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Transpac: MIGHTY MERLOE is leading; expected to finish approx 2000 PDT tonight

HONOLULU – There's an upset in the making with the MIGHTY MERLOE leading into the finish line with less than 100nm to go. Our longtime friend and weather routing guru Mark Michaelsen is predicting that MIGHTY MERLOE will cross the finish line off Diamond Head at 1707 HST today, that's 2007 PDT / 2307 EDT. We'll see how close he is. Some 50nm back is the pre-race favorite PHAEDO 3, with MASERATI (making a great go of it with a broken rudder) further back. COMANCHE is the lead monohull and expected to finish later tonight.

You can see the finish line area on this live webcam courtesy of Waikiki's Royal Hawaiian Hotel. The finish line is located approximately as indicated on the webcam screen grab below, and the yachts will be crossing from the upper right.

We understood the Race Tracker was supposed to be on real time for the final 100nm into the finish, but so far it appears still to be on a four-hour delay. That's a beige MIGHTY MERLOE in the lead with the beige crown indicating they are leading their Division. The grey monohull is COMANCHE, which of course leads the monohulls as well as their Division, hence the grey crown....

Check back with SI this evening for updates.