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Sydney Hobart line honours record tipped

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 26/12/2016 Adrian Warren

Prominent members of the Sydney to Hobart fleet are tipping the line honours race record to fall in this year's race.

Competitors received their final weather briefing at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia on Monday morning, less than five hours before the start on Sydney Harbour at 1pm (AEDT).

The four supermaxis can expect to sail mostly in favourable northerlies, though there is one southerly change forecast around 12 hours in.

"The record will get broken," Scallywag skipper David Witt told AAP.

"Our routing has got one day 11 hours to the Iron Pot, that's seven hours inside the record and with about 12 miles to sail."

Wild Oats XI set the existing record of one day 18 hours 23 minutes 12 seconds in 2012.

"I think it does look optimistic for a race record," Wild Oats XI tactician Iain Murray said.

"The breeze is kind, there's a lot of northerly quadrant wind.

"The race record is not actually that fast, it's 17 knots average or something like that.

"We averaged 21 knots in the Brisbane to Keppel race earlier in the year.

"In a couple of knots of current, there's plenty of opportunity for these 100 footers to go faster than the race record."

Perpetual LOYAL owner-skipper Anthony Bell also expected the record to fall, though not by a large amount.

He said he would probably need to be brave and take risks and sail away from the other three supermaxis.

"We'll be looking to go to areas of the racetrack that probably sail further away from them but might actually give us faster boat speed," Bell said.

"The three other skinnier boats will probably form a bit of a pack and we'll be like the ugly duckling somewhere out there."

"The back end of Tasmania always gets a bit tricky, but I think the first people to get through the southerly transition and into the fresh breeze will make a real profit."

CQS supermaxi has a crew that includes New Zealand sailors Chris Dickson, Chris Main and Rodney Keenan as watch captains. Double Olympic medallist Jo Aleh will join the trio on deck.

It belongs to Ludde Ingvall and has recently returned from a Tauranga shipyard where it was lengthened and rebuilt.

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