It was a very quiet start for the fleet in the Blue Water Points Score Port Hacking- Bird Island Race this morning.
Wild Oats XI leads out of the harbour - Port Hacking-Bird Island Race
In the lightest of southwesterly breezes the fleet ghosted away from the start off Shark Island at 10am. Matt Allen chose to hold the eastern shore and the brand new Ichi Ban built a small lead before running out of breeze near the Sow and Pigs.
Meantime Wild Oats XI sailed down the western shore and held the breeze all the way to the Heads, still sailing high angles in the light breeze and changing asymetrics in the bid to get south as the breeze went slowly right. She was followed out of the harbour by Grant Wharington's Wild Thing.
The remainder of the fleet was left drifting mid harbour for almost an hour and by the time a fitful northeasterly finally enabled them to reach North Head, Wild Oats XI and Wild Thing had already built a five mile lead heading south to Port Hacking.
Throughout the day the northeasterly has slowly built to 8-10 knots. Wild Oats XI passed the Heads again, sailing north at about 2pm with Wild Thing perhaps 2nm astern. Ichi Ban could be see off the Northern Beaches at 3.30pm with Southern Excellence a mile or two astern.
At 4pm, Mates4Mates, Patrice and possibly Victoire were to be seen off Manly, sailing on starboard tack in 10 knots of breeze and flat seas.
Meantime others who were not racing were to be seen out training. Perpetual Loyal headed offshore yesterday evening and returned early this morning, while Brindabella and Black Jack headed offshore during the morning.
Crosbie Lorimer watched today's action from his home in Fairlight and took these images as the day progressed.
Ichi Ban gets an early lead, ghosting down the eastern shore from the start, before getting stranded mid-harbour, with no breeze.
Wild Oats XI heads down the harbour passing Perpetual Loyal returning from a night at sea.
Wild Oats XI passes South Head, leading the fleet.
Wild Thing follows Wild Oats XI out of the harbour.
Wild Oats XI passes Manly on her way from Port Hacking to Bird Island.
Perpetual Loyal heads back to Sydney after spending the night at a sea.
Back Jack heads offshore for training.