Global financial turmoil is being blamed for a marked decline in the number of international entrants in this year's Sydney - Hobart yacht race.
Applications for the race closed at the end of November. Since then, seven of the 100 entrants have withdrawn.
Cruising Yacht Club of Australia commodore Garry Linacre says the eurozone debt crisis is making it hard for international teams to find sponsors.
Only six international yachts are competing, well down on previous years.
Yachts from Britain, the United States, New Zealand and Hong Kong will join Australian entrants at the starting line on Boxing Day.