Australia Sydney Hobart Sailing
HOBART, Australia (AP) — InfoTrack and Hong Kong super maxi Scallywag were neck and neck for the lead in the Sydney to Hobart yacht race midway through sailing Friday as the boats entered Bass Strait on their way to the island state of Tasmania.
All five super maxis in the race held the top positions and were separated by only 11 nautical miles.
InfoTrack, which led the 157-yacht fleet out of Sydney Harbour on Thursday, was marginally ahead of Scallywag. Two-time race winner and record holder Comanche was in third, Monaco-based Blackjack fourth and nine-time line honors winner Wild Oats XI in fifth.
Wild Oats XI, which was built in 2005 and recently underwent extensive repairs after sustaining mast and rigging damage in a race last month, made good progress after having been slowed by light winds overnight and dropping out of the top 10.
With 26 hours of racing completed, the fleet remained at 155, with no additions to the retirements of Hollywood Boulevard and Faster Forward on Thursday afternoon.
The 628-nautical-mile race takes the yachts down the south coast of New South Wales and across the Bass Strait to Hobart.
Two-time winner Comanche set the race record of 1 day, 9 hours, 15 minutes in 2017, a record that won't be in danger of being broken this year. With a predicted increase in favorable winds, the leading yachts were expected to reach Hobart by midday on Saturday.