27 Dec 2017

Comanche takes the lead in Sydney to Hobart

8:41 am on 27 December 2017

Surging supermaxi LDV Comanche holds a strong lead and is well inside race record pace in the Sydney to Hobart.

Comanche during the Sydney to Hobart yacht race. 2015.

Comanche during the Sydney to Hobart yacht race. 2015. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The line honours favourite was living up to that billing this morning, as she established a buffer of close to 15 nautical miles over rival supermaxi Wild Oats XI 17 hours into the race.

LDV Comanche was averaging around 20 knots of boat speed and was on schedule to finish an astonishing six hours inside Perpetual LOYAL's 2016 race record time of 1 day 13 hours 31 minutes and 20 seconds.

The first four boats were also on record pace, though those those projections and the chance of a new mark could be dashed if they encounter a possible light southerly in the corner of Tasmania.

Winds overnight were not believed to have consistently been in the upper range of the 15 to 25-knot north easterlies forecast before the race.

The big loser during the night appeared to have been InfoTrack, the forrner Perpetual LOYAL, which slipped from third to fifth.

The supermaxi performs best in heavy wind but didn't seem to be getting enough of those during the night.

She has been overtaken by Black Jack, the first boat out of Sydney Heads on Tuesday, and the 80-foot Hong Kong boat, Beau Geste, the only non-supermaxi in the top five.

Black Jack was 20 nautical miles behind Wild Oats XI with Beau Geste another 13 adrift and InfoTrack a further three back.

Last years overall winner, the Volvo 70 Giacomo, which is now called Wizard since recently changing owners, was four nautical miles behind InfoTrack.

Among the early frontrunners for handicap honours is the 47-foot West Australian boat Indian.

The fleet of 102 was still intact after night one with no retirements reported.