On Boxing Day, December 26, the big boats in the 75 yacht Sydney Hobart fleet will be sailing for a $10,000 prize in the Citroen Dash for Cash to be the first yacht to pass the sea mark one nautical mile east of Sydney Heads.
With an 83-footer, three 80-footers and a 73-footer in the fleet, not to mention the round the world 60-footers and other big boats, competition is going to be close as the leaders cross tacks or gybe their spinnakers (depending on the wind direction on the day) down the Harbour and out through the Heads.
Front runners to get their name on the cheque are Brindabella's George Snow and Nicorette's Ludde Ingvall but also challenging for the money are Grant Wharington in Australian Skandia Wild Thing and Sean Langman with Grundig.
If they get a good start, it is also possible that one of the Volvo Ocean Race round the world competitors could be first around the seamark, placing Citroen Australia's boss, Miles Williams, in an intriguing situation.
"Yes, there is a very real chance that the $10,000 of Citroen money could go to a Volvo skipper," Williams said today. "But I will console myself with the fact that the prize will, in fact, be going to the most talented skipper, yacht and crew that succeeds in what promises to be a very difficult and tight race down Sydney Harbour, regardless of who their sponsor is!"
(To add more zest to the European car flavour of the start of the Sydney Hobart Race, firing the 10 minute Warning Gun in the lead-up to the start will be John Young, managing director of BMW Sydney, sponsors of the Cruising Yacht Club's Winter Series).
Obviously only a few boats have a chance of winning the Citroen Dash for Cash, so Citroen is giving every yacht in the fleet the chance to win a prize that could see them relaxing in the acclaimed luxury of a Citroen C5 or a Citroen C5 Estate for a month after the race.