A one-hour time penalty has seen Wild Oats XI stripped of her ninth line honours win in one of the greatest controversies of the 73-year-old Sydney to Hobart yacht race.

Jim Cooney's LDV Comanche will now be declared the line honours winner of the race after a protest against Wild Oats XI over a near collision was found to be valid.

It is understood Wild Oats XI will be awarded second place overall although this is yet to be confirmed.

Not since the disqualification of the American yacht Nirvana in 1983 has there been such drama affecting a winner.

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That year the drama was played out on the Derwent River when Nirvana failed to give Condor sufficient sea room and she ran aground and was stuck on a yacht for five minutes.

Nirvana went on to win the race by 2min 16sec but the next day was disqualified by the race committee and the fastest team win awarded to Condor.

The crew on LDV Comanche will be handed their trophy and winners medallions at a ceremony in Hobart today, more than a day after she finished behind Wild Oats XI in the 2017 Sydney to Hobart.

An international jury of five from Germany, Australia and New Zealand heard the protest at the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania. With an international jury there is no right of appeal.

The protest was lodged after LDV Comanche finished the Sydney to Hobart in second place behind Wild Oats XI on Wednesday night.

It involved a near miss not long after the start of the race at 1pm on Boxing Day.

Both yachts finished under race record time with Jim Cooney's LDV Comanche overtaken by Wild Oats in the final miles of the 628 nautical mile race.

On his arrival in Hobart, Wild Oats XI skipper Mark Richards was adamant the yacht had done nothing wrong.

"There's an incident there which I think was totally innocent and we should be able to defend ourselves," he said.

"If we thought it was a blatant infringement we would have done our turn.

"I'm not concerned about it at all."

However, the jury ruled she had infringed and imposed a one-hour time penalty.