Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2013 latest weather forecast is looking promising for the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race fleet ahead of its participation in the Race for the first time.
Australian skippered and crewed yacht PSP Logistics in Sydney Harbour - Rolex Sydney to Hobart 2013
The 228 amateur crew in the round the world fleet are preparing to bring an international flavour to the iconic Australian offshore race which leaves Sydney on Boxing Day.
The 12-strong Clipper 70 fleet will be in three classes – the IRC handicap class, Race 6 of the Clipper Round the World Race and the Clipper One Design class that has been created for Clipper by race organisers the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia (CYCA).
The Clipper 70s will leave from the middle start line in Sydney Harbour at 1300.
Justin Taylor, the Clipper Race director, said the latest forecast indicates the Clipper 70s will be beating for the first 30 hours to Green Cape, followed by a reach/run to the Bass Straight, followed by a beat down the Tasmanian coast into Hobart.
'The crews are in very good stead for all 12 boats to finish in the top 30 line honours. They have seen such a variety of conditions through their deep ocean racing, and nothing will faze them.
'They are up for it and I am very confident in their abilities. There are not too many other yachts that will have experienced the variety of conditions that they have in their 17,000 miles of global racing so far.'
Eric Holden, skipper of Henri Lloyd, the overall leader in the Clipper Race, said: 'It’s good having done the Sydney Hobart three times before - my crew are in safe hands.
'It is one of my favourite races in the world – the coastline is beautiful and we are ready to give it our all.'
PSP Logistics skipper Chris Hollis is doing his third Sydney Hobart. He said: 'We are ready to race and everyone is really excited. No one is nervous – we are ready to perform really well. We have had a meeting about performance and evaluating ourselves and we want to settle in really quickly as soon as we are out of Sydney Heads and make the most of the race.'
Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the chairman and founder of the Clipper Race and the first ever person to sail solo, nonstop round the world, will also participate as a navigator on a Clipper 68, CV10.
The 12 teams – almost half way round the world in their adventure of a lifetime - will race against some of the world’s best professional sailors in the 94-yacht spectacle in front of tens of thousands of spectators.
Famous British faces including adventurer Sir Ranulph Fiennes, the most successful Olympic sailor ever, Sir Ben Ainslie and the BBC’s World Affairs editor, John Simpson have also sent the crews messages of good luck ahead of Christmas.
The crews will return to London in July 2014 after sailing 40,000 miles over six continents and visiting 16 ports during their 11 month ocean odyssey.