In the past 59 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Races, a boat motoring to port usually meant it had struck difficulty in the tough ocean classic and the skipper had retired or was heading in to effect repairs.
This year, coastal residents shouldn't necessarily be concerned if they see a competing yacht coming into the bay.
The new Cruising Division of the 60th anniversary race allows for yachts to motor and also use their autopilot, and to go ashore for extended periods of time to enjoy the local scenery, restock supplies or simply anchor close to shore and sleep.
With a week to go until the close of applications to enter the 60th anniversary Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, skippers considering entering the new Cruising Division can now find a detailed information sheet explaining aspects of the event and eligibility requirements that may be of interest to them on the official web site at the address below.
"In the past few days we have received another application to enter the Cruising Division, that of the UK based Swan 46 Leila, and with the publication of the Information Sheet and the fact there is still another week to go until entries close, we hope to generate additional interest,"
said the CYCA's Commodore Martin JAMES.
For scoring purposes, a cruising boat may, if the crew wishes, nominate the times at which they proposes to get to a certain latitude on the 628 nautical mile course from Sydney to Hobart, and will be awarded points depending on how close they are to their prediction.
The skipper will nominate the times just prior to the start, depending on the prevailing weather patterns. A boat that does not wish to do this and proposes to make its own way to Hobart with no particular schedule in mind need not participate in the pointscore.
There will be two start lines for this year's race, which starts on 26 December, with the second line 100 metres or so behind the first line with a separate rounding mark at the Heads to equalise the distances to the sea mark, one nautical mile mile off the coast. Cruising Division entries will start from the second line at the same time as the race fleet, but will not be eligible for line honours.