The focus turns to the weather, four days out from the 64th annual Rolex Sydney Hobart.
Wild Oats XI power reaching in Bass Strait - Rolex Sydney Hobart Race
Renowned weatherman Roger Clouds Badham says the speed of the race depends on the first six hours and then the conditions on Saturday night.
If the winds swing quickly to the north east on Boxing Day and strengthen then Bob Oatley's Wild Oats XI could reach Tasman Light as early as 7pm on Saturday night, just 30 hours into the race,
If this happens then the 30 metre giant could blast past the Iron Pot and up the Derwent before the wind clocks off for the night.
Should that happen then the current race record she set in 2005 of 1 day 18 hours 40 minutes 10 seconds, could be lopped by as much as six or seven hours.
Sydney, 20-12-2008 The Rolex Trophy 2008 ASM - Shockwave 5, Owner: Andrew Short, Sail n: USA50062, State: NSW, Division: IRC, Design: Reichel/Pugh 80
Yesterday's routing data would suggest that the next batch of boats Skandia, Andrew Short Marine Shockwave, Ichi Ban will suffer overnight in the night time shutdown, but the TP52's Quest, Ragamuffin, Wot Now and Cougar II could benefit from a morning arrival on Storm Bay, and Quantum Racing, Yendys will be similarly well placed.
By our next newsletter on Christmas Eve, the differences in the three weather models currently being interpreted should be much less.
Sydney, 20-12-2008 The Rolex Trophy 2008 Ginger, Owner: Leslie Green, Sail n: 601 Quantum Racing, Owner: Ray Roberts, Sail n: 8899, State: NSW, Division: IRC, Design: Cookson 50
Of course there are a few variables to come into play… like winds, currents, tides, sunfish, sails,rigging, masts and sailors...