Where to watch the start of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race

The Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race will begin with a bang on Boxing Day with good wind conditions for the 107 yachts taking part.
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Christmas Day’s south easterly winds were due to change which will give competitors better conditions for the start of the race, senior Weatherzone meteorologist Jacob Cronje said.

“We will see those south easterly winds turn more easterly and north easterly throughout the day,” he said.

“So for the start of the Sydney to Hobart race at least they won’t be south easterly or southerly winds.”

While the fleet will not begin to reach Tasmania until at least the 27th, for those wishing to see them off in Sydney there are a number of good vantage points.

When the starting cannon is fired at 1pm, the fleet will take off from marks near Neilsen Park, Vaucluse before rounding marks at Sydney Heads and heading out to sea for the 630-nautical mile race.

If you wanted to catch the start from the water, be aware NSW Roads and Maritime Services have declared an exclusion zone from midday to 2.20pm – sailors should check the official race website for details.

For those wanting to watch the race from land, there are a number of recommended viewing spots on both sides of the harbour.

Sydney Harbour National Park’s Middle Head lookout and Headland Park in Mosman both provide views of North Head and South Head for the start of the race.

Hornby Lighthouse in Watsons Bay and Quarantine Station at Manly are also good locations to catch the race.

Those heading out to watch the race can expect temperatures of up to 24 degrees on Tuesday, with the clouds clearing up in the afternoon.

LDV Comanche is currently the race favourite, but Wild Oats XI and Black Jack are tipped to have a fighting chance depending on wind conditions as they approach Tasman Island.

‘s Civil Aviation Authority has issued a warning against spectators flying drones over the race, with a chance the small craft could get caught in sails or damage boats.

CASA spokesman Peter Gibson said drones pose the highest risk during the start and finish of the world famous race.

“The Sydney to Hobart start attracts large crowds and there are low flying aircraft over Sydney Harbour,” Mr Gibson said in a statement.

“A drone flown low over the water could hit a yacht or get caught in sails.”

Drone pilots should use the Can I Fly There? app before flying a drone, Mr Gibson said.

Weatherzone is owned by Fairfax Media, publisher of this website.

with AAP