has grabbed the lead from Comanche, co-owned by Jim Cooney and Samantha Grant.
This pair have a narrow lead from Black Jack, InfoTrack, URM, No Limit, Chinese Whisper and Wild Oats XI.
Katwinchar of Bill Barry-Cotter, NSW Australia – leads overall on Handicap.
Best placed European Boats, Thursday at 22:30 hrs UK time:
3rd Black Jack of Peter Harburg, Monaco
14th Maserati of Jim Cooney, Poland
17th Maverick 49 of Quentin Stewart, Guernsey
19th Stay Calm Hungary, Aron Ormandlaki, Hungary
24th Daguet of Frederic Puzin, France
113th HYC Breakthrough of Darren Wright, Ireland at 74 nm off the leader.
Two boats have retired:
- Faster Forward – Retired – Steering problems
- Hollywood Boulevard – Retired – Broken rudder