Sydney to Hobart race favourite Wild Oats XI will be favoured by a weather forecast suiting the bigger boats of the fleet.
The Weather Bureau is forecasting east-north-easterly winds for Boxing Day of 10 to 15 knots, strengthening as the boats move down the coast.
It is expecting a westerly change on Friday night or Saturday morning of next week.
The navigator of six-times line honours winner Wild Oats XI, Tom Addis, says it is an encouraging forecast for the bigger boats of the fleet.
The navigator of main rival to Wild Oats XI in the 94-strong fleet, Perpetual Loyal, Stan Honey, says more challenging conditions will help the chances of his boat getting to Hobart first.