Don't miss any of the action from the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2016 with this easy spectator guide
As the start of the famous Sydney Hobart draws close, we take a look at the best ways to keep up-to-date with the action…
Race start time: 1pm AEST on Boxing Day
In Sydney? Watch from ashore…
When the fleet for this year’s race jostles for position on twin start lines just north of Shark Island, you’ll want to be in prime position yourself. To get the full dose of race atmosphere you need to grab a spot on North or South Head, or even join the action on the water among the colourful spectator fleet (which includes craft of all shapes and sizes from ferries to kayaks and even the odd water taxi).
Related content: Read about this year’s hot favourites for line honours
On the water
If you’ve got access to a boat then you can be on the water with the fleet for the start of the race. Spectator craft positioned in the eastern channel can watch the race begin and then follow the fleet down the harbour to the Heads and out to sea. Once underway the fleet can move fast, so if you want to catch the leaders sail through the Heads, it’s advisable to get well down the harbour towards Middle Head before the start. At the Heads keep well clear of the rounding marks.
If you only plan on watching the start, and don’t wish to follow the fleet, then stick to the western side of the harbour. Good vantage points for spectator boats include Taylors Bay, Chowder Bay, Obelisk Bay and North Head on the west and Rose Bay, Watsons Bay, Camp Cove and South Head to the east.
The harbour will be very crowded and traffic can be chaotic so stay alert, follow the advice of race officials and remember to keep well clear of the exclusion zone between 12pm and 2pm.
But if you’re not lucky enough to be there in person when the starting cannon fires, don’t worry – there are plenty of ways to follow the race, no matter where you are.
If you are in Australia, tune in the the Seven Network, which will once again broadcast the start of the race live around Australia with well known sports presenter Mark Beretta anchoring the commentary team.
‘Beretts’ has hosted the Rolex Sydney Hobart start once before and will be joined by Peter Shipway, who will act as the technical expert, in the commentary team.
Seven Sport’s commentary team will again be based at their outside broadcast headquarters at North Head, which is a prime location offering an expansive view from the start lines off Nielsen Park to coastline down to Bondi.
If you are not in Australia, check out the online coverage options below.
For those who can’t get to watch the live broadcast of the start of the race, Seven West Media will webcast the program.
You can also watch a webcast of the live broadcast on the home page of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race website, www.rolexsydneyhobart.com
Social media channels
Follow the yacht tracker
Spectators are also able to visit the Yacht Tracker page, which allows viewers to track the entire fleet or a particular boat from start to finish. Yacht Tracker uses a specifically designed tool that calculates the predicted results for each and every boat in the fleet, so you can see how each boat is performing.
Each yacht will be fitted with a Yellowbrick tracker that will obtain a position using the GPS satellite network, and then transmit that position back to Yellowbrick HQ using the Iridium satellite network.
Each yacht’s position is then visualised on the race yacht tracker map or overlaid on Google Earth. In addition, the yacht tracker system also shows distance to finish line and progressive corrected time positions under the IRC, ORCi and PHS handicap divisions.
The official race website www.rolexsydneyhobart.com is one of the most popular Australian sporting websites during the Christmas New Year holiday period and is your information portal for everything there is to know about the 628 nautical blue water classic.
Included on the website is the complete list of yachts entered, along with a photograph and description of each boat, a crew list, and the boat’s performance data,predicted finishing time and standing for both Line Honours and Division which is updated every 10 minutes.
There’s also archival data including results of past races since the first in 1945, the weather they encountered; a summary of line and overall handicap winners of those races; historical reports and statistical information; designers of those line and overall winners; and profiles of some of the race luminaries over the years.