The Sydney 52-footer Yendys is currently still the overall handicap leader in this year's Rolex Sydney Hobart Race

The Sydney 52-footer Yendys is still the overall handicap leader in this year’s Rolex Sydney Hobart Race but indications this afternoon are that it will be another 60 hours before a winner is confirmed.

Following this afternoon’s 3pm position report, Yendys, skippered by Geoff Ross, leads from Bounder, the Farr 49 being raced by Royal Ocean Racing Club Commodore, Chris Little.

Ironically, Bounder is Geoff Ross’ previous Yendys and the yacht he sailed to an overall IMS victory in the 1999 Sydney Hobart Race.

Ross has a highly talented international crew on board his new Yendys, formerly Banco Espirito Santos, the 2002 top IMS-rated grand prix offshore yacht in the Mediterranean.

Among the crew is Spanish navigator Juan Vila, former Volvo Ocean Race skippers Lisa and Neal McDonald, and Australia’s Grant Simmer, who now heads the Alinghi America’s Cup team in Switzerland.

In third place is the classic timber sloop Love & War, Peter Kurts’ veteran Sparkman & Stephens-designed 47-footer, a two-times winner of this race and an Admiral’s Cup team representative.

Himself a veteran at 79 and with son Simon on board, Love & War is still 290 miles from the finish, indicating that the race will be very much alive for the next 60 hours as far as handicap positions are concerned.

Even further back with more than 300 miles to sail is fourth-placed Pippin, a Tasmanian entry skippered by David Taylor. Fifth place was being held by Matt Allen’s Ichi Ban, sailing off Tasmania’s north east coast.

Winds across Bass Strait and down the coast were variable – the race yacht tracker indicating some yachts barely making progress east of Flinders Island, while some of the smaller boats at the tail-end of the fleet are still making good time.

Ichi Ban is also leading on IRC handicap, ahead of Pippin and Bounder with AFR Midnight Rambler (Ed Psaltis and Bob Thomas) in fourth place.

On PHS handicap, NSW entry Balmain Experience (Tony Williams) leads from Witchdoctor (Maurie Cameron) and Kickatinalong (Geoff Smith).