Battle developing for handicap honours - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Battle developing for handicap honours

By Adrian Warren 28/12/2006 07:58:18 PM Comments (0)

Old boats and even older yachtsmen have taken turns at leading the developing battle for handicap honours in the Sydney to Hobart race.

At 7.00pm (AEDT) on Thursday, the 33-year-old timber boat Love & War is leading the IRC standings.

The 47-foot yacht is bidding for a third overall title, having won in 1974 and 1978.

The crew aboard the boat includes two stalwarts of two-times line honours winner Brindabella, George Snow and Lindsay May, who have logged 58 Hobarts between them.

The first Italian entry in the race for several years, DSK Comifin,is running second to Love & War.

The 45-foot boat is just ahead of the 52-foot Wot Yot, one of two yachts in the race owned by Graeme Wood.

Just outside the top three is the pre-race handicap honours favourite, the 55-footer Yendys.

Rounding out the top five was the 28-year-old 44-foot Victorian boat Bacardi, which had a turn at the top of the standings earlier in the day.

For most of the morning, the handicap leader was Challenge, the 38-foot boat skippered by 79-year-old Victorian Lou Abrahams, who is making his record-equalling 44th attempt on the race.

Abrahams has already notched overall wins in 1983 and 1989 with other yachts.

Another boat to briefly enjoy a run in first place was the 33-foot Impeccable skippered by Sydneysider John Walker, who at 84 is equalling the record for the oldest skipper to contest the race.

While the frontrunners for line honours featured among the leading handicap contenders on Wednesday, they fell away on Thursday with Wild Oats XI, last year's line and overall winner, down in 23rd and fellow maxi Skandia in 31st.

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