'Frustrating' pre-race fear holds true for Comanche

LDV Comanche skipper and owner Jim Cooney was worried a calm Derwent River would prove the supermaxi's undoing.

Unfortunately for him, his pre-race fear materialised.

The yacht dubbed the "aircraft carrier" held the lead for the majority of the Sydney to Hobart and was in prime position to add a second line honours to its 2015 success on Wednesday morning.

But its 20 nautical mile advantage was whittled away by a canny Wild Oats XI crew, who caught up as the frontrunners flew at speeds of up to 30 knots down Tasmania's east coast.

When both boats lobbed on the home stretch of the notoriously slow Derwent RIver at virtually the same time, Cooney knew he was in trouble.

PROTEST: Skipper declares Wild Oats XI 'totally innocent' over Comanche clash

Jim Cooney. Pic: AAP

The lighter Wild Oats XI picked up a breeze and finished 26 minutes ahead of LDV Comanche to claim line honours for the ninth time.

"I did suspect the soft weather in the Derwent would be our Achilles heel," Cooney told reporters at Hobart's Constitution Dock.

"It is a very wide boat and a very big wetted surface area. It is difficult to keep it moving in very light air."

In fact, the boat's stern is wider than Black Jack and Wild Oats XI combined.

Cooney was circumspect when assessing the race.

"It was a fantastic experience," he said.

"That's boat racing. If you are in the wrong place at the wrong time, you miss a little shift and somebody gets by you.

"It's frustrating of course. We had them behind us for 628 miles."

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