23 Dec 2011

Record unlikely to go in Sydney-Hobart yacht race

6:10 am on 23 December 2011

The Sydney to Hobart line honours record of Wild Oats XI looks safe following the release of the long-range forecast for the yacht race.

While the fleet is expected to start under favourable northerlies on Boxing Day, a southerly change is tipped to kick in within the first six to 12 hours.

The southerlies could reach up to 30 knots in the fleet's first night at sea.

Winds are forecast to remain on the nose until Wednesday when there is a chance of some tailwinds.

New South Wales Bureau of Meteorology regional director Rob Webb says the swell from Tropical Cyclone Fina is expected to affect the fleet on the first afternoon and evening, but will not have a major impact on the race.

Adrienne Cahalan, the co-navigator aboard line honours favourite Wild Oats XI, predicted her boat could record a similar time to the two days, seven hours and 37 minutes it took last year.