Sail-World newsletter about the 2011 Rolex Sydney Hobart Race, which starts on 26th December 2011 If you don't want to receive this news, A single click here and you won't (this will not affect other news you receive from us) Weather fronts key to 2011 Rolex Sydney to Hobart race
When it comes to blue water classics, this is the big one! The 67th annual Rolex Sydney to Hobart race is now just three days and some hours away.
The 628 nautical mile race starts from Sydney Harbour at 1.00pm on Boxing Day, December 26 and heads south to Tasmania.
2008 Rolex Sydney Hobart start in Sydney Harbour Daniel Forster/Rolex Carlo Borlenghi/Rolex
80 hours ahead of the race start, northerly winds are predicted for the start with a tropical cyclone generated following swell and after some hours of running, the first of the southerly fronts will hit the fleet some time on night one.
Depending on how much wind strength there is the southerly the big ocean swell rolling south and the new southerly swell, will randomly produce some interesting wave patterns for the 88 boat fleet and Bob Oatley's Wild Oats XI, the six times line honours winner, will be mostly likely be the first to be tested. It could be a drama filled first night; there have been many of these in the past.
Then the weather models diverge, some have a significant second front hitting the fleet and that weather system or the absence there of could well decide the outcome of the race.
While the mainstream media will as always follow the line honours battle, here at Sail-World we will focus on the handicap battles across the fleet.
Most Hobart races are won and lost in the last 40 miles from Tasman Light across Storm Bay, past the Iron Pot and up the Derwent River to the Hobart finish.
This has been cause of much heartache and grief in the last 66 Hobart races because the breeze up the Derwent River goes to sleep at night.
A boat arriving at the Iron Pot 11 miles from the finish line might have averaged ten knots from Eddystone Light to Storm Bay. However it may take two or three or four hours to go the last eleven miles depending just how tired the Derwent is.
Many a boat has been famous at 20:00 hours, but at 03:00 was drifting up the Derwent.
You see the wind gods use the Sydney Hobart race to remind mortals that most things in life are about timing.
We have an interesting fleet again this year from the tiny 30 footer Maluka of Kermandie, with 18 year old Peter Langman as skipper, Jessica Watson's Sydney 38 Ella Bache (one of eight in the fleet) to New York Yacht Club Rear Commodore Rives Potts 1969 built 48 footer Carina. Then there is the slew of TP52s and upwards.
Over the next three days we will bring you colour and movement, so stay with us and we will follow the race in great detail - as we do.
Right now you can catch up with some of the key pre-race stories ...
2010 Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race 26/12/10 The iconic blue water event, the most reported and followed annual ocean yacht race in the world.... For more details and news for this event, go to: http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?SEid=1269