Race leader 'Wild Oats XI' is set to launch into Bass Strait in the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.
There have been no retirements from the 76 boat racing fleet since it left Sydney on Boxing Day.
Wild Oats XI's navigator, Adrienne Cahalan, reported that the crew had had a busy night, constantly changing sails as yesterday's east-south-easterly breeze moved around to the east and softened to 4-5 knots at around midnight. It gradually shifted around to the north-north east, and gradually built in the early hours of the morning.
"We are currently doing 15 knots in 15 knots of wind," Cahalan reported this morning. "We've got a little bit of current too." About 30 miles behind Wild Oats XI,Geoff Cropley, on board Peter Millard/John Honan's 98ft Lahana,reported: "Us and the lead boats are under spinnaker. We're in a nice north-easterly breeze of around 15 knots and building."
While the big boats are picking up speed this morning, life remains frustrating for the smaller, slower boats further up the coast. The fleet is now stretched across 140 miles from Jervis Bay to Green Cape, where each boat must radio its position before heading into Bass Straight, and the further along the coast, where they are in softer breeze. Some boats are making very little headway at all.