The highly credentialed British yacht Aera has taken the lead on Overall winner standings in the 60th anniversary Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race as the race leaders sail down the Tasmanian East Coast to the finish on the Derwent River at Hobart.
Under the sailing mastery of Englishman, Jez Fanstone, and with crew that has travelled the international sailing circuit in the past 12 months, the 55-foot Aera assumed the handicap leadership late tonight from the supermaxi Nicorette, now the fleet leader.
In line for a race finish and line honours around breakfast time tomorrow, Nicorette, skippered by Ludde Ingvall, still remains a strong chance for the rare line honours-overall handicap double.
Sailing well offshore from the Tasmanian coast, Aera was fourth in the fleet at 10.30 pm and averaging a little over eight knots as it made for landfall at Tasman Island, still 90 nautical miles astern of Nicorette and 116 miles from the finish.
In third place on overall handicap was Another Challenge, the 38-foot Victorian entry ssailed by the Team Melbourne Uni crew.