It’s a bright autumn day, pleasantly cool after the hot summer as all manner of yachts make their way to their respective start lines in Bramble Bay. The Shorncliffe Pier is virtually standing room only, its opening day abuzz with the added excitement of being part of the start line for Australia’s biggest offshore multihull race. After a superb spell of the regular south easterly wind, the morning breeze has faltered. Carbon, kevlar, dyneema and polyester fabrics gently carve the air, with none of the usual strain on ropes and blocks, as these high-tech sailing craft flit by, like graceful butterflies. Spectator attention raises another notch as the preparatory canon fires.