Record international yachts for Sydney to Hobart race

Sydney, Rabi’I 15, 1437, Dec 26, 2015, SPA — A record number of international yachts leave Sydney
Saturday for the annual Boxing Day Sydney to Hobart yacht race, dpa reported.

The fleet of 108 vessels includes 27 international entries: China is
in for the first time with two boats, a young crew from Germany on
Haspa Hamburg, a sleek Italian boat called Maserati, supermaxis
Comanche and Rambler 88 from the United States, and even a yacht from
land-locked Switzerland.

In its 70th year, the annual Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race has become a
major international sporting event attracting multi-million dollar
supermaxi ocean racing yachts competing to be first across the line
and dozens of smaller yachts crewed by enthusiasts competing for
handicap honours.

The fastest race was in 2012 when Wild Oats XI finished the
1,610-kilometre race in 1 day, 18 hours, 23 minutes and 12 seconds.
This year Wild Oats XI is the defending champion having won last
year, beating the American yacht Commanche by 50 minutes.

Safety has been much improved since the disaster of 1998, when six
people perished at sea, five boats sank, seven boats were abandoned
and 56 crew were rescued when a massive, 36-hour storm whipped up
waves 20 metres high and winds hit 80 knots (148 kilometres per
hour).
— SPA
03:26 LOCAL TIME 00:26 GMT