The Sydney to Hobart weather forecast is filled with favorite conditions, yet uncertain outcomes.

Skipper John Winning Jr is supporting Andoo Comanche in her bid to defend her line honours title, regardless of the weather conditions forecasted for the Sydney to Hobart race.
On Christmas Eve, the Bureau of Meteorology stated that uncertainty remains regarding the wind, waves, and weather expected on Boxing Day and beyond. The movement of a trough and low-pressure system on Tuesday and Wednesday will determine the race conditions. More clarity is expected on 26 December.
The four 100ft supermaxi yachts may have to face stormy conditions from late Tuesday to Wednesday, with showers, gusts, and hail possible along the far-south NSW Coast and Bass Strait. “Bring another set of thermal gear. It’s going to be cold,” said SHK Scallywag skipper David Witt.
The forecast has been changing throughout the week, leading crews to believe that having a adaptable navigator on board could make a difference in the race. “For us, it’s about trusting each person’s role on the boat,” Winning said.
“We have confidence in our boat to win the race regardless of the conditions, whether it’s upwind, downwind, light wind, or reaching. Of course, we prefer conditions that allow us to reach our destination as quickly as possible. But even if we’re out there for more than 48 hours, we still believe our boat is fast in all conditions, as we have demonstrated in previous races,” Winning added.
Last year, Comanche crossed the finish line at Constitution Dock in one day, 11 hours, 56 minutes, and 48 seconds – the second-fastest time for any line honours winner in Hobart history. Winning highlighted that their boat performed well in heavy, downwind conditions in 2022, but also proved its competitiveness in lighter weather during last year’s Brisbane to Hamilton Island race.
“We had an advantage in other conditions when it was windier or while reaching. We were distancing ourselves from the other supermaxis much faster than they could distance themselves from us in lighter winds,” he said. “That gave us a lot of confidence. We believe we are the fastest boat downwind in windy conditions, and we can hold our own in lighter winds. Certainly, we don’t expect the wind to be at three knots throughout the entire journey to Hobart.”
LawConnect, the runner-up for line honours in the last three Hobarts, is considered Comanche’s biggest challenger to win back-to-back John H Illingworth Challenge Cups. The crew hopes that their recent success in this month’s Big Boat Challenge on Sydney Harbour will translate into a fast start on Boxing Day.
LawConnect, formerly known as InfoTrack and Perpetual Loyal, performs particularly well upwind. “If we can maintain that advantage throughout, that would be awesome,” said sailing master Tony Mutter.
LawConnect is not afraid of the rough conditions that could accompany the predicted low-pressure system. “We actually prefer it; the more tactical it is, the better it is for us,” Mutter stated. “We kind of need that to have a chance at winning.”

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