Round the Island records tumble
Sir Ben Ainslie stormed across the finish line at 08:02:15 to smash the 12-year-old race record for the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race. The AC45 catamaran finished the race in 2 hours 52 minutes 15 seconds, carving more than 16 minutes off Francis Joyon's 2001 time.
Second across the finish line was Mike Slade's ICAP Leopard. Having sailed the first half of the race in 1 hour 40 minutes the 100ft Farr designed monohull looked to be well inside the record time of 3 hours 53 minutes she set in 2008. However, Leopard slowed in the second half of the race and it wasn't clear that she would better the record time until she was a few minutes away from the finish. She finally crossed the line at 08:43.50, shaving 9 minutes 45 seconds off her previous record.
Speaking while enjoying a glass of celebratory champagne, owner Mike Slade said: "When we were rounding St Catherine's Point we were concerned that the wind would start dying off Shanklin - but it stayed up all the way round the Island. We're also looking forward to the handicap result - if it drops as forecast we could do well on handicap as well. It looks like it will be a good day for everyone - they will all get round and everyone's going to have a great day."
The back markers in the fleet of almost 1,500 boats are having a very different experience to the front-runners. Stephen Payne's Moody 27 family cruiser Phantom of Cramond in ISCRS Division 8B, for instance, is enjoying a much more leisurely sail - at 0850 they were passing Yarmouth, just 9 miles from the start.
With the winds stronger than forecast so far, some damaged sails have been seen. Paralympic Gold medallist Helena Lucas, sailing with Campbell Field on the Elan 450 Squire Sanders, reported splitting a spinnaker in half between the Needles and St Catherine's Point.
More from Mark Lloyd/JPMorgan BAR
From On Edition (aerials by Ian Roman)