Mike Slade’s Maxi ICAP Leopard is launched, charging across the Irish Sea with no-one to race but the clock. Their estimated arrival at the Fastnet Rock is between midnight and two in the morning, at the moment they are off record pace.
20 miles behind them is Karl Kwok’s Farr 80, Beau Geste which is having a battle royal with Niklas Zennstrom’s JV 72, RÁN. Beau Geste has now passed RÁN but the all star British team on the JV 72 are leading class on handicap.
The top three IMOCA 60s are having a really tight race, Marc Guillemot’s Safran is just ahead of Sam Davies’ Artemis and Mike Sanderson’s Pindar at Land’s End.
In the Class 40 fleet, Boris hits the front in Beluga Racing, Andrea Ruchstuhl is in second with Tanguy de Lamotte in third.
In IRC Class Cyrille Legloahec’s A40,Batistyl is the class leader but further down the fleet, swan 53, Lutine, crewed by Lloyds yacht club are back in sixteenth but their entry in the race blog confirms they are enjoying the challenge (A full message is in the boat blogs).
“After a very painful night floating, kedging, then just attempting to stem the tide we're now trucking along.
We have a constant force 4 and occasional gusts of 5. slightly lively, but nothing that Lutine can't handle. in true Lutine style, we're eating well...but no booze!
Earlier, we overtook Mint Julep, a J122 who was unable to point anywhere near as high as us, they lost it and had to bear away right in front of us!
All looking good for the next watch - tides turning to take us around the point, then head toward Lizard.”
The Rolex Fastnet Race is a real challenge and very much a marathon race of endurance, after over 24 hours of racing, only ICAP Leopard has reached the halfway mark, for some even half way will may be well over a day away.