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Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race: Latest updates and live boat cam coverage

when are the sydney to hobart yachts due in

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when are the sydney to hobart yachts due in

  • NSW & ACT

Sydney to Hobart 2021 Guide: Start time, how to watch, yachts, results, TV, tracker, distance, Covid

After the cancellation of the last Sydney to Hobart for the first time, the 2021 is sailing on. Here’s how to watch, the yachts, start time, the history and more in our GUIDE to the Boxing Day race.

Amanda Lulham

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Last year the famous race was called off at the last minute. This year it’s going ahead with around 90 yachts and their crews heading south.

We take a look at the favourites, the yachts heading south and how to follow the famous race which starts at 1pm on Boxing Day.

SYD-HOB WEATHER: Latest forecast

ROLLING COVERAGE: Latest news on race

The Sydney to Hobart is usually a wet and wild ride for sailors. Pic: David Gray/AFP.

LINE HONOURS FAVOURITES

Big is best and there are three mighty big 100-footers - the maximum size for boats - in this edition in Sydney skipper Christian Beck’s LawConnect, Peter Harburg’s Black Jack and the David Witt skippered Scallywag which is usually based in Hong Kong.

THE OVERALL CONTENDERS

Until the weather forecast settles, it could be any one of a number of yachts.

There’s the former winner, Alive from Tasmania, and then the two-time winner Ichi Ban, raced by Matt Allen.

Other yachts showing good form in the lead-up include David Griffith’s Whisper, the Sydney yachts URM and Zen and even the supermaxi LawConnect.

If it is a small boat race there are a number of contenders inlcuding the smallest boat, the 30-footer Gun Runner.

Both Alive and URM are considered overall contenders.

The race started as a cruise to Hobart in 1945 with just nine yachts and their crews taking part.

It is now recognised as one of the great ocean races in the world despite there being no prizemoney for winners, just some impressive silverware.

Last year the race was cancelled on December 20 after a coronavirus cluster on the northern beaches of Sydney where many sailors reside.

This year all sailors must be double vaccinated and also do a Covid test 72 hours before the start to be eligible to race.

A man walks off a pontoon after the cancellation of the Sydney to Hobart yacht race due to an escalating coronavirus outbreak in 2020.

PREVIOUS OVERALL WINNERS IN THE 2021 RACE

Solveig – 1954, when owned by Trygve and Magnus Halvorsen, but taken to Hobart by Captain Stan Darling

Love & War – 1974, 1978, when owned by Peter Kurts and 2006 owned by Simon Kurts, but taken to Hobart by Lindsay May

Wild Oats (Farr 43) – 1993, owned by Roger Hickman/Bruce Foye/Lance Peckman and 2014 as Wild Rose, owned by Roger Hickman

Oskana – 2013 as Victoire when owned by Darryl Hodgkinson

Quest – 2008 owned by Bob Steel, and as Balance 2015 for Paul Clitheroe

Ichi Ban - 2017 and 2019, owned by Matt Allen

Alive - 2018, owned by Phillip Turner

The start of the race is one of the most spectacular in the world. Pic: Andrea Francolini

The Sydney to Hobart fleet is sent on its way from a start line near Shark Island on Sydney Harbour.

The race is sent on its way when a canon fires at 1pm.

The fleet will start off different start lines off Nielsen Park with boats on the northern line rounding Victor Mark and boats on the southern lines rounding X-Ray Mark at the Heads.

all boats heading out to sea and rounding “Mark Zulu”, one nautical mile east of the Heads.

The larger boats in the fleet will start off the front line, just north of Shark Island. The rest of the fleet will start from the southern lines, 0.2 nautical miles between each.

Having two rounding marks at Sydney Heads will compensate for the distance between the lines before the fleet heads to sea on the ocean voyage to Hobart.

The fleet ranges in size from 100 foot to 30 foot. For the first time a division of two-handed boats are competing in the Sydney to Hobart. However they are not eligible for the overall win.

A famous Sydney Harbour ferry passes near the Scallywag in a lead-up to the 2021 race.

VANTAGE POINTS

The start is just north of Shark Island and Bradley’s Head on Sydney Harbour.

The best vantage point looking straight down the line, is from Nielsen Park in the eastern suburbs.

On the other side of the harbour the pick is Bradleys Head.

Once the fleet has started, the areas at North and South Heads are the best viewing spots as is Middle Head.

Georges Head and Obelisk Bay headlands also provide a good view once the action is underway and the fleet storms up the harbour and out into open sea.

Watsons Bay and the area near the lighthouse are prime spots to watch the yachts head out to see and down the coast.

The yacht Naval Group and some spectacular Tasmanian coastline.

The Sydney to Hobart fleet heads out through Sydney Heads, turns right and heads south down the coast.

Yachts then race across the infamous Bass Strait and down the east coast of Tasmania, through Storm Bay and on to the finish line on the Derwent River in Hobart.

RACE DISTANCE

The rhumb line - the shortest distance between Sydney and Hobart is 628 nautical miles. However, yachts will tack and gybe their way south dependant on wind direction and cover significantly more ground.

The supermaxi Comanche heading to her 2019 win in Hobart. Pic: Carlo Borlenghi/Rolex.

TOP GUN: Famous Syd-Hob debutant

HOW TO FOLLOW THE RACE

The course of yachts can be followed on a race tracker on the race website which is activated once the race has started.

The tracker obtains a position using the GPS satellite network and then transmits that position using the Iridium satellite network.

RECORD BREAKERS

Lime honours race records since 1945.

1945 - Rani (UK) 6 days 14hrs 22 Min 0secs

1946 - Morna (NSW) 5:02:53:33

1957 - Kurrewa IV (NSW) 3:18:30:9

1962 - Ondine (US) 3:03:49:16

1973 - Helsal (NSW) 3:01:32:09

1975 - Kialoa (US) 2:14:36:56

1999 - Nokia (Den/Aus) 1:19:48:12

2005 - Wild Oats XI (NSW) 1:18:40:10

2012 - Wild Oats XI (NSW) 1: 18. 23.12.

2016 - Perpetual Loyal (NSW) 1:13.31.20

2017 - LDV Comanche (NSW) 1:09.15.24

SYDNEY TO HOBART FACTS AND FIGURES

#The largest fleet set sail in 1994, the 50th Anniversary of the race. That year 371 yachts started

#This years’s fleet boasts a new double-handed class with the two-strong crews racing alongside fully crewed boats.

#The slowest winner was the yacht Christina which took six days, 18 hours, 51 minutes and 15 seconds to complete the 630nm journey in 1946.

The crew of Wayfarer, the final boat to finish the inaugural Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race in 1945-46.

#The closest finish was back in 1982 when just seven seconds separated Condor of Bermuda and Apollo.

#Freya which won the race three times in succession in 1963-64-65 boats the best Hobart record.

#The best line honours record is held by Morna which was first to Hobart in 1946-47-48 and when renamed Kurrewa IV was first home in 1954, 1956 and 1957.

SYDNEY TO HOBART TELEVISION

The start will be on Channel 7 through 7mate.

More Coverage

when are the sydney to hobart yachts due in

TOKYO OLYMPIAN: Wet and wild times ahead

CRAZY SAILORS: Heading out in Sydney to Hobart

More from AMANDA LULHAM and the Sydney to Hobart yacht race HERE

Originally published as Sydney to Hobart 2021 Guide: Start time, how to watch, yachts, results, TV, tracker, distance, Covid

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Yachting World

  • Digital Edition

Yachting World cover

How to follow the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race

  • Toby Heppell
  • December 19, 2022

The Rolex Sydney Hobart Race is due to set off on boxing day once again in 2022, with an impressive 111 boats due to take to the startline

when are the sydney to hobart yachts due in

Sydney sailors are counting down the days – not until December 25, but the 26, for the much-anticipated Rolex Sydney Hobart Race .

The blue riband offshore classic was cancelled for the first time in its 76 years in 2020, but bounced back in 2021 and will go ahead one more this year with an impressive fleet of 111 boats entered for the 2022 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, which begins on Sydney Harbour at 1pm Monday 26 December.

As is often the case in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race, the bulk of the fleet is made up of Australian boats and teams, but there are 8 international boats participating this year, including entrants from Germany ( Orione ), Hong Kong ( Antipodes ), Hungary ( Cassiopeia 68 ), New Caledonia ( Eye Candy and Poulpito ), New Zealand ( Caro ), the United Kingdom ( Sunrise ) and the United States of America ( Warrior Won ).

At the sharp end of the fleet, four 100-foot maxis will lead the charge for Line Honours – Andoo Comanche , Black Jack , Hamilton Island Wild Oats and LawConnect . On current form, Andoo Comanche is likely to be favourite to cross the finish line first.

cruising-australia-2018-sydney-hobart-credit-rolex-carlo-borlenghi

The start of the Sydney Hobart Race means a congested Sydney Harbour. Photo: Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi

Black Jack won Line Honours in the 2021 Rolex Sydney Hobart, while Andoo Comanche holds the race record (1 day, 9 hours, 15 minutes and 24 seconds) and Hamilton Island Wild Oats (formerly Wild Oats XI ) has the most Line Honours wins in race history, with nine.

Two-handed entrants will for the first time be eligible to win the Tattersall Cup (the prize given to the winner of the race on handicap). A total of 21 two-handed boats are preparing to race, including those that finished second and third respectively in the race’s inaugural Two-Handed Division last year – Crux (Carlos Aydos/Peter Grayson) and Speedwell (Campbell Geeves/Wendy Tuck).

How to follow the 2022 Rolex Sydney-Hobart Race

• In Australia Sydney is expected to send off the fleet in style when the race starts at 1300hrs (local time) on Saturday, 26 December.

Spectator boats can watch the start from the eastern channel and follow the fleet down the Harbour to the Heads. Spectator boats wanting to remain in the Harbour may remain in the western side. Exclusion zones will be in place from 1200-1400.

• On television The race start will be broadcast live via the Seven Network, through 7Mate around Australia.

Live coverage will also be webcast on the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race website, with replays available shortly after. See  https://rolexsydneyhobart.com/

• On social Follow the event on twitter for race updates and via  Facebook

• On race tracker The live race tracker will be viewable at  https://rolexsydneyhobart.com/tracker

• Play along on Virtual Regatta

There is also a Virtual Regatta edition for the race, allowing you to virtually pit yourself against thousands over the same course, see  https://www.virtualregatta.com/en/offshore-game/

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when are the sydney to hobart yachts due in

Start of the Rolex Sydney Hobart yacht race

Race Updates – 2023 Rolex Sydney Hobart

Read a continuously updated race summary

2023 RSHYR UPDATE Saturday 0835hrs

At this morning, just 30 yachts from 103 starters had finished the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, with 16 yachts retired from the race.  MWF Kayle , the Lyons 54 owned by the Making Waves Foundation and Will Vicars’ pretty Hoek TC78,  Oroton Drumfire , were among the morning arrivals at Castray Esplanade finish line in Hobart.

The first two-handed entry,  Mistral , sailed by Rupert Henry and Jack Bouttell crossed the finish line at 08:53:38 am and are currently placed an incredible sixth overall in the open fleet. Henry,  Mistral ’s owner, is the defending two-handed champion from last year’s race when Greg O’Shea co-skippered the yacht. With new crew, Bouttell,  Mistral  is unlikely to be beaten for the top spot again. He described last night’s conditions in the race as, “Brutal. It was very cold and we had strong winds of up to 43 knots in Storm Bay – classic Storm Bay. Bass Strait was upwind. This race has thrown everything at us.”

It is gear-breaking weather and has resulted in some crews having to make repairs at sea, while news came of the retirement of  Helsal 3  from the race. Rob Fisher and crew were unable to rectify damage. They will depart Port Arthur tonight with an ETA in Hobart of 0300 hours tomorrow morning. 

Among those still racing though, is Henry’s father, David Henry and his co-skipper Stephen Price. “Dad’s a legend,” Henry acknowledged at Constitution Dock this morning.  

Among those that finished last night was Geoff Hill’s  Antipodes , among her crew was navigator Lindsay May, who sailed his 50th successive Sydney Hobart.  Bruce Taylor’s  Chutzpah  (Vic) also finished, he and son Drew sailing their 30th Sydney Hobart together. Taylor’s navigator, Kingsley Piesse, notched up a milestone of his own, sailing his 40th consecutive Sydney Hobart. And once again, this well sailed crew has nabbed a divisional placing, with third in Division 2.

Bumblebee V,  the 2001 winner of the race, now owned by Paul Blakeley, also finished last evening at 8:41:23 pm. 

Today and this evening will be busy, with the bulk of the fleet due to arrive. Spare a thought for those still at sea in what has been described by finishers as “one of the toughest races in years,” due to the wide and unexpected conditions from thunderstorms to lightning shows, no wind, light wind and up to 45 knots worth during the race so far

Malcolm Roe, owner of the elegant Swan 45,  Amazingrace , said last evening: “We expect to be rounding Tasman Island after the westerly hits. Just enjoying a nice hot dinner before the big westerly hits…”

when are the sydney to hobart yachts due in

2023 RSHYR UPDATE Friday 0740hrs

Just six yachts have so far finished the 2023 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, the varied and squally conditions making it difficult for the fleet to sail a simple and quick race, to the point where the next yacht due to cross the finish line is David Gotze’s  No Limit  (Vic), expected to cross the finish line around midday.

A text from Brad Kellett, reported from Geoff Hill’s Hong Kong entry  Antipodes  this morning, says it all about the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s race, the first ‘traditional’ style race in some years.

“Hi from Lindsay May’s 50th race,” Kellett said of navigator’s 50th consecutive Sydney Hobart. Well, he’s getting a real Hobart. We’ve had everything except hard running conditions.

“We’ve had some down time on  Antipodes  (a Santa Cruz 72), with breeze holes that our competitors didn’t get. We’ve got a tear in the new mainsail to repair; we blew out our J2 headsail, which would be up right now in the 12-14 knot southerly.

“We’re currently approaching Wineglass Bay sailing upwind. We should be rounding Tasman Island later this afternoon and hopefully should arrive in Howdown (Hobart) in the dark. Hopefully before the (Derwent) shutdown” said Kellett, who is a Lindsay May in waiting. Sailing his 31st consecutive Hobart he is the only one likely to outnumber May in the long run.

Kellett ended, “Looking forward to seeing the Lindsay May cheer squad on the dock and enjoying the festivities in Hobart.”

Robbie Fisher, skipper of  Helsal 3 , agreed with Kellett summation of the race so far.

“We have a minor injury to a crew, a couple of broken ribs. Our navigator was on deck, slipped, and cracked a couple of ribs. That put us down a helmsman as well.

“We’ve injury to the boat too. A broken halyard, torn main and other little things. We’ve lost a bit of ground, but we’re pressing on. We’re hoping to finish tomorrow,” said Fisher, who is doing Hobart number 23.

The Hobart sailor said they had spent six hours in one spot off Gabo Island.

“The most we saw in the last hour of that time was 0.8 of a knot. It was so painful. Then we copped a beating across the Strait. We had over 30 knots and it was pretty bad. We broke a halyard and a few bits and pieces. We have persevered though…

“Right now the breeze is down to 5 knots (at 8.10am). It’s been an interesting trip to say the least.”

Fisher has his family on board, the three doing their first Hobarts. Wife Kerrie, son Brandon and daughter Elizabeth. They also have the ashes of Fisher’s father, Tony, who took Sydney Hobart line honours and broke the race record in 1973 with a former  Helsal , built of ferro cement and dubbed ‘The Flying Footpath’.

“Dad could have said ‘You should have put more gear up. He’s the lucky one though, he’s lying down in his usual bunk, so he’s relaxed.

“I don’t think the family will come again (the race). They’ve had enough, but they’ve all done their watches, so I can’t complain. Doing this race with me, experiencing it for themselves, they all think I’m crazy, doing the race so many times.”

Fisher continued, “The first night we saw the best lightning show. I’ve never seen anything like it. We were doing 13-14 knots in calm seas and it went on for three quarters of an hour. It was the most eerie experience.

“During the race we’ve had had everything except hard running conditions. I wanted to put the kite up just show the family what it looked like, but I thought better of it!”

Fisher, whose  Helsal 3  from Hobart is expected to finish late tomorrow evening, ended, “We saw  LawConnect  took line honours and everyone on board was cheering for them.”

More retirements during the night, as  Salt Lines ,  She  and  Gunshot  each retired with mainsail damage and going into Eden.

In a happy miscommunication, the New Zealand two-handed crew of husband and wife, Michael and Tracey Carter ( Allegresse ), have not retired from the race. Following a rest period, they resumed racing this morning.

The conditions have been particularly punishing on the two-handed crews. In all, 81 boats are yet to finish the race.

when are the sydney to hobart yachts due in

Credit: Antipodes Racing

2023 RSHYR UPDATE Thursday 1900hrs

They said it couldn’t be done and that just drove Grant Wharington to prove the doubters wrong when he built the new 100 foot  Wild Thing 100  in five months and made both the start and finish lines of the 2023 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.

Wharington and crew, including son, Oli, on his third Sydney Hobart and 21-year-old daughter Georgia, doing her first, were as thrilled as everyone else when he moored at the King Street Pier late today after crossing the finish line at 06:09:06pm.

Wild Thing 100  finished just short of an hour behind Sean Langman’s  Moneypenny  which had been in a battle royale with  URM Group  and  Alive  for the overall win. The pair were fifth and sixth boats to finish the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s race.

Wharington said, “We wouldn’t have gone to the start line if we thought we would not have made the finish line. That would be foolhardy.”

Wharington could not heap enough praise on his build team of Theo and Paddy and his main build team of Theo (Somssich) and Paddy (Lambourne). “They worked hard to get the boat done, even working on Christmas Day. I couldn’t have done it without them.

“We have fantastic people who are dedicated. This morning I saw a few friends had retired; Witty with  Scallywag,  Spiesy on  Maritimo , so I was grateful we finished. Grateful.

“We knew we couldn’t win, but we are here with our heads held high. We are still starting at the bottom and I know we will get better from here.”

Wharington said having his kids involved in the race “has given me a new enthusiasm for the sport. I like designing and building, so to do this also with the new boat also gave me enthusiasm.”

Earlier, Sean Langman’s chances of winning the race evaporated when he decided to take a ‘short cut’, the most direct route to the finish.  Moneypenny , a Reichel/Pugh 69, is currently placed third overall, a great result, but not what Langman was looking for.

The next boats due to finish are David Gotze’s  No Limit  and the first of the TP52s, Sebastien Bohm’s  Smuggler , the Max Klink skippered  Caro  and Sam Haynes’ 2022 winner,  Celestial . The four boats are not due till tomorrow from 9.30am.

In other news, more retirements today.  Bacardi ,  Allegresse  and  Cyan Moon .  Bacardi , which contested its 30th Sydney Hobart, the most by any boat, suffered damage, the New Zealand crew of two-handed entry  Allegresse  pulled out with fatigue, while  Cyan Moon  had rig damage.

when are the sydney to hobart yachts due in

Credit: ROLEX/Andrea Francolini

2023 RSHYR UPDATE Thursday 1530hrs

The Line Honours podium n the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race is now complete, with the RP72  URM Group  becoming the third boat in this year’s fleet to cross the finish line this afternoon.  URM Group  finished the 628 nautical mile race organised by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia (CYCA) in a time of 2 days 02 hours 07 minutes 19 seconds.

Owned by Anthony Johnston,  URM Group ’s third place behind line honours winner  LawConnect  and second placed  Andoo Comanche  signed off a brilliant race by the team.  URM Group  spent much of the race in a tight tussle with two other mini maxis, Philip Turner’s RP66  Alive  (Tas) and Sean Langman’s RP69  Moneypenny  (NSW). However, today  URM Group  managed to jump away and beat them both to the finish line ending its campaign with a superb sail up the Derwent River into Hobart.

A longer news story will be upload onto the News section of the RSHYR website later today. 

when are the sydney to hobart yachts due in

Credit: CYCA/Salty Dingo

2023 RSHYR UPDATE Thursday 1100hrs

In what has been an epic race from start to finish, Christian Beck’s LawConnect has lost her bridesmaid tag of the last three years to claim line honours in the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race this morning, crossing the Castray Esplanade finish line in Hobart at 08.03.58am this morning in the time of 1 day 19 hours 03 minutes 58 seconds

The John Winning Jnr skippered Andoo Comanche held the upper hand for most of the 628 nautical mile race, but LawConnect was always there and overtook her at one point. Early this morning there was little between the two and once again the Derwent sealed both boats fates, as a light, light breeze, teased and cajoled concentrating crews in an absolute thriller to the finish line. Christian Beck’s yacht finished well outside the race record of 1 day 9hrs 15min 24 sec, ironically set by the boat they beat today, which sailed as LDV Comanche to line honours victory in 2017 by her then owners, Jim Cooney and Samantha Grant. It did not matter though.

Only 51 seconds separated LawConnect and Andoo Comanche at the end, in the second closest finish in the history of the race. The closest was in 1982 when Condor beat Apollo over the line by seven seconds.

All 21 crew are celebrating their victory on board the yacht this morning at Kings Pier in Hobart.

An updated News story with interviews can be found  here on the RSHYR website.

when are the sydney to hobart yachts due in

Credit: ROLEX/Kurt Arrigo

2023 RSHYR UPDATE – Thursday 0400hrs

Whilst the attention today is understandably on the Maxi & Mini Maxi finishers, there are plenty of other battles going on elsewhere in the fleet which promise to continue over the next few days. Most divisions are wide open & we’ll be focusing on these in upcoming Live Updates.

Current Divisional Standings:

IRC DIVISION 0 Moneypenny  (Sean Langman) NSW. Reichel Pugh 69 Alive  (Philip Turner) TAS. Reichel Pugh 66 URM Group  (Anthony Johnston) NSW. Reichel Pugh 72

IRC DIVISION 1 Smuggler  (Sebastian Bohm) NSW. TP52 Celestial  (Sam Haynes) NSW. TP52 Caro  (Max Klink) New Zealand. Botin 52

IRC DIVISION 2 Rush  (John Paterson) VIC. Farr 45 Mayfair  (James Irvine) QLD. Rogers 46 Amazingrace  (Malcolm Roe) NSW. Swan 45

IRC DIVISION 3 Clockwork  (Andrew Lloyd & Mary Ann Harvey) SA. Sydney 38 Patriot  (Jason Close) VIC. J133 XS Moment BNMH  (Ray Hudson) NSW. XP44

IRC DIVISION 4 Toecutter  (Robert Hick & Brad Bult) VIC. Hick 10 Rockall 8  (Christopher Opielok) Germany. JPK 10.80 Supernova  (Alex Seja & Felicity Nelson) NSW. Sydney 36

IRC DIVISION 5 Azzurro  (Jack Kliner) QLD. S&S 34 Kraken III  (TH) (Rob Gough & John Saul) TAS. Jeanneau Sunfast 3300 Disko Trooper_ Contender Sailcloth (Jules Hall) NSW. J/99

PHS Insomnia  (Marcus Grimes) NSW. JV42 Salt Lines  (Matthew Harvey) NSW. Shipwright 70 She’s the Culprit  (The Culprit Syndicate) NSW. Inglis Jones 39

CORINTHIAN IRC Kraken III  (TH) (Rob Gough & John Saul) TAS. Jeanneau Sunfast 3300 Toecutter  (Robert Hick & Brad Bult) VIC. Hick 10 Verite  (TH) (Paul Beath) NSW. J/99

CORINTHIAN PHS Navy One  (RAN) NSW. Beneteau First 40 Ragtime  (Steve Watson) NSW. J/130 XS Moment BNMH  (Ray Hudson) NSW. XP44

TWO-HANDED IRC Kraken III  (TH) (Rob Gough & John Saul) TAS. Jeanneau Sunfast 3300 Verite  (TH) (Paul Beath) NSW. J/99 Cinnamon Girl  (Cian McCarthy) Ireland. Jeanneau Sunfast 3300

TWO-HANDED PHS Sylph VI  (Robert Williams) NSW. Alan Payne Sloop Imalizard  (Bruce Watson) NSW. Wellbourn 12

2023 RSHYR UPDATE Thursday 0300hrs

Today is shaping up to be an absolute cracker. With under 60nm now to the finish, the two maxis  Andoo Comanche  and  LawConnect  only have 300 metres separating them in terms of distance to go and are in sight of each other.

Almost 75 miles behind, the three mini maxis,  URM Group ,  Alive  and  Moneypenny  have less than 2nm separating them, and the three are currently atop Overall standings. We’ll bring you live coverage of both finishes later this morning & this afternoon.

when are the sydney to hobart yachts due in

2023 RSHYR UPDATE – Wednesday 1700hrs

The race for line honours in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race is poised to provide two thrilling finales in one as the leading boats continue their charge towards Tasmania.

Up front in the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s race for first place over the line, Andoo Comanche was still leading LawConnect at 1620hrs, but only 5 nautical miles separated the two maxis.

The lead pair were 101 and 107 nautical miles east of Helen’s Point respectively.

In the race for third place only 7.6nm separated URM Group, Moneypenny and Alive.

Anthony Johnston’s URM Group, an RP72, was third on line, followed by Sean Langman’s RP69 Moneypenny which had steadily moved up all day from fifth, followed by Phillip Turner’s RP66 Alive (Tas) which was in third position earlier. They were south of Gabo Island.

Meanwhile, Kathy Veel, owner and co-skipper with Bridget Canham of the Currawong 30, Currawong, which retired earlier this morning, is expected to arrive back at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia (CYCA), at around 7pm this evening.

Currawong, a two-handed entry, was the sixth of 11 boats that have retired from the race to-date.

There are now 92 boats still racing, including 14 two-handed entries. Veel said they had retired due to “various issues with the boat that could not be resolved.” She added that she and Canham were OK.

“We’re doing fine,” Veel said from aboard the yacht off Bondi Beach.

“Last night was quite difficult and there was a lot more of that ahead of us in a long race.”

Told that Currawong supporters were disappointed for their retirement after their popular finish as the last to reach Hobart last year, Veel said: “We are too … but we made the right call.”

when are the sydney to hobart yachts due in

2023 RSHYR UPDATE – Wednesday 1500hrs

The fight for third place on Line Honours in the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race is unravelling into a thriller, with  URM Group  looking ahead and behind at their rivals. While buoyed after taking third place on line honours from the RP66  Alive  (Tas) shortly before midday, the  URM Group , an RP72, is also wary about the danger of  Moneypenny .  URM Group  and  Alive  had been in a close fight for third place all morning, but looming behind them and closer to shore in fifth place was  Moneypenny , a RP69.

At 1430hrs,  URM Group ,  Alive  and  Moneypenny  were 124, 127 and 111 nautical miles south east of Gabo Island respectively. Eleven nautical miles separated the three boats.

Meanwhile,  Andoo Comanche  and  LawConnect  were continuing their close tussle in first and second place, positioned 115 and 130 nautical miles east of Eddystone Point.

URM Group  navigator, Alice Parker, was in high spirits, despite her own struggle with some sea sickness in the tough conditions that have seen rain, thunder and lightning. “I had a good few moments with a bucket between my legs, but otherwise, everyone is in good spirits,” she said. “We’re all a bit wet, sliding around a bit, but the boat’s in really good shape.” As she spoke,  URM Group , owned by Anthony Johnston and skippered by Marcus Ashley-Jones, was 105nm behind  Andoo Comanche , sailing at 15 knots with the wind from the east.

While happy with their race against  Alive , owned by Phillip Turner and skippered by Duncan Hine, Parker said  Moneypenny , owned by Sean Langman was also a danger. “Over the last couple of hours, we’ve been sailing quite well … we’re now matching them [ Alive ], or slightly in front, with  Moneypenny  at our stern. “We’re a bit nervous about some of the 52s on the ‘beach,’ [referring to sailing close to the coast] or closer to the south-east corner of Victoria. They’ve been ripping along in what looks like a pretty good ‘sou-easterly. But things are looking good for us now. The big boats are doing really well.  LawConnect  and  Comanche  have just had the perfect conditions really with strong reaching conditions. I think we’ll just miss out on getting that all the way to the finish. I suspect we’ll end up in a bit of a front that is meant to come through the early hours of tomorrow.”

Parker said that based on the current indicators,  URM Group  could possibly reach the finish in Hobart “sometime around lunchtime, or just after that,” tomorrow.

In other news, two more boats have retired.  Tumbleweed , the two-handed entry of Graham Biehl and Nigel Nattrass, who cite seasickness and fatigue, while David Watson’s  Luna Blue  has damaged equipment. Both boats are likely to head back to Sydney.

when are the sydney to hobart yachts due in

2023 RSHYR UPDATE – Wednesday 1300hrs

LawConnect  threw down the gauntlet in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race by taking the race lead from defending Line Honours champion,  Andoo Comanche  this morning.  The fight for Line Honours in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race is turning into a veritable arm wrestle with the two front runners swapping the lead twice this morning. At 12.45pm, Andoo Comanche  was back in front and 2.6 nautical miles ahead of  LawConnect  that had only taken the lead from  Andoo Comanche  a few hours earlier.  AndooComanche  and  LawConnect  were respectively 134 and 144 nautical miles east of Flinders Island in the 628 nautical mile Cruising Yacht Club of Australia race. Both were sailing in Bass Strait, east of the rhumb line –  Andoo Comanche  at 28.7 knots and  LawConnect  at 26.8 knots. The tussle between the two maxis has been a thrilling one in conditions that have pitted them and the remaining fleet of 95 against rain, thunderstorms, lightning and squalls.

Behind  Andoo Comanche  and  LawConnect , the race for third place had also seen a change in positions. Moving into third, from fourth place, was  URM Group ,the RP72 owned by Anthony Johnston and skippered by Marcus Ashley-Jones. Whereas,  Alive  (Tas), the RP66 owned by Phillip Turner and skippered by Duncan Hine had fallen from third to fourth. They were 91.3nm and 94nm respectively behind  Andoo Comanche  at the time of this update.

when are the sydney to hobart yachts due in

Credit: CYCA/Ashley Dart Photo

2023 RSHYR UPDATE – Wednesday 1100hrs

LawConnect  threw down the gauntlet in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race by taking the race lead from defending Line Honours champion,  Andoo Comanche  this morning.  After stalking the John Winning Jnr skippered  Andoo Comanche  all night and early this morning, the Christian Beck owned  LawConnect  passed their rivals at about 10am today. At 10.20 am, the margin was still tight between two race leaders in the 628 nautical mile Cruising Yacht Club of Australia event. Less than one nautical mile separated them.   LawConnect  and  Andoo Comanche  were respectively 137 and 135 nautical miles south-east of Gabo Island and sailing east of the rhumb line. 

Still in third was  Alive  (Tas), the RP66 owned by Phillip Turner and skippered by Duncan Hine, while in fourth was  URM Group , the RP72 owned by Anthony Johnston and skippered by Marcus Ashley-Jones. They were 68nm and 69nm respectively behind LawConnect. 

Meanwhile, the fleet also dropped to 95 boats, including 15 two-handed entries following the withdrawal of Mumm 36  Georgia Express  (NSW) with rigging issues. 

when are the sydney to hobart yachts due in

2023 RSHYR UPDATE – Wednesday 0900hrs

LawConnect  continues to stalk  Andoo Comanche  in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, but squalls of 30 knots-plus are hampering the crew’s ability to keep their rivals in sight.

At 9am, the margin was still tight between the two race leaders of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia event with nine nautical miles separating them.

But  LawConnect  boat captain Ty Oxley said after a close battle with  Andoo Comanche  overnight, the tough conditions this morning had limited their ability to see the race leaders.

“We are pretty close after we were neck and neck overnight,” said Oxley at 8.20am on Wednesday. “They would take a couple of miles on us, and then we would take them back.”

Asked if the  LawConnect  crew could see  Andoo Comanche  ahead of them, Oxley replied: ”No … because it’s raining and there are squalls everywhere, clouds on the horizon …

“It’s hard to see the bow of the boat at times. We can’t actually see them.”

Asked about the sea state as they headed into Bass Strait, Oxley said: “The sea state is not too bad. On Bass Strait it’s only a couple of metres.

“The squalls are pretty full on. The last one that came through would have been 40-plus knots. But they have generally been 30-plus”

“But we’re doing ok. We have put a couple of reefs in … chugging along.”

At 9am, the John Winning Jr skippered  Andoo Comanche  and Christian Beck’s  LawConnect  were respectively 125 and 129 nautical miles south-east of Gabo Island.

Still in third place was  Alive  (Tas), the RP66 owned by Phillip Turner and skippered by Duncan Hine and  URM Group , the RP72 owned by Anthony Johnston and skippered by Marcus Ashley-Jones.

The two yachts were 69nm and 72nm respectively behind  LawConnect .

Meanwhile, the race fleet now numbers 96, including 15 two-handed entries, following the withdrawal of two more boats this morning. They were the two-handed entries, the Currawong 30,  Currawong  (NSW) due to various issues, and the Young 11  Pacman  (Qld) with runner chainplate problems. The crews on both boats are okay.

when are the sydney to hobart yachts due in

2023 RSHYR UPDATE – Wednesday 0700hrs

The margin between  Andoo Comanche  and  LawConnect  remains tight with seven nautical miles now separating the two maxis that lead the Rolex Sydney Hobart fleet.

Meanwhile, in the fleet that now numbers 98 after two more overnight withdrawals ( Maritimo 52  and  Sticky ), the first night was hectic for the Geoff Hill owned Santa Cruz 72,  Antipodes .

At 7am,  Antipodes  crewmember Geoff Cropley reported: “We had lightning and thunder for hours. Then there was a major shift which auto gybed the boat.

“The spinnaker got wrapped in the drop along with spinnaker staysail. All the team were up and trying to untwist and get that down. It took us about 40 minutes. We were heading NE, sailing backwards, for a period of time.

“We’re now hunkered down with a reef in. There’s little bit of blue sky. It’s quite nice out here. We’ve got about 100nm to go to Green Cape.” Cropley added that crewmate Lindsay May is also “enjoying his 50th Sydney Hobart so far.”

At the front of the fleet at 7.45am, the John Winning Jr skippered  Andoo Comanche  and Christian Beck’s  LawConnect  were respectively 117 and 120 nautical miles south-east of Gabo Island.

Still in third place was the 2018 winner,  Alive  (Tas), the RP66 owned by Phillip Turner and skippered by Duncan Hine and race favourite,  URM Group , the RP72 owned by Anthony Johnston and skippered by Marcus Ashley-Jones.

The two yachts were 42nm and 57nm respectively behind  LawConnect .

when are the sydney to hobart yachts due in

2023 RSHYR UPDATE – Wednesday 0500hrs

After 16 hours of racing,  Andoo Comanche  is going toe-to-toe with  LawConnect  around 90nm SE of Green Cape. She is doing 17.2kts, having averaged 12kts for the journey and has only a half mile lead over her rival.

URM Group  and  Alive  have overtaken the other maxi  Wild Thing 100  and are alongside each other 7 miles back in another tight battle.

Caro   currently sits in 7th place on standings, with the two TP52s  Smuggler  and  Highly Sprung  on her tail.  No Limit ,  Whisper ,  Celestial ,  Teasing Machine  and  Denali  lead the rest.

The fleet is strung back to Wollongong where  Currawong ,  Sylph VI  and  Silver Fern  are presently doing 7.5 knots.

The Michael Spies skippered TP52, Maritimo 52 (Qld), sustained rig damage which ultimately caused other damage to the boat.

Crew member Peter Jones said, “The fitting on the deck for the forestay shredded, which ripped the No. 4 headsail and the mainsail. We tried to work a million ways around it, but we would have been sailing at 50 percent. We are shattered.

“The weather shocking overnight. We had as much lightning as I’ve ever seen. The sou-west front came through, we saw high 20s to early 30s (knots) and had solid rain for three hours.

“We were south of Jervis Bay, 115 miles down the course. Everyone on board is fine,” ended Jones, who expects the yacht to be back at the CYCA around mid-afternoon today.

Then came the news that Sticky, the Cookson 50 owned by Richard Harris, had suffered electrical damage, forcing her retirement.

Both yachts were expected to do well in the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s 628 nautical mile race.

The two retirements means there are 98 boats still in the race, inclusive of 17 two-handed entries.

when are the sydney to hobart yachts due in

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Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2024

when are the sydney to hobart yachts due in

  • About the race
  • Southern Cross Cup
  • Race Reports
  • Start & Finish Villages
  • Hobart & Beyond

The Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race will again start in accordance with tradition with the firing of a starting cannon. The start will be at 1.00pm on Boxing Day, 26 December.

The fleet makes its way towards Sydney Heads

The fleet will start from start lines off Nielsen Park with boats on the northern line rounding "Victor Mark" and boats on the southern lines rounding "X-Ray Mark", at the Heads, and all boats heading out to sea and rounding "Mark Zulu", one nautical mile east of the Heads. The larger boats in the fleet will start off the front line, just north of Shark Island. The rest of the fleet will start from the southern lines, 0.2 nautical miles between each. Having two rounding marks at Sydney Heads will compensate for the distance between the lines before the fleet heads to sea on the ocean voyage to Hobart.

To give the yachts a clear area in which to manoeuvre before the start and then ample room to tack or gybe as they race to the Heads, NSW Roads and Maritime Services have declared an exclusion zone from 12 noon to 2:20pm on Boxing Day. A 6 knot no-wash zone will cover the Harbour from Garden Island and Bradley's Head to a line between North Head and Macquarie Light. Spectator craft may not enter the exclusion zone between these times and once the race starts the yachts must sail within the zone until they clear Sydney Heads.

As the countdown to the start begins, the CYCA's historic cannons will be fired aboard the official starting vessel, Olympic Storm, to draw attention to the starting flag sequence as follows:

12.50pm: 10 minute Warning Signal - Event flag hoisted and cannon fired.

12.55pm: 5 minute Preparatory Signal - Code flag P hoisted and cannon fired.

1.00pm - Starting Signal - Event Flag and Code flag P dropped and cannon fired.

A further signal (Code flag X) and a single cannon fire may indicate premature (OCS - On Course Side) starts by individual yachts which must then return and re-start. Yachts which have started prematurely will also be advised by radio within 10 minutes of the start. There will be no general recall.

OFFICIAL ROLEX SYDNEY HOBART MERCHANDISE

Shop the official clothing range of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race and the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia in person at the Club in New South Head Road, Darling Point or online below.  

From casual to technical clothing, there is something for all occasions. Be quick as stock is limited!

Duel in the dark as three-boat race for Sydney to Hobart win looms on Weds morning

Black Jack leads the Sydney to Hobart.

There’s a tight tussle for line honours in the Sydney to Hobart yacht race as Black Jack, LawConnect and SHK Scallywag headed toward a possible “neck and neck” finish on the River Derwent.

Across Tuesday SHK Scallywag had closed the gap in third place as further retirements cut the original fleet of 88 yachts to 52, with harsh conditions forcing withdrawals due to damage or minor crew injuries - most coming on the first day.

The three super maxis were vying for the top spot heading down Tasmania’s east coast with the possibility of the duel continuing right up to Hobart.

On Tuesday morning, Black Jack had regained a six nautical mile lead on LawConnect.

“They are neck and neck at the moment,” Cruising Yacht Club of Australia Commodore Noel Cornish told media in Hobart.

Light winds for most of Tuesday then saw the leaders slow down, often being within sight of each other. Some of the race stragglers may not finish until January 4.

A Wednesday morning finish, likely before sunset, was expected.

“We are looking forward to a good day, and to where we will end up this afternoon and evening,” said Black Jack navigator Alex Nolan.

“Everyone is very well on board. Everyone is very happy. We are pushing it very hard.” Weather is critical in the 628-nautical-mile (1,200-km) race down Australia’s east coast to Hobart, one of the world’s most challenging ocean events.

Six men died, five boats sank, and 55 sailors were rescued during the 1998 event when a deep depression exploded over the fleet in the Bass Strait.

But this year, organisers also faced the trials of a global pandemic, which already nixed last year’s edition -- cancelling the event for the first time since it began in 1945.

Before the start, four yachts were forced to retire, leaving 88 entrants at the starting line, including 17 two-handed crafts, which are allowed to take part for the first time.

It was a sharp reduction from the 157 boats that set out in 2019. Though the first yacht to reach the finishing line grabs most public attention, the main prize for sailors is regarded as the handicap honours, which take account of the size of the yachts.

RETIREMENTS (As of 7.30pm, December 27)

Alive - hull damage

Ariel - Mainsail damage

Blink - torn main sail

Chancellor - sail damage

Crystal Cutter - mainsail damage

Denali - damage to hull

Enchantress - broken forestay

Extasea - engine issues

Gweilo - Forestay damage

Huntress - mainsail damage

Kialoa II - rig damage

King Billy - rigging damage

Mako - damaged mainsail

Mille Sabords - torn mainsail

Minerva - mainsail damage

Moneypenny - broken headstay

Nautical Circle - rigging issues

No Limit - heading to Sydney

Oskana - broken forestay

Oz Design Patrice Six - engine issues

Philosopher - heading to Sydney

TSA Management - mainsail damage

URM - damaged mainsail

Wax Lyrical - equipment damage

White Noise - window damage

Zara - uknown.

Zen - injured crew

Eora - broken backstay

Hip-Nautic - damaged mainsail

Inukshuk - autopilot issues

Kayimai - engine issues

Hells Bells - engine issues

Maverick - rudder damage

One-third of Sydney to Hobart fleet forced to withdraw due to rough seas

Sport One-third of Sydney to Hobart fleet forced to withdraw due to rough seas

Yacht crew  fold up a sail next to a yacht called No Limit

Rough seas continue to wreak havoc among the Sydney to Hobart field, forcing more than a third of the competitors forced and leaving one sailor with a broken arm.

Key points:

  • Rough seas are being blamed for the highest number of withdrawals since 2015
  • While the bigger yachts have survived most of the conditions, the smaller boats have another 12 hours to go
  • A crew member of No Limit suffered a broken arm, while other yachts retired due to structural damage

Monaco's Black Jack was leading from fellow supermaxis SHK Scallywag and LawConnect as they neared Bass Strait on Monday at 5pm (AEDT).

Thirty-two of the 88-strong fleet that left Sydney on Sunday afternoon had withdrawn, with more than a dozen of those running into trouble on Monday.

Among them was 20-metre Tasmanian yacht and 2018 overall honours winner Alive, which had to head back to Sydney after suffering hull damage and reportedly taking on water.

Sailors returning to the NSW capital said it was heavy seas that caused most problems rather the stiff southerly winds they were pushing into.

"The breeze was 33, 34 knots, which is not that bad," said No Limit crew member Declan Brennan, whose boat retired after one of the crew suffered a broken arm.

"It's curious, it wasn't angry conditions; it was just a very short, sharp seaway. The seaway was so inconsistent, we were just bouncing around all over the place.

"This is a 63-foot boat. It just didn't make for a sensible thing to continue on."

Sydney to Hobart yacht race begins

The last time a similar number of yachts retired was in 2015 when 25 of 84 starting yachts failed to finish.

Cruising Yacht Club Of Australia commodore Noel Cornish said the tough conditions would make the race even more memorable than usual.

"Every now and again you get a race like this," he said in Hobart. "We've got a lot of torn mainsails and some rigging damage that has predominantly taken these boats out.

"It will be known as a 'good' Hobart. Over the recent years, people have had a pretty easy Hobart."

Cornish said the leading bigger boats had mostly made it through the bad conditions but the small and medium-sized entrants could expect another 12 hours of the southerly conditions creating the rough waters.

He said signs pointed to a Tuesday afternoon line-honours finish in the River Derwent.

South Australian John Willoughby, skipper of Enchantress, said he was forced to retire after some spinnaker halyards came loose and knocked a hole in the mainsail.

It was part of a sequence of adverse events triggered by the boat being briefly plunged into darkness by an electrical fault.

Septuagenarian Willoughby has contended with a rudder falling off in three previous bluewater classics and a mast going overboard in another three.

"That's what a Sydney Hobart does for you: it gives you the knowledge and the training to be able to get yourself out of any situation," Willoughby said.

"But if we had gone on with that mainsail it would have just torn to pieces."

Cornish said several crew in the fleet were still awaiting coronavirus test results.

He said sailors who returned a positive test while in NSW waters would be asked to retire, and those who test positive while in Tasmanian waters would be subject to the island state's quarantine rules.

"We haven't heard anything from any of the crews about COVID-19 test results. I think there's a good reason, I don't think anybody is looking at their mobile phone at the moment," he said.

"As soon as the conditions start to lighten we'll get a good idea of where people are up to with their COVID exposure."

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SHK Scallywag, with the Hong Kong flag on it black sail, off Sydney with other yachts around it.

IMAGES

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