The Sydney-based yacht Grundig whose hull is delaminating is now on her way back to NSW

The Sydney-based yacht Grundig, who sent out an emergency Pan marine radio call during the second day of the Sydney-Hobart race following the discovery of a delaminating carbonfibre hull, has retired and is making her way back to NSW. Although she is not under escort, she is in close radio communication with the Radio Relay Vessel, Star Track Express and should arrive at the coast tomorrow morning.

Other retirements includes Krakatoa, a Young 31 owned by CYCA director Rod Skellet, who has a seasick crew member. And, although she hasn’t retired yet, Terra Firma’s skipper Peter Bartels is reportedly suffering a neck injury.

However, the strong winds and roughs seas which have caused havoc within the fleet over the last 24 hours are expected to abate overnight as the leaders close on the north-east corner of Tasmania.

At present less than two sea miles separate the four leading yachts, all Volvo 60s, with the CYCA registered Team News Corp just one mile ahead of Germany’s illbruck, followed closely by Tyco from Bermuda and the Swedish entry Assa Abloy.

The pre-race line honours favourite, the Swedish maxi Nicorette, is gradually recovering her position in the fleet following a split mainsail last night.

Positions remain unchanged in the handicap class with the MBD 62, Bumblebee 5 (Iain Murray) leading the IMS Division overall from the Beneteau 40.7, Shipping Central (Ashley Reed and Michael Spies) and Ragamuffin (Syd Fischer).

The veteran Victorian yacht Bacardi (Graham Ainley) leads the IRC division, with the Sydney yacht Loki (Stephen Ainsworth) and the Polish maxi Lodka Bols, skippered by Gordon Kay close behind.

Hogsbreath Witchdoctor (Maurie Cameron) leads the PHS division from Matt Allen’s Valtair, and the New Zealand 75 -footer Mertsi Louise.