The annual Sydney to Hobart yacht race pits crews from all over the world against each other in a notorious and challenging 628 nautical mile dash from Australia's east coast to the island of Tasmania.
Setting off from Sydney harbor on Monday 26 December, the yachts pass the famous Opera House before hitting the open ocean and eventually finishing in the Tasmanian capital of Hobart.
Although the race is held in Australian summertime, the fleet will encounter high winds and stormy waters along the way. It is common for many starters to retire before the race is up. In 2015, only 71% of entries successfully navigated the Tasman sea.
The rewards for the winner are rich. Close to 100 yachts are competing in this year's event in a bid to capture a Rolex timepiece and the coveted Tattersall's Cup.
Australian supermaxi yacht Wild Oats XI has crossed the line first on a record eight occasions, dominating proceedings since her first entry in 2005.
The state-of-the-art vessel, skippered by Mark Richards, also holds the record for the fastest finish. Long considered the 'holy grail' of the race, Wild Oats XI managed to reach Hobart in under two days -- crossing the line in one day 18h 23m 12s four years ago.
Under new ownership this year, Scallywag is expected to challenge the eight-time champion for the overall crown. Having contested her first Sydney-Hobart in 2014, finishing third -- and then second in 2015 -- the crew of Scallywag will hope hope to gone one better in this year's race.