The Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race is an annual event hosted by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, starting in Sydney on Boxing Day and finishing in Hobart, Tasmania. The race distance is approximately 630nm and it’s widely considered to be one of the most difficult yacht races in the world. Bass Strait, and the waters of the Pacific Ocean immediately to its east, are renowned for their high winds and difficult seas.
Although the race mostly takes place in the Tasman Sea, the shallowness of Bass Strait and the proximity to the race course means that the fleet is very much under the influence of the Strait as they transit from the mainland to Flinders Island. Even though the race is held in the Australian summer, “southerly buster” storms often make the Sydney–Hobart race cold, bumpy, and very challenging for the crew.