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Wild Oats XI is still leading the 2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart, some 38-nm from Hobart, and hoping to close in on a record eighth line honours win.

The only yacht capable of denying Wild Oats XI a place in history is the American Maxi Comanche, lying some 11-nm behind and rapidly closing the gap as the crews prepare for the notoriously unpredictable final stretch through Storm Bay and the Derwent River and to the finish line in Hobart, Tasmania.

The Mark Richards-skippered Wild Oats XI extended her lead throughout the second night, taking advantage of a high-pressure ridge in the Bass Strait. Wild Oats XI’s lead is far from insurmountable, the stretch through the Derwent is likely to be decisive. Given the designs of the two Maxis are so vast, the conditions in the final leg of the race could still favour the Ken Read-skippered Comanche.

The remainder of the fleet are compressed coming down the New South Wales coast and expected to benefit from the dramatic increase in breeze forecast from Sunday evening to Monday morning.

Of the 117 yachts which started the race, nice have been forced to retire.

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