Winds batter Sydney to Hobart battlers

The smallest yacht in the Sydney to Hobart crossed the finish line on Saturday as windy weather battered the remaining boats bringing up the field's tail.

Maluka (file) will be one of five yachts to cross the Sydney to Hobart finish line on Saturday.

Maluka (file) will be one of five yachts to cross the Sydney to Hobart finish line on Saturday.

As of 7pm (AEDT) three boats remained at sea, with the vast majority of the 102 starters docked in Hobart as a drama-packed race nears its close.

Father-and-son team Ted and Aiden Tooher's Cruising Yacht Club of Australia entry Chancellor crossed the line about an hour after sunrise despite their steering failing with the finish line in sight.

"An official came over in a boat and said, 'Chancellor, do you intend to finish?', Ted Tooher said.

"I told them we were trying but couldn't cross until we had the emergency steering in place."

The 1932-built Maluka, which at 9.01 metres long is the smallest and second-oldest boat in the field, was one of 13 yachts to cross the finish line on Saturday.

Blustery winds of up to 30 knots made for the toughest conditions seen since the race's Sydney start on Boxing Day.

The last three yachts, including Richard Lees' wooden Freyja, are dotted down Tasmania's east coast and aiming to finish before the new year.

Race officials on Friday named Ichi Ban as handicap winner, giving Matt Allen his maiden Tattersall's Cup in 28 attempts.

LDV Comanche took line honours after Wild Oats XI was sensationally penalised an hour over a near collision between the supermaxi rivals.

Last year's line honours winner Perpetual LOYAL - racing this year as InfoTrack - could drop from fourth to around 25th for failing to lodge paperwork on time, once final standings are confirmed.

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