In a 25 knot nor' nor'easter the Cabbage Tree Island Race fleet set sail at 7pm this evening under reefed mainsails.
Tacking down the harbour the fleet enjoyed some flat water sailing until punching out through the Heads into a steady seaway as they headed north at the onset of dark.
Daryl Hodgkinson's Cookson 50 Victoire led the fleet to sea, followed by Tony Kirby's brand new Ker 46 Patrice, with Midnight Rambler, Southern Excellence, Duende and Pretty Fly close astern.
Sea Breeze shows that further up the coast the wind has been dying all evening and off Nora Head the wind turned into the south south west at 10pm this evening.
It would seem that the hard yards of upwind sailing for the first part of the race are not to be rewarded with a swift ride home from Cabbage Tree Island.
Crosbie and Dale Lorimer were at North Head this evening as the fleet left the harbour at sunset; here are some of Crosbie's images. Keep an eye out over the weekend for Dale's video of the start.
The fleet beats to the Heads
Darryl Hodgkinson's Victoire
Tony Kirby's brand new Ker 46 Patrice on her maiden race
Sam Haynes' Celestial and Colin Woods' Pretty Fly
The fleet heads north