After a three-hour stop over in Port Stephens, amazingly, James and More Witchcraft decided to continue racing and are now bringing up the rear of the fleet. Oh the headache.
It was thunderbolts and lightening very very frightening during the first night at sea with Adrienne CAHALAN, the navigator on the Volvo 60 Seriously TEN, this morning revealing a nasty squall with lightening, thunder and torrential rain hit them around midnight last night. And it cost them the lead.
'We were off Crowdy Head when the squall hit Wild Joe and us,' she said this morning. 'I haven't seen lightening or rain like that for a long time. We took our spinnaker down while it passed through and Wild Joe managed to get theirs up a bit quicker, which is when they passed us.'
She reported at 06:30 hours this morning they were sailing in a 10 knot sou'wester but they were expecting to sail into a nor'easter at some stage today. 'Everything is suggesting we will hit the nor'easter,' she said.
Like most boats in the now 34-strong fleet, the Seriously TEN crew is exhausted from a night of spinnaker gybing and multiple sail changes due to the squally weather. They are also wet. Very wet.
'We are hoping to dry things out today and give some of the crew some sleep,' Cahalan added.
At 08:00 this morning, Steven DAVID's Wild Joe had put seven miles on Seriously TEN as they head towards Smokey Cape, south of Coffs Harbour.
The big mover this morning is Matt ALLEN's Ichi Ban which is currently sailing in fourth place abeam of Sean LANGMAN's AAPT, which again has gone offshore in search of breeze although this tactic didn't pay yesterday.
Alison THOMPSON from the Sydney 38 Next also felt the full brunt of the storm overnight but they escaped without damage.
'It was kites up, kites down all night,' she reported this morning. At 08:15 she said they were enjoying a 10-15 knot westerly south of Tacking Point.