Skippers and navigators of the 89 yachts competing in the 2016 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race have received their Christmas Eve weather briefing.
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The Bureau of Meteorology's Jane Golding has told them the forecasts produced by the various models that meteorologists use, have been pretty consistent in recent days.
Confirming a fast start on Sydney Harbour in a brisk north-easterly, and that the breeze will strengthen throughout the afternoon as the boats run down the NSW coast.
It translates to spinnaker sailing in a 20 to 25 knot nor-easter on day one for everyone. This is when the super-maxis will streak away from the boats chasing them.
As expected, a big front currently lying in the Southern Ocean, south of Western Australia, will reach the southern NSW coast around midnight, turning the winds to the south.
The southerly will slow the super maxis first, and then make its way back through the fleet during the night.
The softening forecast would seem to favour the slimmer Wild Oats XI and CQS over the broader, more powerful upwind Perpetual LOYAL and Scallywag in the race for line honours.
But all this is crystal balling.
Whatever the weather eventually throws up, Scallywag skipper David Witt pretty much summed up the Hobart race for all 89 skippers and crew:
“Start at one o’clock and go south. It is what it is.”
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Jim Gale, RSHYR media
25 December 2016 9:28 GMT