It's a classic. First run in 1972 and now recognised the world over for the true challenge it is.
Beginning on 27 December from Portsea Pier, Melbourne, sailors will again have the choice of tackling either the traditional 440 nautical mile 'Westcoaster' or the alternative 460 nautical mile 'Eastcoaster' races.
Sailors that choose the Westcoaster plunge down the wonderful West coast of Tasmania where they see the vistas of the coast's World Heritage listed beaches and wilderness. They then "surf on" past Maatsuyker Island before they begin their run in towards Hobart.
As the Eastcoaster runs across Bass Strait and south Past St Helens and Triabunna it offers its own unique set of challenges for skippers, naviguessers and crew, with currents, winds andland effects just some of the things to watch for.
Around 30 yachts are expected to race in both the 'Westcoaster' and 'Eastcoaster' races, bringing to nearly 200 the number of interstate and international yachts racing to Hobart this summer.
The races will be run at the same time as the Sydney to Hobart and Launceston to Hobart events, and will share a common finish line at Battery Point's Castray Esplanade.