SAN FRANCISCO (#1156) – Live pre-race coverage from Australia begins today (Christmas Day in the USA) at 1730 PST / 2030 EST. That's 0130 UTC / 1230 AEDT on Boxing Day (26 Dec). We will carry the livestream from AUS on our Sailing Illustrated Facebook page via a special TFE LIVE from our San Francisco SITV studio at the Beach Street Yacht Club in San Francisco. We'll weave some current yacht racing news into the the breaks in the action from AUS, as well as feature comments from our normally lively viewership of FOSI (Friends of Sailing Illustrated) and beyond. We plan to go as long as the live coverage continues from AUS, which should be an hour or so, at least until the maxis have cleared the heads and are in the ocean heading south along the Australian coast.
Just about everything you need to know about the race is on the event website: www.rolexsydneyhobart.com. The FAQ is particularly helpful:
Start time: 1pm AEDT
Where to watch: If you’re not sitting on the Aussie coastline, switch to 7MATE at 12:30pm AEDT, or online via the 7LIVE App!
You can also follow the yachts positions during the race on YACHT TRACKER, CLICK HERE.
Race Distance: 628 nautical miles/1,163 kilometres/722 miles. This distance represents what is known as the ‘rhumbline’, the most direct route from Sydney to Hobart.
Of course the rhumbline is not always the best way, so for many yachts, as they tack or gybe their way to Hobart, the course becomes longer than 628 nautical miles.
Route: Sydney Harbour to Castray Esplanade in Hobart. The final checkpoint on the Australian mainland is Green Cape, where all vessels must do a radio check confirming they are about to cross Bass Strait with their radio in working order.
Race time from start to finish: The race record is held by LDV Comanche, in One day, 9 hours, 15 minutes and 24 seconds is the benchmark.
Who to watch, line honours: Wild Oats XI, Black Jack, InfoTrack, Scallywag and Comanche are the five super maxis and they are truly in contention this year.
Four of the five big guns have won line honours in the Rolex Sydney Hobart, with Wild Oats XI winning line honours a record eight times.
Size restriction: A vessel cannot be more than 100ft. or less than 30ft.
First female competitor: In 1946 Jane ‘Jenny’ Tate of Hobart raced alongside her husband, Horrie aboard Active. The ‘Jane Tate Memorial Trophy’ is awarded to the first female skipper to finish the race each year.
Dagmar O’Brien also competed in the same year with her husband Dr Brian (‘Mick’) O’Brien aboard Conella. They were forced to retire in Bass Strait.
This year we have an all-female professional crew on board Wild Oats X campaigning with Ocean Respect Racing.
International line honours winners: There have been 26 international line honours winners since the race began in 1945. Comanche (USA) was the last of those in 2015.
Biggest fleet: In the 50th edition of the race in 1994 there were 371 starters, including 24 internationals, 309 finished.
Next year is the 75th edition and it’s set to be the largest fleet we have seen since the 50th.
Oldest Yacht in the fleet: Kialoa II – commissioned in 1964
Slowest ever: In 1945 Wayfarer completed the race in an elapsed time of 11 days, six hours, 20 minutes (seven days, 19 hours, 43 minutes on corrected time).
Most successful boat designer: Bruce Farr and Farr Associates are credited with more overall winners than any other, a total of 21.
Between 1976 and 2003 he designed 15 winners, with an additional one in 2014. There are a further five wins attributed to ‘Farr Yacht Design’.
Radio Schedules: Each entrant must make two ‘SKEDS’, sailing jargon for ‘Scheduled Radio Check’, each day.
To ensure each crew stays within range there is the Radio Relay Vessel, ‘JBW’ that shadows the fleet throughout the race and docks in Hobart with the fleet.
How long has Rolex sponsored the race? The association began in 2002, making this year the 17th time they have been involved.
Finally, below is an interesting and informative 11-minute video from the "Potential Line Honors Press Conference" held on 2018-12-24. Hope you can join us live (or watch the replay afterwards) over on our SI FB page at 1730 PST....