Wild Oats has taken out line honours in the Sydney Hobart yacht race, crossing the line at Constitution Dock in Hobart minutes within the race record.

The crew looked unlikely to break the record of one day, 18 hours, 40 minutes and 10 seconds early this morning, but changing conditions and expert tactics put them back in the hunt.

The Mark Richards-skippered maxi, which led the race virtually from beginning to end, broke its own 2005 record by around 17 minutes.

Ragamuffin is sitting comfortably in second place, but a cloud hangs over whether the maxi will be punished for a false start in Sydney Harbour.

Its crew will face a hearing at 4pm this afternoon.

The outcome of the hearing will affect third placed Lahana, which sits 50 nautical miles behind Wild Oats.

Two boats retired on Thursday, the first casualties of the race, leaving 74 of the fleet still competing.

Last year's handicap runner-up Living Doll pulled out with a broken rudder and was expected in Eden in southern NSW around midday.

Victorian boat Primitive Cool quit with a damaged mainsail and was also heading to Eden.

More to come

More from 7Sport