The Rich get Richer
The competitors in the Rolex Fastnet race has come to the first big hurdle; getting west of Portland Bill. The headland sticks out like a rudder in the water and many of the big boats just made it past there before the tide turned.
The majority of the fleet didn't make it. Some are going offshore, trying to find more breeze to escape the clutches of the tide and others have resigned to their fate and have anchored at Portland Bill, waiting for the tide to turn.
By late morning, the sea breeze will probably have kicked in giving fresh south westerly winds and they should fill ion from the land first.
Will the boats offshore get away or did playing the waiting game inshore for the sea breeze pay off, it will become clear over the next
12 hours or so.
Meanwhile upfront ICAP Leopard is gliding along at over 7 knots in just a whisper of breeze, chasing the 100 foot Maxi are Tony Todd's PY 100, Liara and the pack of IMOCA 60s, the majority of them seem to be heading into Lyme Bay, perhaps they are looking to get some wind drainage off the high cliffs but it is a long way from the rhumb line to the next headland, Anvil Point off Salcombe.
Mike Slade's ICAP Leopard is looking good for Line Honours but are falling behind record pace. Niklas Zennstrom's RÁN was supposed to be a bit suspect in light weather but they are looking good at the top of the Super Zero fleet and with the smaller boats caught in the clutches of the Portland Race. RÁN look like the handicap and class leaders at the moment. Plymouth boat, Nigel Passmore's TP 52, Apollo, just escaped the clutches of Portland Bill and is also looking in very good shape.
But there is a long way to go yet and there are bound to be a lot of twists and turns along the way.