The Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race is a true test of human and machine. Organized by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia in collaboration with the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania, this 628 nautical mile offshore race requires meticulous preparation, honed skills and resolute determination just to finish.
The 2017 race marks the 73rd edition of this time-honoured tradition.
And, with over 100 yachts, including 30 overseas entries, expected to cross the start line at 13:00 AEDT on 26 December 2016, everything is in place for another exceptional chapter in the history of this classic race.
Over the past 76 years, the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race has become an icon of Australia’s summer sport, ranking in public interest with such national events as the Melbourne Cup, the Australian Open tennis and the Boxing Day cricket test. No regular annual yachting event in the world attracts such huge media coverage than does the start on Sydney Harbour.
The Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race and Cruising Yacht Club of Australia have had a marked influence on international ocean yacht racing. The Club has influenced the world in race communications and sea safety, maintaining the highest standards for race entry. The Club’s members have also fared well in major ocean racing events overseas, with victories in the Admiral’s Cup, Kenwood Cup, One Ton Cup, Fastnet Race, Clipper Race and BOC Challenge solo race around the word, not to mention the America’s Cup.
The race was initially planned to be a cruise by Peter Luke and some friends who had formed a club for those who enjoyed cruising as opposed to racing, however when a visiting British Royal Navy Officer, Captain John Illingworth, suggested it be made a race, the event was born. The Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race has grown over the decades, since the inaugural race in 1945, to become one of the top three offshore yacht races in the world, and it now attracts maxi yachts from all around the globe. The 2019 race was the 75th edition.