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Giacomo firming as Syd-Hob handicap winner

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 28/12/2016 Andrew Drummond

New Zealand finisher Giacomo is firming as the likely overall winner in the Sydney to Hobart as the speed of smaller boats drops to a virtual standstill with little wind assistance in the home stretch.

The Volvo 70 boat, which took second place line honours on Wednesday morning, could yet claim the exclusive Tattersall's Cup but owner and skipper Jim Delegat might have to wait days for confirmation.

The wine industry businessman picked his sons Nikolas, 19, and James, 18, as part of his 14-member crew for the boat's third attempt at the blue water classic event.

New Zealand boat Giacomo is sitting strong in second place heading for the finish line in the Sydney to Hobart yacht race. © Brendon Thorne/Getty Images New Zealand boat Giacomo is sitting strong in second place heading for the finish line in the Sydney to Hobart yacht race. Giacomo's nearest threats for the overall prize include 2015 handicap winner Balance, owned and skippered by media money man Paul Clitheroe.

Those boats must finish by about midday (AEDT) Wednesday to be a chance at overall honours, but aren't due to cross the line until Thursday.

Some of the smaller boats at the back of the pack could clinch the title if the wind picks up, but at least one isn't on track to finish until new years eve.

Boats are showing slow speeds, sometimes dropping below three knots, after turning toward Hobart.

New Zealand entry Beau Geste reported taking five hours to cover the final mile to the finish line.

Jim Delegat credited an early race plan with producing his boat's strong finish.

"The key really is we picked a good plan, a good strategy, we really thought about the weather and we looked at where we had to be in the first 18 hours," the skipper said.

"We figured that the first 18 to 20 hours was going to win the race for us and we went out far, a little wider and that enabled us to take a couple of jibes later on at the top of Tasmania."

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