Back into the Channel
The leaders in the Royal Western Yacht Club’s doublehanded Round Britain & Ireland Race set sail from Lowestoft last night on the final leg of the race to Plymouth.
Leading the charge is Marco Nannini and Paul Peggs on their Akilaria Class 40 Sungard Front Arena who departed at 18:32, followed by Alex Bennett and Malcolm Dickinson on their Owen Clarke-designed Clas 40 Fujifilm at 21:01 and then Rune Aasberg and Arild Schei on Solo and Nick Leggatt and Phillippa Hutton-Squire on Phesheya-Racing at 22:48 and 23:19 respectively.
This morning Nannini and Peggs are just entering Dover Strait, where they will shortly be encountering the traffic separation scheme. They have made 77 miles since leaving Lowestoft last night - or an average of just under 5 knots for the boats at present are sailing in light WSWerlies. Fujifilm is just over 10 miles astern with Solo a further 13 miles astern.
The forecast is for the wind to build slightly over the course of today but it will remain steadfastly on the nose as the boats enter the Channel. This will open up some tactical options in terms of where to tack and coinciding manoeuvres with the tide. However once the boats are past the Isle of Wight the wind looks set to veer into the northeast and this will benefit the leading boats. So it seems likely that the outcome of this race will be decided in the next 24 hours...