Updated August 23, 2016 15:05:47
Photo: The 2015 winner Comanche may return for the 2017 Sydney to Hobart. (Getty Images: Cameron Spencer) Related Story: Comanche takes line honours in Sydney to Hobart yacht race Related Story: Comanche holds onto Sydney to Hobart lead after flying start as storm looms Related Story: Wild Oats XI and Comanche to face off in Sydney to Hobart Map: TAS
The Sydney to Hobart yacht race will be denied a heavyweight title fight with defending line honours champion Comanche deciding not to contest this year's race.
It had been hoped that Comanche would go head-to-head with eight-time line honours winner Wild Oats XI, who was forced out of last year's race with damage.
Comanche, an American supermaxi, won the 2015 race in a time of two days, eight hours, 58 minutes and 30 seconds.
A spokesman for the team said it was unlikely that owners Jim and Kristy Clark would change their mind and enter the yacht in this year's race at the last minute.
"Doesn't look like Comanche will be coming this year," said Comanche spokesman Ken Read.
"The Clarks' other boat Hanuman [140 foot replica J Class Yacht] is being revamped to compete in J Class events this winter and then at the America's Cup in Bermuda, and for the World Championship in Newport next summer."
But they did not rule out a return to the race in future.
"Maybe 2017," Read said.
Wild Oats was forced to retire with a split mainsail on the first night of last year's race, with bad weather battering the fleet off the New South Wales coast.
The Mark Richards-skippered yacht has since returned to the water, demolishing the race record on the way to winning the Brisbane to Keppel yacht race and will again start favourite to add a ninth line honours crown when this year's race gets underway on Boxing Day.
First posted August 23, 2016 15:02:02