Wild Oats XI crosses line 1st in Sydney to Hobart race

HOBART, Australia (AP) A protest could change the result of the line honors winner in the Sydney to Hobart yacht race after eight-time champion Wild Oats XI crossed the finish line first Wednesday in a tight duel with LDV Comanche over the final three hours.

Wild Oats XI crossed the line at Constitution Dock in Hobart about 16 minutes ahead of fellow super maxi LDV Comanche to take almost five hours off the record time set by Perpetual Loyal last year.

LDV Comanche raised its protest flag after a near-collision with Wild Oats XI shortly after the start of the race in Sydney Harbour on Tuesday. Race officials could give Wild Oats XI time penalties if they felt the yacht was at fault, changing the result of the race.

Wild Oats XI, helmed by Mark Richards, crossed the line in a time of 1 day, 8 hours, 48 minutes, 50 seconds. The previous race record was 1 day, 13 hours, 31 minutes, 20 seconds.