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Rolex Sydney Hobart: Race Update - Scallywag leads fleet - 0600hrs

by Rolex Sydney Hobart Media Team 26 Dec 2019 12:27 PST 27 December 2019
Taking a turn at the wheel of SHK Scallywag - 2019 Grinders Coffee SOLAS Bog Boat Challenge © Crosbie Lorimer

The race is on – it’s moving day in the 2019 Rolex Sydney Hobart!

The new line honours leader is SHK Scallywag (HKG) who leads the former race leader, Comanche by 1.5nm. More importantly SHK Scallywag is heading back to the rhumbline to Hobart, and just after 0600hrs was sailing at the fastest speed of 13kts, however that has cut back to 6kts in the mid-morning, however she still leads the overall standings.

A big northerly wind started the race but the southerly change is about to hit the majority of the fleet. The wind-transition area occurs east of Eden, where the likes of big-name competitors Ichi Ban, Black Jack, InfoTrack and Wild Oats XI are located. The speeds at which the boats are moving is decreasing with some including Wild Oats XI registering just over three knots as of 6am. Over Friday the winds are expected to swing east and then north and increase substantially in strength.

The line-honours battle is a fierce one, with just half a mile separating SHK Scallywag 100 and Comanche based on distance to go (DTG). Hot on their heels, though, are Black Jack, InfoTrack and URM – with any one of them, and the following group of Chinese Whisper, Wild Oats XI and Alive – plus the likes of No Limit, Naval Group, Ichi Ban, Maserati, Quest, Gweilo, Envy Scooters and Celestial. With myriad different wind pockets, it really is anyone’s game at this stage.

In the overall stakes, the legendary Katwinchar, Windrose, Komatsu Azzurro, Blink and Natelle Two are the current top five based on their estimated corrected times on handicap. A number of favourites including the likes of Envy Scooters, Ichi Ban and Celestial are well back in the fleet, with pockets of wind – and breathless conditions – making transitions the key to performing in this race.

The race suffered two early retirements as yachts made their way south from Sydney Harbour. The current list of retirements are as follows (all crew are safe and well):

Faster Forward - Steering problems - Retired at Port

Hollywood Boulevard - Broken rudder - Retired at Port

Stay locked on www.rolexsydneyhobart.com to keep up to date with the Race Tracker, standings, photos and video throughout the race. Fans, participants and media are encouraged to follow the race on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter as well as tag their Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race content with the official hashtag #RolexSydneyHobart on all social media platforms.

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