Sydney (AP) — Record holder Comanche took the lead about four hours into the Sydney to Hobart yacht race on Thursday to justify her position as favorite in the annual ocean classic.
Comanche led by about a nautical mile over InfoTrack, which earlier had been the first yacht out of Sydney Harbour.
Wild Oats XI, trying to win the race for the 10th time, was in third, followed by Black Jack and Scallywag. The leading five yachts in the 157-boat race were all super maxis.
InfoTrack, 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 kilometers (18 miles) per hour.
The 628 nautical-mile race takes the yachts down the south coast of New South Wales and across the Bass Strait to the capital of the island state of Tasmania, Hobart.
Comanche set the race record of 1 day, 9 hours and 15 minutes while winning in 2017.