Race rocked by spying claims

Australian supermaxi Investec Loyal's thrilling Sydney-Hobart win is under threat, after a protest claiming that its crew asked a media helicopter pilot to spy on the rival supermaxi Wild Oats XI during the race.

An international yacht racing committee will hear the protest today. Investec Loyal has been declared the provisional winner, after crossing the line minutes ahead of Wild Oats XI.

If the protest is upheld, skipper Anthony Bell's Investec Loyal yacht could be disqualified or face a time penalty.

The objection states that an Investec Loyal crew member asked the helicopter pilot whether Wild Oats XI was using a tri-sail as the two boats sailed down the Australian east coast off the fishing town of Merimbula on Tuesday morning.