Scallywag and Comanche lead Sydney to Hobart yacht race

SYDNEY (AP) — Hong Kong yacht Scallywag had a narrow lead over Comanche early Friday as the Sydney to Hobart race was slowed by light winds on its first night at sea.

Nine-time line honors winner Wild Oats XI, which led late Thursday, fell back to ninth and was in the worst position of the five super maxis. There was no immediate indication of any problems on Wild Oats XI, which underwent extensive repairs after it sustained mast and rigging damage in early November.

InfoTrack was the first boat out of Sydney Harbour on Thursday afternoon. The yacht, which took line honors in 2016 as Perpetual Loyal, got a flying start as the race began in winds of 15 to 18 knots, or around 30 kph (18 mph).

InfoTrack was in fourth place on Friday morning, one spot behind the Monaco-registered Black Jack as four super maxis held the leading positions.

The 628-nautical-mile race takes the yachts down the south coast of New South Wales and across the Bass Strait to Hobart, the capital of the island state of Tasmania. Scallywag was still about 390 nautical miles from Hobart.

Two-time winner Comanche set the race record of 1 day, 9 hours, 15 minutes in 2017, a record that is certain to stand this year.


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