Last night both boats, along with the two MOD70 trimarans Veolia Environnement (FRA) and Race for Water (SUI), overstood the Scilly Isles, in order to lay the Fastnet Rock in one tack and take advantage of a small left hand wind shift while crossing the Celtic Sea between the southwest end of England and the south coast of Ireland. The reason Gitana 11 (FRA) is so close is that after leaving the Scillies to starboard she tacked north for the Rock earlier than her larger rival, sailing a substantially shorter course as a result.
At the time the two on the water leaders rounded the Fastnet Rock this morning, the wind had dropped to 10 knots from the west-southwest and the sea state had abated.
Meanwhile in the heavyweight bout between the 100 foot super-maxi monohulls, the crew on Mike Slade's ICAP Leopard (GBR) are doing a fine job fending off the attack of George David's faster Rambler100 (USA). The two boats passed between the Scilly Isles and Land's End at 0630 BST this morning, but there were a large group of powerful boats shadowing them close behind.