Jimmy Spithill-helmed supermaxi LDV Comanche led the Sydney to Hobart fleet into Bass Strait on Wednesday morning well ahead of the record pace.
The 100-foot vessel, which hit record pace around 11pm Tuesday, was well on course to slash time off the 2016 mark of one day 13 hours 31 minutes for the approximately 1170 kilometre race, but with Wild Oats XI hot on her heels.
The supermaxi, which had a handful of Kiwis in her crew, was revelling in the delivered conditions, hitting speeds of around to 27 knots on Wednesday morning.
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Just in her wake was eight time winner Wild Oats XI, Black Jack and Beau Geste, who were all on pace to break the 2016 record as well.
Her rivals had expected Comanche to set the early pace but are still hopeful they will be able to claw their way back up to her when the weather turns in their favour.
"Everyone is in great spirits and we are happily flying down the coast now," LDV Comanche's Jim Cooney said late on Tuesday. "Everyone is on the rail, everybody is enjoying themselves so we are doing well."
Celestial, Ichi Ban, Indian and Quest were all vying for the lead in the handicap race, and in a rare occurrence the entire 102-strong starting fleet was still racing, without a single retirement overnight.