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One of the joys of living in Hobart is having front row seats to the finish of the annual Sydney to Hobart yacht race.

88 yachts set off from Sydney harbour at 1pm on Boxing Day and the winning super maxi yacht “Perpetual Loyal” crossed the finish line at 2.31am this morning, setting a new race record. The second and third place yachts arrived just before 4.30am.

The next three yachts were close together and expected before 6am, well within the previous record.

They had travelled 627 nautical miles (1,170 km) in 40 hours. But then the wind dropped to nothing and it took another 4 hours to complete the final 1 nautical mile.

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I saw them appear around the headland at 5.46am and they were going slowly. I went back to bed. I was astonished to see them still on the river three hours later. The slightest hint of breeze and they changed tack.

Here is a photo log of their incredibly slow progress before they disappeared into the rain. They finally crossed the finish line at 10.03am