Fickle breezes and dirty decks are among the issues Sydney to Hobart contenders have had to contend with as a result of the NSW bushfires .
"The bushfires are making a huge difference to the weather system," said Scallywag skipper David Witt.
"Part of the problem is this time of the year you normally get sea breezes which are built from thermal from the west.
"All this smoke haze is holding out the sea breeze a lot.
"You've seen over the last two weeks, the breezes are forecast to be a normal sea breeze and we're not even getting half the strength."
The bushfires are also creating more work outside of competition.
"The boys have got to wash the decks twice a day instead of once a day," Witt said .
Tony Mutter from rival supermaxi InfoTrack concurred saying: "it does have a little impact with trying to keep the boats clean."
Behind the scenes the connections of some of the boats have been doing their bit.
"There's been some activities that SH (Scallywag's owner Seng Huang Lee) has been doing discreetly, and members of the team, to support the rural fire service," Witt said.
Mark Richards, skipper of nine-time Sydney to Hobart line honours winner Wild Oats XI, said their program was involved in fundraising activities,
"We've put some big charity auction items with Wild Oats for some bushfire fundraising things that are happening over the next couple of weeks," Richards said.
"We're hoping to raise as much money as we can for the bushfire victims."
Australian Associated Press