So it is a New Year, a new decade, a new leg and a new race. Edinburgh is Inspired and as ever are hoping that 2010 may bring a little luck and a lot of fair wind and we may climb the ranks in the race.
We had a fantastic stopover in Australia and were warmly welcomed and looked after by the people of Geraldton, who lined the foreshore and beaches to wave us off at the start of the race yesterday. Those who had boats, rallied around the race start cheering us off and providing extra obstacles to the many fishing buoys and 200-metre cruise ship which also lay in our path! It was an exciting send off and has been a fantastic first 24 hours.
The fleet has remained closely grouped as we all made our way to the first gate, positioned over the wreck of HMAS Sydney II, newly located just 18 months ago. Each boat was given a wreath to lay over her remains. As we passed her position, we paid our respects to the 645 crew lost at sea on 19 November 1941 in a battle with German raider HSK Kormoran.
It has been quite surreal and unusual having the company of six of the fleet surrounding us on the horizon. However, now through the gate, the boats have dispersed. Like children let out into the playground at break time, each has run off to find its own course, put into action their tactics and muster any advantage or headway they can. With all ten boats still within 7nm of each other, there is a sense that everyone has raised there game once more and everything is still to play for.