The fleet racing in the Volvo Ocean Race will, for the first time, take part in the 630-nautical mile CYCA Sydney to Hobart yacht race as part of the 2,050 nautical-mile leg three to Auckland, New Zealand.
The start will be on Boxing Day, 26 December, in Sydney, Australia and the fleet will start off its own start line, 200 metres in front of the rest of the Sydney Hobart fleet.
The V.O.60s will leave Darling Harbour, Sydney, at 1030 hours local time, following a blessing of the fleet. Press boats will be available to media, and will be allocated following the Skipper's press conference on Friday, 21st December at 1100 hours local time, in the auditorium of the Australian Maritime Museum, Darling Harbour.
The starting gun will be fired at 1300 local time, by Mr Peter Luke, who competed in the inaugural Sydney to Hobart race, and the Volvo fleet will round a mark 200 metres further north at the Heads than the rest of the CYCA Sydney Hobart fleet.
On crossing the finishing line in the Derwent River, Hobart, the V.O.60s will suspend racing for three hours 30 minutes. Each boat will be escorted to a berth on the northern side of Elizabeth Street Pier, where they will be advised of their official finishing time and the time they may leave the dock, which will be not earlier than one hour 30 minutes after their official finishing time.
Extract from leg three sailing instructions:
· Crew changes are not permitted
· Outside help is not permitted during the three hours 30 minutes period of the Hobart pit stop, except for the repair of equipment provided by the Volvo Ocean Race organisers and the provision of hot food and drinks by the Race Committee.
· Medical assistance may be obtained at any time.
· Outside help in the approaches to Hobart (the estuary of the River Derwent and Storm Bay) defined as the water north of an east/west line through Tasman Island light are not permitted until a boat has completed it's Hobart pit stop.
· Crewmembers are not permitted to leave the boat or media reception area except with the permission of the Race Committee.
The one-hour period that each boat is alongside in Hobart will be devoted to media interviews. The crew will either remain on the boat or give media interviews in the media reception area on the wharf side.
The Volvo Ocean Race boats will restart from a starting line situated near the mouth of the River Derwent, north of Pierson's Point, exactly three hours 30 minutes after the official Hobart pit stop finishing time for each boat.