Skippers are reminded to put safety first and keep clear of yachts competing in the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s SOLAS Big Boat Challenge on Sydney Harbour tomorrow. 

NSW Maritime Executive Director Mark Hutchings said the Big Boat Challenge marks the start of the big maxi yacht races leading up to the Sydney Hobart yacht race.

“Sydney Harbour is one of the busiest waterways in Australia and when there are hundreds of spectator boats and large racing yachts it can be congested, leading to unique challenges in ensuring safety for all vessels and compliance with exclusions zones,” Mr Hutchings said.

“It is important that there is enough room to manoeuvre while allowing traffic on the harbour to continue.”

NSW Maritime will have eight boats patrolling Sydney Harbour on Tuesday 10 December from 11.30am to 2:30pm assisting race organisers with the smooth running of the race and ensuring vessel operators refrain from causing excessive wash.

The race will start from 12.30pm at Point Piper and take the fleet between Sydney Heads and Farm Cove, near the Opera House, where the race will finish.

Boaters are asked to keep clear of the starting area at Point Piper. 

All vessels must take extra care navigating and keep clear of competing yachts which are expected to reach speeds in excess of 20 knots.

Spectators from the water are encouraged to follow the direction of NSW Maritime Boating Safety Officers to watch the race and be mindful of their speed and wash. 

Boaters and skippers are reminded to wear a lifejacket when boating.

For a race course map and prime spectator areas visit: or visit the summer aquatic events guide