• Short Summary

    Seventy-nine yachts are taking part in this year's Sydney to Hobart ocean race.

    The event is?

  • Description

    Seventy-nine yachts are taking part in this year's Sydney to Hobart ocean race.

    The event is the last of four races in the Southern Cross series -- and ranks among the world's leading yacht races.

    Hundreds of spectator boats escorted the yachts away from the wharf on Sunday (26 Dec.) -- but the spectators were kept well back from the starting line off Sydney Heads.

    Organisers of the race moved the starting point further away from the inner harbour area this year so that the racing yachts would have more room.

    SYNOPSIS: Sydney Harbour -- and on Sunday morning a crowded yacht basin as final touches were put on the 79 entries in this year's Sydney to Hobart race. The race is the fourth in this year's Southern Cross Series -- Britain had taken all honours in the first three races.

    When the race started, the big American craft were to quickly move into the lead. "American Eagle" was one of three boats which at the half-way point in the race seemed likely to figure in the race for line honours. But despite their speed, American boats were being overhauled by smaller British boats on corrected times.

    Police launches patrolled the harbour as starting time approached. Their job was to act as shepherds for the hundreds of spectator boats that escorted the fleet of Yachts to the line. In past years the number of spectator boats have proved a navigation hazard for the yachts at the very beginning of their journey. So this year, race organisers moved the starting line further from the inner harbour to give the yachts more room. And rigid precautions were taken to e??? that all spectator craft were kept well clear of the start.

    Few records are expected on this race: light winds have meant slow progress for the yachts on their journey south.

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