VIDEO: Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 1998

Published on December 22nd, 2015

As the 71st edition of the Sydney Hobart Yacht Race prepares to start on December 26, a weather forecast for strong winds brings back memories from one of the most horrific storms in yachting history.

This video, and the following description, share the details of 1998 Sydney Hobart Yacht Race:

An unusually strong low pressure depression developed which resulted in mid-summer snow across parts of south-east Australia. The weather system built into an exceptionally strong storm with winds reaching up to 70 knots, similar in strength to a lower-category hurricane.

The rising storm produced an enormous waterspout perilously close to one yacht, ultimately causing the sinking of five boats and the deaths of six sailors. Additionally a record 66 yachts retired from the race, and 55 other sailors had to be airlifted from their yachts by rescue helicopter.

Overall, the rescue efforts involved 35 military and civilian aircraft and 27 Royal Australian Navy vessels, and proved to be Australia’s largest ever peacetime rescue operation.

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Background: The 71st edition of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race starts December 26 in Sydney Harbor, taking an entry list of 109 boats along the 628 nautical mile course to Hobart that is often described as the most grueling long ocean race in the world.


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