Sail your way into the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race

Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race

While you may not have been selected to participate in this year's Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, there's no reason why you can't still get involved in the big event and celebrate all that this elite competition has to offer. The Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2014 commemorates 70 years of the amazing sailing spectacle, spread across the Sydney Harbour, Derwent River, Tasman Sea and Storm Bay.

It's one of the biggest and brightest ocean races in the world, and is an iconic Australian event that attracts huge interest locally and afar thanks to comprehensive media coverage. Everyone from weekend racers through to huge maxi yachts will compete in the competition, which kicks off on December 26 in Sydney Harbour's Neilsen Park. The fleet will travel 628 nautical miles before finishing up in Hobart's Derwent River.

Organised by Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, this is one of the biggest events in Sydney annually and tests skippers and crews as they navigate the choppy waters.

Things to watch

As the buildup begins to December's event, all eyes will be on the weather conditions around Sydney and Hobart. This race is long and hard, with fresh headwinds battering yachts and crews. Poor weather conditions in previous events have seen boats retire and roll in the sea, sometimes leading to disastrous consequences.

The strong winds in 1999 saw 17 yachts break the race record in what was the fastest event in the history of the Sydney to Hobart. By contrast, the 2009 event will forever be remembered as being dull and frustrating due to the light winds throughout.

Currently there are 77 yachts registered to compete in the 70th anniversary event, including plenty of home-grown talents. There are also vessels coming from as far away as Poland, the United Kingdom and Germany.

"The Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2014 commemorates 70 years of the amazing sailing spectacle, spread across the Sydney Harbour, Derwent River, Tasman Sea and Storm Bay."

Viewing the race

There are several viewing options for this event, including spectator vessels that take you out onto the water to get an up close and personal glimpse of the yachts. Catch the start of the race at Sydney Harbour aboard ships such as Spectator Vessel Magistic II 2014 and Spectator Vessel John Cadman III 2014, with race packages including food, beverages and race commentary. Other spectator vessels include everything from water taxis and kayaks through to massive ferries.

If you're on foot, witness the start of the event by picking a prime position at North or South Head. If you can't make it to the water, catch the action live on the Seven Network, and keep a handle of things online with the clever Yacht Tracker program.

For those taking their own spectator boats out to catch the start, good vantage points include Rose Bay, Camp Cove, Watsons Bay, Chowder Bay, Taylors Bay and Obelisk Bay.

Stay nearby

If you're making the trip to Sydney for the Boxing Day kickoff of the event, you've got plenty of excellent holiday accommodation options at your fingertips.

Mantra 2 Bond Street will put you right in the heart of the action, with the Sydney Harbour right on your doorstep. Enjoy checking in at your leisure with 24 hour reception and fuel up at the onsite Memento Bar and Kitchen. There's also a rooftop pool and spa for you to soak in as you look out over the city, plus in-house movies, cable TV and broadband internet in your room for when you just want to relax.

Mantra on Kent is another appealing option for holiday makers, offering studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments. Enjoy your own spacious living area and fully equipped kitchen, perfect for when the cooking mood strikes you.

Mantra One Sandy Bay Road is an ideal Hobart location for those who want to stay near the finish line in order to catch the thrilling end to the festivities. It's conveniently close to the CBD, giving you plenty of opportunities to explore the city while you're in the area.

Sydney properties

Mantra 2 Bond Street
Mantra 2 Bond Street

Offering Executive Studio, One Two and Three Bedroom apartments, broadband internet...Read More »

Mantra on Kent
Mantra on Kent

Situated near Darling Harbour, Sydney Entertainment Centre, public transport on the doorstep...Read More »

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