RBR fleet gets pasted
To date, as the front runners are crossing from Land's End to southern Ireland, there have been six official retirements.
The first casualty was Robert Davies and Peter Norman's class 3 monohull Just A Cunning Plan. In the 20 knot southwesterly winds at the start, a piece of rigging broke causing her mast to come tumbling down before they had even left Plymouth breakwater soon after the gun had gone.
Since then one of the race favourites, the immaculate 40ft trimaran Gleam, sailed by Robin Herbert and former Team Philips crewman Graham Goff have pulled out when their boat broke her daggerboard. Michael Jaques and Alexander Robson's 40 footer Nunatak dismasted 10 miles south of the Lizard. Fay-J, of Charles Allen and Neal Brewer, also retired with mainsail damage.
Personal health problems have also been a cause. Jeremy and Colin Wharton on the 35 footer Bucks Eagle withdrew with seasickness, while the 32ft trimaran Trioche had to pull out when skipper Richard Roscoe began to experience trouble with his eyes.
At the time of writing at the Royal Western YC HQ in Plymouth the race office were expressing some concern over the conditions as the boats are passing through the same waters as the disasterous 1979 Fastnet Race.
At the time of writing there was no information about who was leading, but the first arrivals are expected into Cork late this evening.