Launceston to Hobart yacht race preview

Choppy waters: Action from last year's Launceston to Hobart Yacht Race.
Choppy waters: Action from last year's Launceston to Hobart Yacht Race.

A record 50 entries have been received for the tenth anniversary of the Launceston to Hobart yacht race.

Run by Derwent Sailing Squadron, this year’s race promises to be another exciting fight.

Skippers Geoff White and Gary Smith will be back to defend their race record of one day, 12 hours, 48 minutes and 35 seconds, up against five other previous winners as well as 25 first and second time entrants stepping up to the challenge.

All 50 yachts, hailing from North and South Tasmania, as well as a few intrepid mainlanders, will be striking out on Tuesday, December 27, at 10:30am from Beauty Point.

They will tack up the Tamar River to begin the 285 nautical mile (527-kilometre) race along the East Coast and across the shared finish line of the Sydney to Hobart race off Castray Esplanade in Battery Point.

“The National Pies L2H offers a little bit of everything”, DSS manager Shaun Tiedemann said.

“You’ve got the tricky winds of the Tamar Valley to start you off, some of the most beautiful and challenging waters made famous by the Sydney to Hobart, and the spectacular - and sometimes frustrating - final sprint up the Derwent River.

“But for most folks, it’s not just about the sailing, it’s about celebrating Tasmania, our beautiful coast, and being with family - because you get to be home for Christmas!

“It goes without saying that many a sailor enjoys a race that is done and dusted in time to celebrate New Year’s Eve right here in Hobart.”

With drone photography, live-blogging and tracking-app, there will be plenty of ways to follow this year’s race.

Spectators are welcome to head down to the DSS Race Village at Constitution Dock in Hobart.

There will be activities for all ages to get a taste of nautical life, learn about the race and latest results, as well as opportunities to get involved.

“Just look for the giant National Pies man amidst the masts and have a front row seat to the racing boats as they arrive,” Tiedemann added.

The race shares its finish point with the 628-nautical-mile Sydney to Hobart which kicks off on Boxing Day at 1pm and has 93 entries this year.