This is an upwind race that will be dominated by the East Australian Current (EAC). This East Australian Current is an ocean current that moves warm water from the tropical Coral Sea, where it splits from the South Equatorial Current, down the east coast of Australia.
The powerful flow of the East Australian Current is like an undersea highway made famous in the Pixar film Finding Nemo. Many creatures can be found commuting in this current, including the Sea Turtle.
It is the largest ocean current close to the shores of Australia and it can reach speeds of up to seven knots in some of the shallower waters along the Australian continental shelf, but is generally measured at two to three knots.
Couple this with headwinds from prevailing North Easterlies and this makes for one very arduous race that may become very tactical.
One bonus of this race is that it will be getting slowly warmer as the
fleet heads further North. The key could be to work the currents carefully and watch out for wind against tide situations which may hinder progress. It may be a relatively short race but it will be full on and upwind.