Glorious Mixed Weather Forecast for the 50th Anniversary Melbourne to Hobart Yacht Race

Weather forecasters predict superb conditions for the start and the first half of the 50th anniversary Melbourne to Hobart Yacht Race, however, the weather models are offering mixed messages to the 50-strong fleet as they approach Macquarie Harbour, before picking up again for a sleigh ride across the southern coast of Tasmania to the finish line on the River Derwent.

Race watchers and sailors alike will be delighted by the downwind colourful spinnaker start in a light east to north-east breeze of seven to ten knots, and as the yachts head into Bass Strait, they will welcome a consistent 15 knot easterly breeze, offering near perfect conditions for the fleet.

 Port Philip Bay will be a sight to behold as the fleet sets their colourful kites for the start of the 50th Anniversary Melbourne to Hobart Yacht Photo credit Steb Fisher

Port Philip Bay will be a sight to behold as the fleet sets their colourful kites for the start of the 50th Anniversary Melbourne to Hobart Yacht Photo credit Steb Fisher

As they approach King Island the wind is expected to swing back to the nor’east and then to the nor’west giving the fleet a comfortable sea state and fast conditions as they start the run down the West Coast of Tasmania, with warm temperatures and sunny skies a treat for sailors after the cool weather Tasmania has experienced so far this summer.

The second half of the race will be dictated by a high-pressure system sitting over Western Australia which is moving south towards Tasmania. This will start testing the navigators and tacticians around Macquarie Harbour with one weather model predicting the winds staying with the fleet, while the other has the breeze softening off on Wednesday night in anticipation of a south-westerly wind shift. After that, the models merge again, predicting moderate following breezes from Maatsuyker Island for a fast run all the way to the River Derwent. 

Hartbreaker is all set for a good race to to Hobart in the 50th Anniversary Melbourne to Hobart Yacht Race Photo credit Steb Fisher

Hartbreaker is all set for a good race to to Hobart in the 50th Anniversary Melbourne to Hobart Yacht Race Photo credit Steb Fisher

The race record of 1 day 17 hours 28 minutes and 59 seconds, set by Shortwave in 2008, is not likely to be under threat at this early stage, however the hot moist air and predicted warm weather could create an interesting transition zone around Strahan while the fleet waits for the southerly change to kick in.

The sunny weather will be welcome news for race debutantes and those keen to observe the remarkable West Coast landscape and entertaining sea-life in all its glory.

The 435 nautical mile Melbourne to Hobart Yacht 50th milestone race, organised by the ORCV with the cooperation of the Derwent Sailing Squadron, starts off Portsea Pier at 12pm on 27 December. 

For Entry, Notice of Race and List of Entries, please visit: www.orcv.org.au 

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