The CYCA put back the starting time to 12 noon local time to give the afternoon sea breeze time to catch up with daylight saving, and the huge fleet started in a light nor'easter. The breeze was light to moderate for the first two hours of the race, giving the fleet a spinnaker run down the NSW coast. The leaders gybed off Jervis Bay and they reached down almost to Twofold Bay, until a fresh southerly came in.
After a few tacks of Cape Howe, most of the fleet were able to sail across Bass Strait on a close fetch in the fresh sou'wester. With the wind abeam from the west and nor-west, the leaders continued to make a fast reach down the Tasmanian coast.
The without warning, the leaders were hit by a fierce southerly change, gusting to more than 40 knots. But as they approached the Iron Pot, the leaders ran into a series of frustrating calms as the rest of the fleet battle a Force 7 gale off the east coast.
However, as the front passed, almost all the fleet were to suffer the same frustrations as they sailed a "stop-go" course up the Derwent.
The Race was a long, drawn-out affair, as the smaller yachts had to battle headwinds down the east coast, round Tasman Island and then across Storm Bay, most of the also encountering fickle winds of the Derwent.