Final preparations are being made for tomorrow's Sydney-Hobart Race. There will be two start lines, one specifically for the VOR boats
The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia will return to a two-line start for its 57th CYCA Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, in order to give the eight yachts competing in the Volvo Ocean Race a clear start for leg three of their round the world race.
This leg, from Sydney to Auckland, includes the 630 nautical mile Sydney to Hobart, with the Volvo Ocean 60s having a brief ‘pit stop’ in Hobart before continuing on to Auckland.
The two starting lines, stretching east to west just north of Shark Island, will be only 200 metres apart, the VO 60s on the front line, the rest of the fleet, including the maxi yachts, on the back line.
The starting signal cannon for the entire fleet will be fired at 1pm, sending the 76 boats off together in a spectacular dash to the Heads and then to the sea mark, one nautical to the east, before turning south, on course for Tasmania.
To equalize the distance to Hobart, the Volvo Ocean 60s will turn a mark 200 metres further north at the Heads than the rest of the fleet, all boats leaving their marks to starboard.
As always, there will be no general recall if yachts are over the line, but individual recalls will be notified by radio five minutes after the start. Infringing yachts in the main fleet must then return and re-start, but the VO 60s will have to wait to receive a time penalty once they have rounded the sea mark. After taking the time penalty, they will have to re-round the seamark before continuing in the race.
To give the Volvo boats room to manoeuvre between the lines before the start, a five minute rule will apply to the rest of the fleet, which means that any yacht in front of the back line after the 5 minute Preparatory Signal must return around the ends of the line or be penalised.