Black Jack takes the lead with the race record in their sight. Photo Credit - CYCA
Black Jack takes the lead with the race record in their sight. Photo Credit - CYCA

The Cabbage Tree Island Race, the fourth race in the Audi Centre Sydney Blue Water Pointscore, got off to a flying start this evening, with the fleet surging down the harbour in the twenty knot westerly winds. Fifty-eight yachts started the race in Sydney Harbour this evening, with gusty and shifty conditions giving crews a tough reach north towards Cabbage Tree Island.

The fleet put on a spectacular show for the multitude of spectators out to watch the largest edition of this race in its history, while the three super maxis achieved extreme speeds inside the harbour.

Not much separated the three 100 foot super maxis as they exited the harbour, though InfoTrack blew out their reaching spinnaker near Watson’s Bay while Wild Oats XI and Black Jack furled theirs at similar times. It was a tussle that was too close to call between Wild Oats XI and Black Jack for first boat out of the heads, closely followed by InfoTrack. TP52 Gweilo was pulling well above their weight, sitting on the 100 footer’s tails out of Sydney Harbour. 

The rest of the fleet had a show-stopping battle as they hoisted spinnakers and completed a few gybes in the gusty conditions.

The current race record set by Wild Oats XI in 2012 of 12 hours, 12 minutes and 55 seconds looks to be under threat, as the fleet make their way to the NSW mid-north coast. Though with two big-name retirements in Wild Oats XI and InfoTrack, it is now playing in Peter Harburg’s Black Jack‘s hands. 

Seven yachts have retired in the 180nm race including gear failure and sail damage; Wild Oats XI, InfoTrackNo Limit, About Time, XS Moment, Sticky and Carrera S. 

Stay locked on to keep up to date with the race tracker, results, photos and video of the start. Fans, participants and media are encouraged to tag their Audi Centre Sydney Blue Water Pointscore Series content with the official hashtag #AudiCentreSydneyBWPS on all social media.