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Light winds expected for Sydney to Hobart

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Race-winner Wild Oats XI sails towards the finish line during the 74th annual Sydney to Hobart yacht race in Hobart, Friday, December 28, 2018. (AAP Image/Rob Blakers) 

Wild Oats XI skipper Mark Richards expects the 75th Sydney to Hobart yacht race to resemble a game of chess.

Current weather projections suggest it will be a slow race in light weather conditions on Boxing Day.

Forecasts for the race suggest there will be a southerly change exiting Bass Strait and moving up the NSW south coast as the fleet heads towards Hobart.

Richards, the skipper of nine-time line honours winner Wild Oats XI, is expecting light winds for the 628-nautical mile classic.

"At this stage it appears the race will be more like a game of chess than a hard slog south," he said.

"It will be a very tricky, tactical challenge in relatively light winds for much of the way.

"The hardest part will be to select the best course for your transition through the approaching system.

"Today's forecast indicates we will start in a light to moderate north-easterly, and then have a change out of the south during the first night."

Mystery over Wild Oats XI's form adds intrigue as five proven supermaxis headline the biggest Sydney to Hobart fleet in 25 years for the 75th edition of one of the world's greatest ocean races.

The great supermaxi suffered rigging, deck and mast damage in November's Cabbage Tree Island Race, but has undergone repairs and modifications since then.

A fleet of 157, the fourth largest in the race's history, is scheduled to start the race in Sydney Harbour on Boxing Day.

© AAP 2019