Race 5 to Sydney will start today in Albany, Western Australia with a Parade of Sail off Middleton Beach, followed by Race Start in King George Sound.
The yachts will leave Albany Waterfront Marina at 11am to prepare for the Parade of Sail which will take place between 12pm and 12.45pm off Middleton Beach, offering great views for spectators.
At 12.45pm, the yachts will head out into King George Sound to prepare for the Race Start at 13.30pm which will be off Emu Point at Cheyne Ledge. Marine Drive will offer good vantage points for spectators to watch the 12 yachts start the 2150 mile race to Sydney, which will take around 10 days.
Eric Holden, skipper of Henri Lloyd, currently top of the leader board, said: “It is a shorter leg than what we are used to so we feel we can push the boat harder and faster, and keep up the pace all the time.
“It will be good warm up training ahead of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race which will be good. We have new crew so it will be a good chance for them to gel ahead of the race. The forecast is not the same as the nasty storms we had in Leg 3 and the conditions are more suitable so we are hoping we won’t have to worry so much about things we did in the last race.
“It looks like there will be high pressure fronts for most of the race, but it will be cold as we go south of Tasmania. We won’t be changing anything about what we have done already, but we certainly won’t be relaxing as we are only four points ahead of GREAT Britain in second place.”
As soon as the teams leave Albany they can start to ease the sheets and head east across the Great Australian Bight.
Going south of the rhumb line to get stronger westerly winds may be the fastest option but will add extra miles.
The race rules state the yachts must leave the island of Tasmania to their port side which will mean the teams head further south and stay in the more reliable winds.
The next stage of the race is an upwind leg against the oceanic current running down the east coast of Australia.