As they race through the night – Saturday 02:00 Aussie time – with less than 80 nm to the finish, Comanche extends her lead of the Rolex Sydney Hobart race.
Comanche now has a 20 nm lead from InfoTrack, with Black Jack and SHK Scallywag 100 another 8 nm back as they begin the final stages of the 628 nautical mile race to Hobart, Tasmania.
In these final stages the winds are often fickle and can vary in strength and direction within a few miles. Sailing becomes very tactical.
After turning right at Tasman Island, sailors often think the race is near completed, but at this point there is still 40 miles of often hard sailing to go. Yachts can be left behind in the maze of currents and wind frustrations.
Meanwhile on the overall handicap standings, Frederic Puzin’s Daguet, France, keeps her hold on the lead.
The Bureau of Meteorology predicted that a north to north-easterly wind of 10 to 20 knots down the south coast would become a 30 to 40 knot north-easterly.
Best placed European Boats, Friday at 15:00 hrs UK time:
3rd Black Jack of Peter Harburg, Monaco
7th Maserati of Jim Cooney, Poland
15th Maverick 49 of Quentin Stewart, Guernsey
21st Stay Calm Hungary, Aron Ormandlaki, Hungary
22nd Daguet of Frederic Puzin, France
102nd HYC Breakthrough of Darren Wright, Ireland at 191 nm off the leader.
Two boats have retired:
- Faster Forward – Retired – Steering problems
- Hollywood Boulevard – Retired – Broken rudder