21:00 A fresh nor’easter greeted the 38 Cabbage Tree Island Race competitors in Sydney Harbour tonight with the bigger boats of the fleet taking full advantage of the heavier conditions, tacking to the heads and away even before the sun sank fully below the horizon.
But the touted ‘David and Goliath’ clash is only just getting started in Race 4 of the Audi Centre Sydney Blue Water Pointscore (Audi Centre Sydney BWPS) series. At a touch over half the size of their super-maxi cousins, Michael Cranitch & David Gotze’s LC60 Triton, Troy Tindall’s Carkeek 60 Winning Appliances and Matt Allen’s Botin-designed TP52 Ichi Ban were hot on the heels of the front-runners in making for the ocean and the darkening north-eastern sky.
Following them through the lee of Sydney’s North Head were the rest of the TP52 fleet and the impressive international entries Ting Lee’s Noahs II from China and Li Jian’s Apsaras from Hong Kong. The entire chasing fleet were moving well through the persistent winds and battering waves, with all yachts now out of the Harbour.
The fleet now settles in for their northward slog, pressing for Cabbage Tree Island some 90 nautical miles northward into what should be dropping nor-easterly winds for the duration of the leg. With a building southerly change forecast for the homeward journey, this year’s Cabbage Tree Island Race looks set to be one of attrition, perseverance and fortitude, the very cornerstones of our sport.
Follow the competitors with Yacht Tracker, see the results as they happen, and keep up to date with all the latest news on this new Audi Centre Sydney Blue Water Pointscore series website, launched this year by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia.