Wind drops off for day three
Olivier de Kersauson's progress on the giant Cap Gemini Ernst & Young and Schneider Electric sponsored trimaran Geronimo is closely being monitored here and Bruno and the rest of the sailors competing at this inaugural regatta are ready to welcome them back by satellite TV connection if they manage to break the Jules Verne record before 11:36:33 GMT on 16 March.
Meanwhile back out on the water a further two races where held for the racing classes on the inshore Bass Harbour courses and 1 offshore race for the multihull and cruising classes. The prevailing NE breezes that have been around all week decided to moderate this afternoon which saw many yachts either withdrawing or not finishing within the time limit on the offshore course.
The two penultimate races held today saw the leaders of the racing classes extend their lead and put themselves in virtually unbeatable positions before tomorrows closing rounds are decided. Peter Ahern's Yo! recorded a further two wins to give them a total of five bullets in a row but still had a fight on his hands to keep a clean sheet with only a minute separating the four racing boats after handicaps have been applied in race 4.
Neil Pryde's Hi-Fidelity have bumped themselves up the order by taking a 2nd and a 3rd in front of Ray Robert's Luna Nuova who could only manage two 4th places today.
Amir Zohri's Gotcha Lagi! cemented their place in the record books by putting together two more wins today and take a unassailable position on the overall leaderboard. Jeremy Camps on Cabaret 5 from the Royal Selangor Yacht Club has been nipping at the heels of the leaders to hold onto second place from Nick Band's Phuket based Emerald Blue which has been well sailed all week to clinch 3rd spot.
Mark Jewell followed suite with the other racing classes to take two first places today which gives The Dogs 11 four wins out of 5 races to take the overall commanding position in the Sports Boat class. The new Phuket 8 Somtam Express showed its pace in Bass Harbour on the flat water and romped home with 2 convincing line honurs victories. M. Zaidi's KDP1 has displaced S/Lt Hamdan's early leader KDP2 into 3rd place overall and both have a handy points lead over the all girls teams on Dewi Bayu and Dewi Laut.
The multihull class saw a change of fortunes when Bill Eby's mid fleet finisher Lighten-up took 1st place today and the re-juggling of places has Tim Milner's Charro and Claes Nilsson's Papillon 11 tied for first place on overall points. Tomorrow's race will be the decider for this class with Mark Horwood's third placed Ceberus still having a good chance to leapfrog the others if conditions suit.
In Cruising B Donald Radcliffe's Klondike run of two convincing wins came to a end when Stuart Crowe's Cinders took the handicap honours from Mike Downard's Tag with the Port Dickson Youth Team as crew recovered with a second place after yesterdays disappointing cap shroud breakage and carry forward the points of a retirement.
Interesting things could still develop in this class if tomorrows 4th race is completed as competitors can then discard their worst result which will have a dramatic effect on the overall points tally.
Blue Jay skippered by R Javis rebounded with a win today to even up the points with Kevan Perrins' 2nd placed Rusalka and Bruce Carmichael's Rock & Blues keeping everybody honest in third place. Tomorrow's deciding race will determine the winner and break the tie between Rusalka and Blue Jay.
At the time of going to press the Long Keel classic yachts where still out there trying to finish with no wind so the result is not known but rumour has it that the recently decorated Dato Richard Curtis's 100 year old Bristol cutter Evelene may finish up in second place today. That's worth shouting another round of drinks for everyone. Cheers!