Good conditions for Melbourne to Hobart

Entrants in the three Melbourne to Tasmania boat races are out of Port Phillip Bay and making their way towards the island state in good conditions.

More than 30 yachts left Portsea on Thursday afternoon and will spend the rest of the day negotiating their way across Bass Strait.

Brian Pattinson's Gusto, which on Wednesday won the Boxing Day Dash across the bay, was the first boat to reach the marker near Queenscliff and then sail out of the Heads, followed by Goldfinger and Bandit, the handicap winner in the Boxing Day race.

But the three boats have now gone their separate ways.

Gusto is expected to claim line honours in the Melbourne to Launceston race and reach Tasmania's north coast on Friday morning.

Goldfinger is expected to push for line honours in the Melbourne to Hobart race via the east coast, while Bandit is taking part in the traditional race to Hobart via the wild west coast of Tasmania.

The first of the boats racing to Hobart are expected to reach the Tasmanian capital on Sunday morning.

The fleet began racing on Thursday with a northerly breeze as assistance, but the wind dropped soon after. A breeze coming from the south met the fleet as it sailed out of the Heads.

This story Good conditions for Melbourne to Hobart first appeared on The Age.