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Rolex Sydney Hobart set for Boxing Day start

The 2017 Rolex Sydney Hobart will see a 102-strong fleet aiming to make it from Sydney, down Australia’s east coast, across Bass Straight and into Hobart.

While a handful will race for line honours, every crew could potentially claim The Tattersall Cup – the coveted prize for the overall victor.

Race start time is 13:00 hrs AEDT in Sydney on 26 December (02:00 hrs Tuesday in UK).

Race Distance: 628 nautical miles/1,163 kilometres/722 miles. This distance represents the ‘rhumbline’, the most direct route from Sydney to Hobart.

Race time from start to finish: The race record is held by Perpetual LOYAL, in One day, 13 hours, 31 minutes and 20 seconds.

Who to watch, line honours: Wild Oats XI, Black Jack, InfoTrack and LDV Comanche are the four super maxis and all four are truly in contention this year.

All four big guns have won line honours in the Rolex Sydney Hobart, with Wild Oats XI winning line honours a record eight times.

Who to watch, overall victory: It’s a diverse fleet this year, in which the weather may well determine the winner, although the early forecast favoured the big boats.

Defending champion Giacomo has been sold and renamed Wizard, which should be in the mix, as will TP52s Ichi Ban, Quest, Koa and Rockall.

The larger Beau Geste and Wild Oats X have shown strong form too.

Showing just how open the race will be, the 1964 built Kialoa II is in with a chance, as is Mascalzone Latino, oldest boat in the fleet Dorade, Oskana and the 34 foot 35 year-old Komatsu Azzurro.

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