Melbourne turned on ideal sailing conditions for the start – a warm sunny day with 15-20 Northerly winds at the race start time (2:30pm yesterday afternoon). A sea breeze was threatening to develop during the afternoon.
Charles Meredith's Chris White 46 Mk II multi-hull PECCADILLO was over the start line early and had to return. After going back around the start boat, the big cat put his foot down on the first 3.5nm leg of the course from the start off Portsea Pier on the East side of the Bay, to a turning mark off Queenscliff on the east side of the Bay.
PECCADILLO revelled in the two-sail reaching conditions on the first leg and managed to pass everyone before the turning mark. After the turning mark, yachts headed South out of Port Phillip Heads and hoisted kites. Robert Greens’s Pacific 50 DREAM was the second Devonport boat to exit the Heads after PECADILLO.
For most of Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning, the Northerly winds provided great spinnaker run conditions which enabled most yachts to make speeds of 8 to 12 knots.
Earlier this afternoon, the leaders sailed a lighter wind patch of around 5 knots, so progress has slowed.
PECADILLO has maintained it’s Line Honours lead since Port Phillip Heads, followed closely by DREAM for most of the race.
Paul Bunn’s Beneteau First 44.7 CHRISTINE is in third place
At 2:30pm this afternoon, PECADILLO was in sight of the finish line at the mouth of the Mersey River and is expect to finish very soon.
– Steph Juleff