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Sydney Hobart boats to follow

AAP logoAAP 25/12/2016 Adrian Warren

Wild Oats XI competes in the SOLAS Big Boat Challenge in Sydney on Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016. © AAP Image/Paul Miller Wild Oats XI competes in the SOLAS Big Boat Challenge in Sydney on Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016.

WILD OATS XI - Seeking redemption after failing to finish for the first time in her 11 Hobart campaigns, Wild Oats XI deserves to start favourite as she seeks to extend her record of eight line honours wins.

SCALLYWAG - Third in 2014, and second in 2015, as Ragamuffin 100, the boat looms as the biggest threat to Wild Oats XI after being upgraded by new owner Seng Huang Lee, who purchased it from race icon Syd Fischer, who will fire the starting cannon on Boxing Day.

PERPETUAL LOYAL - Stung by his boat's retirement last year, owner Anthony Bell has signalled his intentions by hiring half of Comanche's 2015 line honours winning crew and reducing his usual handful of celebrities aboard to just one, TV personality Erin Molan.

CQS - Ludde Ingvall is back in the race with a rebuilt, lengthened and radical version of his 2004 line honours winner Nicorette, but admits he has little idea of just how well the supermaxi will perform after launching it just last month

HANDICAP HONOURS

ICHI BAN - Perhaps the pick of the nine TP52s, Matt Allen's boat took overall honours in this year's Sydney Gold Coast and could do just as well in this race for the president of Australian Sailing

CHINESE WHISPER - Rupert Henry's JV62 is locked in battle with Ichi Ban for the prestigious Blue Water pointscore and looks likely to feature in calculations for Hobart honours after finishing fifth overall last year

BEAU GESTE - If it's a bigger boat race watch out for this 80-foot overall winner of September's Groupama Race around New Caledonia.

KOA - Another one the powerful TP52 contingent, this boat has placed consistently well this year with a number of podium placings.

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