, 2022-12-23 19:36:13,
Issued on: Modified:
Sydney (AFP) – Forecast northerly winds could see the prestigious Sydney-Hobart race record challenged by the supermaxi yachts when the often-brutal bluewater classic sets sail on Boxing Day.
The big boats are predicted to get off to a flying start from Sydney harbour, with light winds becoming blustery, propelling them down Australia’s east coast before they tackle the notorious Bass Strait towards Hobart.
“For the most part, we are looking at northerly winds and having those northerly winds increase through the first half of the race with a trough coming through on Wednesday,” the NSW Bureau of Meteorology’s Gabrielle Woodhouse said in a long-range forecast.
It augurs well for the 100-foot supermaxis among the 109-strong fleet — Andoo Comanche, Black Jack, Wild Oats and LawConnect — as they battle one of the world’s most challenging ocean events.
They could feasibly make it to Hobart without any significant upwind sailing, while the rest of the fleet — slower mid-to-small sized boats — face two or more weather patterns with the trough shifting winds to south-southeast and rain developing.
Comanche holds the record for the 628-nautical-mile (1,200-km) endurance test of one day, 9 hours, 15min and 24sec, set in 2017.
Yachting meteorologist Roger Badham told reporters it remained to be seen whether the time could be…
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