The Rolex Sydney to Hobart yacht race has become an icon of Australia’s summer sport.

Over the past 68 years, the Rolex Sydney Hobart has become an icon of Australia’s summer sport, ranking in public interest with such national events as the Melbourne Cup horse race, the Australian Open tennis and the cricket tests between Australia and England. No regular annual yachting event in the world attracts such huge media coverage than does the start on Sydney Harbour on Boxing Day.

From the spectacular start in Sydney Harbour where Australians watch with excitement, the fleet of more than 90 will set sail out into the Tasman Sea, down the south-east coast of mainland Australia, across Bass Strait, then down the east coast of Tasmania.  At Tasman Island the fleet turns right into Storm Bay for the final sail up the Derwent River to the historic port city of Hobart.

The 90 minute race will capture sailors and spectators worldwide, with 600,000 people expected to congregate at Sydney Harbour foreshore to catch a glimpse of the event and millions more to tune in online, on the radio or on TV on Channel 7 or ABC. The Rolex Sydney Hobart 2013 race starts at 1pm (12pm Brisbane time).

ABC TV will also be following the fleet down the eastern seaboard and will provide all the in-race news footage that is used by the various Australian and International news networks.

The conditions predict it is likely yachts will experience a lack of wind due to forecast shifting and weak weather patterns of late.

The race record stands at 18 hours, 3 minutes and 12 seconds set last year by the Wild Oats X1 team.

The winners of the past five years of the rolex sydney to hobart race have been:

2012- Wild Oats X1- Owner: Robert Oatley, Skipper: Mark Richards

2011- Investec Loyal- Owner and Skipper: Anthony Bell

2010- Wild Oats X1- Owner: Robert Oatley, Skipper: Mark Richards

2009- Alpha Romeo- Owner and Skipper: Neville Crichton

2008- Wild Oats X1- Owner: Robert Oatley, Skipper: Mark Richards


Will you be following the Sydney to Hobart race this year?