The 74th Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race is underway. A diverse fleet of 85 yachts are contesting the 2018 edition of this famous 628-nautical mile offshore race. Of the five 100-ft Maxis set to contest line honours it was Peter Harburg’s Black Jack who made the most impressive start as first yacht to clear Sydney Heads leading Wild Oats XI, InfoTrack and Scallywag with race record holder Comanche forced to recover ground. A tactically intriguing contest lies ahead with variable conditions forecast and the chances of the race record being broken for the third year running appearing unlikely. The chase for the race’s most coveted prize, overall victory on corrected time, rewarded with the Tattersall’s Cup and Rolex timepiece, is wide open. Matt Allen’s Ichi Ban is among the yachts in contention and attempting to become the first yacht since 1965 to win back-to-back titles. Rolex has been title sponsor of the race, organised by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, since 2002.