It was champagne sailing for the start of the 15th Launceston to Hobart yacht race.
The 285 nautical mile race started in near perfect conditions off Inspection Head at Beauty Point.
With a 12-15 knot south-westerly breeze, the start gun was fired at 9.30am and the fleet sailed out of the Tamar River for a magnificent display of spinnaker colour and action.
Race director Scott Brain said he couldn't be happier with the conditions.
"The magnificent weather provided a fantastic spectacle for the start," he said.
"The fleet cautiously hit the start line with a fast-ebbing tide which pulled them quickly across the line and gave them a quick run out of the Tamar River."
The first race of the series, Beauty Point to Low Head, was the race to win on the opening day.
In a closely contested race to the Farewell Beacon at Low Head, it was FilePro (Tim Gadsby) who stole the lead at the last minute and passed around the Beacon first.
Closely followed by AdvantEdge (Andrew Jones) and Fork in the Road (Gary Smith), the race between these three boats is expected to be close for the line honours win.
Detail First (Scott Broadby) has returned to contest his 2020 overall win and has had a fantastic start to his campaign.
Winning on IRC handicap in the race to Low Head, Broadby will be looking to hold his lead as he sails through Banks Strait and heads to Hobart.
First time Launceston to Hobart entrant, Big Pup (Teresa Badrock and Anthony Brezemer) had a stellar performance, finishing first on PHS in the race to Low Head. Off-Piste (Paul Einoder) was also quick off the mark with a first in AMS.
The fleet is expected to have a favourable tide in Banks Strait before turning the corner at Swan Island for a quick run down the East Coast to the finish in Hobart.
The first boats are expected to finish on Wednesday, December 29.
With 20 knots of offshore breeze, the fleets had a clean start in the combined Melbourne to Hobart and Melbourne to Devonport races.
Grant Dunoon's Moody 54, Blue Water Tracks was closely followed by Vagabond and Alex -Team Macadie.
One of the pre-race favourites, Lord Jiminy skippered by Guillaume Leroux had a delayed start. The Class 40 that took line honours in the 2019 west-coaster crossed the line 33 minutes after the fleet - a time difference that could cost multiple places.
First through the heads of Port Phillip in tough swells was Alex-Team Macadie just ahead of Tevake ll.
Gusto Solo sailed by Brian Pattinson and his son Tristan lead the Melbourne to Devonport fleet in their new Don Jones 42 with Nigel Cunliffe's Scaramouche slightly further west.
The fleet is expected in Devonport by midday Tuesday.
Modelling suggests the fastest course to Hobart is west of King Island. This track is well away from the direct rhumbline and adds 25 nautical miles to the course.
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