The skipper of the Sydney to Hobart's first predominantly Aboriginal crew hopes they will inspire a younger generation of indigenous people to take up sailing.
A crew of 11, eight of them indigenous, will tackle the 75th Sydney to Hobart later this month.
Skipper Wayne Hope, who has wanted to assemble an indigenous crew for the race for some years, has chartered the Beneteau 47.7 Marguerite, which will be renamed Tribal Warrior for the occasion.
It contested this year's Sydney to Gold Coast race and Hope believes it will be very competitive on handicap in the Hobart race given the right conditions.
He says while some of the crew have more than 50 years' sailing experience, he is keen to stimulate interest amongst younger indigenous people.
"They have got the AFL and they've got good sprinters (like) Cathy Freeman and rugby league players but there's no-one standing on the pedestal for yacht racing," Jones told AAP.
"That's what I want to do and get those young people into this."
"It's a great sport, fantastic, and we've got some great sailors here."
One hurdle for Hope and his crew is they won't take possession of the boat until December 16, though that won't be their biggest problem according to their skipper.
"I would have liked to have trained three or four months out from the race (on the boat) but it is what is," Jones said.
"It's not the hardest hurdle. That's going to be offshore in a big swell and the winds."
While none of the crew have contested a Sydney-Hobart, some did a passage several years back at the same time as the race.
"We sailed down alongside them and the CYCA let us finish through the finish line and waved us through," Hope recalled.
They weren't short of support along the route on that occasion and expect a similar response this time.
"The indigenous communities are all getting together and they are going to light some fires which will give us a safe passage down to Hobart," Jones said.
"We found that out hitting the Derwent River in 2016, it was an amazing feeling, really straight to the heart."
Australian Associated Press