Widely considered one of the most difficult yacht races in the world, the Sydney to Hobart is one of the Australian summer’s most recognisable and prestigious sporting events.
Kicking off on Boxing Day, competitors face a 640 nautical mile journey (or 1,170km) from the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia based in the NSW capital through to the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania – which is located in Hobart.
The race has been in existence since 1945 and is now considered one of the elite sailing races in the world alongside the esteemed America’s Cup.
The Sydney to Hobart is part of Australian sporting folklore despite the sport of sailing not holding a special place in the Aussie landscape, which makes it a cultural phenomenon in this country.
Nothing quite encapsulates the Christmas period in Australia like hearing about how the boats are faring on the Australian seas.
Those new to sailing can have a hard time wrapping their head around the terms and concepts of the race, which means betting can be a minefield.
If you are looking to place a bet on the Sydney to Hobart but do not know where to start, this article will run you through the best places to bet on sailing, the markets available and some tips on how to go about investing your hard earned cash.
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How does the Sydney to Hobart yacht race work?
Kicking off on Boxing Day, the Sydney to Hobart yacht race pits the world’s very best elite sailing yachts against each other to make it from the NSW capital to Hobart in the fastest time possible.
Depending on the size and shape of the boat, the race can take anywhere from a day and a half to complete up to three full days.
The speed in which the race is completed has gradually shaved down from the six days and 15 hours we saw on the very first Sydney to Hobart to the one day and 18 hour record we saw in 2012.
There are two methods of victory for the Sydney to Hobart race: line honours and the overall winner.
Line honours is a term that most non-fanatics would have heard before – it is essentially like a regular race, first to Hobart wins.
Overall winner is a little trickier, as there are equations to process once boats pass the line.
For those who find it a little confusing we put together an easy to decipher guide on the Sydney to Hobart main race types.
Much like any regular horse race, the line honour winner in the Sydney to Hobart is the first yacht past the post.
Invariably the line honours will go to a yacht that is much smaller in size than the other maxi yachts in the race given their weight and manoeuvrability is much more conductive to achieving a faster time through the ocean waters.
In 2012 Wild Oats XI set a new record by crossing the line in 1 day, 18 hours, 23 minutes and 12 seconds, and is the only boat in the history of the race to set a new record whilst also achieving both the line honours and the overall win.
The overall winner – or handicap time winner – is the yacht adjudged by a pre-determined system to have the best time in the Sydney to Hobart based on a number of factors.
The Sydney to Hobart implements the IRC system, which bases the time the boat should make it to the finish line based on size, weight, design and the materials used in the manufacture of the boat.
The IRC rules are not published – which the body says is to protect the integrity of the race so yacht manufactures cannot build a boat specifically designed break records and beat the handicap.
The pre-determined odds are then multiplied by the speed the boat took to get to its destination and the overall time is released.
Betting markets on the Sydney to Hobart yacht race
Unlike most sports betting markets, the Sydney to Hobart does not have the regular depth of markets we tend to see.
Sailing is not your typical sport and we do not see competitors confirmed until closer to the start of the race so not many bookmakers offer futures bets months in advance of the departure time.
Punters do get to bet on the overall winner once the yachts have been confirmed and any bookmaker worth their salt will include both the line honours and handicap markets on the big name boats that are taking part in the race.
Best bookmakers to place a Sydney to Hobart bet at
Once the Australian summer rolls around punters are always keen to have a bet on horse racing, cricket, tennis and the Sydney to Hobart, but where are the best places to invest your cash?
Thankfully those who do not have the time or inclination to be scouring sources and hitting up sites to try and figure out what works best for them have our guide to help them select the best places to bang some cash on the boats this Boxing Day.
Sportsbet.com.au have made it their business to make sports betting a priority in Australia and the sailing is no exception.
All the big sailing races are catered for and once the yachts are finalised for Boxing Day you can bet your bottom dollar Sportsbet will be first in line with all the markets for Australia’s biggest yacht race.
BetEasy.com.au are making massive strides in the sports betting industry and focusing on the more particular markets like sailing will endear them to even more punters.
Not just content providing the Sydney to Hobart odds, but futures on the Americas Cup go up a year in advance of the race. Punters looking to invest on the Sydney to Hobart have a new go-to place for their wagers this Boxing Day.