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Poor forecast for Sydney to Hobart race

December 23, 2010 - Travel Wire Asia

SYDNEY (AP) — Forecasters expect tough conditions for the annual Sydney to Hobart yacht race which starts Sunday but nothing like those which hit the 1998 race in which six sailors drowned.

Bureau of Meteorology spokesman Barry Hanstrum said conditions for this year’s race would be among the most testing of recent years.

He doubted Wild Oats XI’s 2005 race record would be threatened as yachts will encounter strong southerly winds as they race down Australia’s Southeast coast.

New Zealand yacht Maximus sails through the heads soon after the start of the Sydney to Hobart yacht race. Pic: AP.

Hanstrum said he was confident there would be no repeat of 1998 when a powerful storm swept through a fleet of 115 boats. Only 44 completed the race.

Hanstrum said there was nothing in the forecast “that is indicative of the ferocity of the winds in the 1998 race.”

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