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With 628 nautical miles of salt, sweat and stamina, the Sydney to Hobart is one of the world's toughest and most prestigious yacht races.

Since its beginning in 1945, with just nine yachts in contention, the race has grown to includes hundreds of maxi yachts and weekend racers from across the globe. 

With tight-knit crews sporting sailors as old as 86 and as young as 18, everyone works around the clock, in each sloop, aiming for the holy grail of a 40-hour finish.

Once out of Sydney Harbour on Boxing Day, and past the chop of Bass Strait - "the paddock" - the yachts skirt Tasmania's east coast and enter Storm Bay. Then it’s on, with a sprint up the River Derwent, where a slight change in breeze can unseat an expected winner. 

Hobart locals and visitors line the shores as the leading yachts sail through and into Sullivans Cove. Whether or not every boat arrives in time for the New Year's Eve fireworks, all finishers are greeted by the waterfront Tasmania's Taste of Summer, a festival that sprawls across the New Year - a sail past the gathered festival goers is part of race tradition. 

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