You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Southerly doubts over Sydney-Hobart race

AAP logoAAP 23/12/2016 Adrian Warren

The possibility of a lighter than forecast southerly change has potentially improved the prospect of a Sydney to Hobart line honours race record.

Uncertainty over the strength and duration of the forecast southerly is looming as a big factor in the race, which is tipped to start under fresh north easterly breezes, possibly strengthening to between 20 and 30 knots on Boxing Day.

The Bureau of Meteorology says the southerly tipped for late Monday evening could be a lot weaker than the forecast, which could lead to a faster race and a better chance of breaking the line honours record.

"The southerly could be a lot lighter than the current forecast of 15 to 25 knots." the BOM's Jane Golding said during Saturday's weather briefing at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia.

CYCA commodore John Markos said he was excited about the forecast, which he felt was good compared to a lot of the past races.

"We don't have the same stiff southerly as last year," he told AAP.

"This year it's a lot softer and still a strong wind, don't get me wrong they will have a bit to deal with.

"I think those conditions as they present in the forecast mean we have truly a race-record breaking potential.

"The Derwent river is predicted to be 12 knots on Tuesday night constantly which means it won't shut down as it usually does, so that's pretty exciting too.

"I think Wild Oats has got a pretty good chance (of breaking the record) but as the other (supermaxis) are pretty capable in these sorts of conditions, it might not be Wild Oats, it might be somebody else.'

Breaking his boat's 2012 race record of one day 18 hours 23 minutes 12 seconds isn't something Wild Oats XI skipper Mark Richards is thinking about.

"Mother Nature waves her magic wand and gives you some good conditions," Richards said.

"All these boats (the four supermaxis) and the Volvo 70s can rack up serious miles quickly in the right conditions.

"We don't even think about the record."

Ludde Ingvall, skipper of supermaxi CQS, said Saturday's forecast gave the 89-boat fleet a chance to have a bit of fun, but admitted he was still learning about the capabilities of his rebuilt boat.

"We have a boat with lots of toys in the toy box and we have no idea how to use them yet, so we'll be figuring things out as we go," Ingvall said.

Perpetual LOYAL owner and skipper Anthony Bell said the forecast wasn't as favourable for his supermaxi as the one a couple of days earlier.

"Our biggest aim is not to have a team meeting at the Watsons Bay Hotel this year on the 27th, we're really determined to get to Hobart," said Bell, who retired his boat from last year's race.

"We need a bit of luck, we've certainly had our fair share of bad luck ,so there will be plenty of Hail Marys on Christmas Day and all the way through."

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon