Rolex Sydney Hobart 2013 - Victoire has a sniff of victory

Daryl Hodgkinson, skipper of Victoire
Rolex Sydney Hobart 2013- Sydney plastic surgeon Darryl Hodgkinson's Cookson 50 Victoire arrived in Hobart at 0800 hours today to be ninth across the line but, more importantly, first on handicap. She is now the boat everybody else still at sea has to beat.

Bruce Taylor’s Melbourne yacht Chutzpah still has 53 miles to sail. She has to get into Hobart by 4.34 pm this evening. It is a big ask. At the moment, based on her current progress, she is not expected to cross the line until about 5.20 pm. So she has to pick up 46 minutes.

The Victorian yacht Veloce (Phil Simpfendorfer) is currently third on corrected time. To beat Victoire she has to get to Hobart by 2.43 pm today, a little over four hours from now. She will be pushing it. She is doing six knots and with 38 miles to go, if she can’t get a move on, it is going to take her six and a half hours.

Fourth-placed Wild Rose may have the best opportunity to spoil Victoire’s party. She still has 137 nautical miles to go and only has to make up a little more than an hour. She has to be in by 0400 tomorrow. She must average eight knots, just a little better than the 7.6 she is doing.

But, of course, so much will depend on what the weather though the strong south-westerlies are expected to persist through until Tuesday.

There are also likely to be several boats seeking time redress for going to the assistance of boats in trouble this morning.

So, Victoire has 17 hours to wait before she can crack open the champagne. In the meantime, they might have to get by on beer.