After this they engaged in the following way.
The Athenians formed in column and sailed close along shore to Sestos; upon perceiving which the Peloponnesians put out from Abydos to meet them.
Realising that a battle was now imminent, both combatants extended their flank; the Athenians along the Chersonese from Idacus to Arrhiani with seventy-six ships; the Peloponnesians from Abydos to Dardanus with eighty-six.
The Peloponnesian right wing was occupied by the Syracusans, their left by Mindarus in person with the best sailors in the navy; the Athenian left by Thrasyllus, their right by Thrasybulus, the other commanders being in different parts of the fleet.
The Peloponnesians hastened to engage first, and outflanking with their left the Athenian right sought to cut them off, if possible, from sailing out of the straits, and to drive their centre upon the shore, which was not far off.
The Athenians perceiving their intention extended their own wing and outsailed them,
while their left had by this time passed the point of Cynossema.
This, however, obliged them to thin and weaken their centre, especially as they had fewer ships than the enemy, and as the coast round Point Cynossema formed a sharp angle which prevented their seeing what was going on on the other side of it.