Published: Thu, December 28, 2017
Sport | By Cameron Gross

Sydney to Hobart: Wild Oats XI pips Comanche in race record

Sydney to Hobart: Wild Oats XI pips Comanche in race record

An worldwide jury will hear the protest at 3pm AEDT on Thursday.

"There's a shadow - there's an incident there which I think was totally innocent and we should be able to defend ourselves", he said.

Comanche was about 11 miles ahead of eight-time victor Wild Oats, which has been closing the gap between the pair on Wednesday morning.

Wild Oats XI crossed the line in one day, eight hours, 48 minutes and 50 seconds to smash the previous mark of one day, 13 hours, 31 minutes and 20 seconds.

"Outside of America's Cup, it is the Sydney to Hobart, the rules are quite different". "I am not concerned about that at all". The yacht was overtaken by Black Jack, the first boat out of Sydney Heads on Tuesday, and the 24-meter (80-foot) Hong Kong boat, Beau Geste, the only non-super maxi in the top five.

"If we thought it was a blatant infringement we would have done our turn".

Australian super-maxi Wild Oats XI smashed the race record as they won their ninth Sydney to Hobart bluewater classic on Wednesday, but face the possibility of a protest from second-placed LDV Comanche for a near-collision just after the start.

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Now with darkness coming on at 9.10 pm local time, Wild Oats has just 5.5 miles to sail and has accelerated to 9.5knot, while LDV Comanche has 6.3 miles to sail and is recording 8.2 knots. Rockall, Jazz Player and Wots Next all had their races end prematurely.

Irrespective of the looming protest against Wild Oats XI it will be the second year in a row that time has been shaved off the race benchmark, with both yachts eclipsing Perpetual Loyal's best in a tense climax between two blistering super maxis that almost tangled at the start on Sydney Harbour.

The result is also about 16 minutes ahead of LDV Comanche.

Fuelled by a strong north-easterly, WIld Oats XI chipped away at LDV Comanche's overnight 20 nautical mile advantage to be within a few hundred metres heading into the River Derwent.

They were both becalmed in light winds when they entered the final push with Wild Oats sneaking back in front with less than 10 nautical miles left in the race.

The crew celebrated, praising skipper Mark Richards.

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