Start Point re-start
In the light winds of the last 24 hours the doublehanded Round Britain & Ireland Race fleet have fallen to the mercy of the tide with all five of the 40ft front runners now bunched up off Start Point with the finish line and Plymouth just 20 miles away and all the boats within sight of each other... This morning Channel Light Vessel was reporting 2-8 knots of wind from the north, which bears no ressemblance to the GRIBs which continue to show light westerlies.
At present Marco Nannini and Paul Peggs on SunGard Front Arena are just a nose ahead as the most inshore boat, but the most impressive performance has been that of Dutch duo Hans Plas and Robin Verhoef on their Open 40 Roaring Again, who have joined the lead pack having left Lowestoft six hours behind the leaders.
Yesteday Marco Nannini reported:
It's been a tense 24 hours since we passed Dover in first, our lead over Fujifilm was gradually reduced during the course of the night and at one stage was eroding real fast, as we had hit the a new flow of adverse current in light airs allowing the distinctively green boat to close in to as little as 8 miles while enjoying slightly better conditions behind us.
The long sleepless night saw us tacking endlessly within a band of wind that seemed to hang some 5 miles offshore, we didnt want to go to far off in the channel but too close to land and the wind would shut off.
The rest of the class 40 seemed to follow a similar strategy and by sunrise the positions were unchanged, our lead marginally improved to
about 9.5 miles after many apprehensive hours constantly checking for wind, boat speed, tidal streams and that elusive 6-8 knots light air.
With these light winds we feel quite tense as the lead we have is miniscule in the face of a light patch of air or the strong tidal streams we will face when the tide turns again against the leading boats.
This race is absolutely amazing, to think that after 1800 miles the leading 5 boats are all within 2 hours or so of one another and that it
can still be anyone's win! It must be a great show to watch, but I hope our nerves will hold till the end!