The Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race is the premier sailing event in Australia. The race begins in Sydney Harbour on Boxing Day (26 December) and finishes in Hobart, Tasmania. The course is 628 nautical miles (approx. 1,170km) and the inaugural race was in 1945. It is said to be one of the hardest yacht races in the world and is an iconic event during the Australian summer. Many spectators gather at different vantage points around Sydney Harbour to watch the start of the race.
Sailing is a popular sport in Australia with many clubs encouraging participation among all ages. The Australian Ambassador to Japan, Amb Richard Court is also a keen sailor himself! He has sailed in the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, and has also had the opportunity to sail in Japan.
Did you know there is a yacht race that connects Japan and Australia? The Melbourne Osaka Cup yacht race starts in Melbourne and finishes in Osaka. It is said to be the only South-North long-distance race in the world. The race was first held in 1987 to commemorate the 120th anniversary of the Port of Osaka, and is held around every five years to celebrate the sister city relationship of Melbourne and Osaka. The 2018 event was fully subscribed and the next race is scheduled for 2025.