Hong Kong-owned Sun Hung Kai Scallywag was in the mix for line honours in the Sydney Hobart yacht race on Sunday after taking an early lead before being slowed down by a technical glitch. The Lee Seng Huang-owned Dovell 100 super maxi, skippered by David Witt and representing the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, suffered a technical issue soon after passing the Heads – a series of headlands that form the entrance to Sydney Harbour. Witt then took a more offshore route to capture the stronger winds and the crew managed to put themselves among the top three boats alongside fellow 100-footers LawConnect and Black Jack. Black Jack was leading the fleet of 76 surviving craft in the 630 nautical mile race after 11 hours of racing with skipper Mard Bradford choosing to stay almost on the rhumb line towards the Tasmanian capital. 19:25hrs: The Scallywags may have sorted their earlier issue! Going offshore has paid off & found some breeze/current/both hitting 17+ knots according to the tracker. The Scallywags are now in 2nd place & looking to chip away at Law Connect's lead. Game on! #NeverGiveUp pic.twitter.com/Wk79WO19qe — Sun Hung Kai Scallywag (@scallywaghk) December 26, 2021 “Shortly after passing the heads the yacht suffered a technical issue with the J2 foresail tack fitting,” Scallywag posted on social media. “The team managed to successfully get the sail down safely and get the orange storm jib up in the air while they work to repair the problem.” They later posted: “The Scallywags may have sorted their earlier issue! Going offshore has paid off & found some breeze/current/both hitting 17+ knots according to the tracker … Game on!” The fleet was well short of the 2017 record pace set by LDV Comanche, which went on to win in one day, nine hours and 15 minutes. But Witt would swap any time record for his first-ever line honours on his 25th attempt. At 9pm on Sunday Hong Kong time, Scallywag was still on a wider route than their main rivals but enjoying stronger winds of around 15 knots, compared to Black Jack’s 10 knots near the rhumb line. It appears Witt is hoping to use the offshore winds to overtake Black Jack and LawConnect and build a strong enough lead to cut inside ahead of the other boats before reaching Tasmania. Organisers said on Sunday night that winds of 30 knots and rough seas were expected, with 12 boats from the original 88 starters already pulling out because of the difficult conditions.