And the winner is...
The first five boats in this year’s Shetland Round Britain and Ireland Race, sponsored by Shetland Islands Council, have crossed the line at the end of 2,000 miles of grueling racing.
In the closest finish in memory, Rune Aasberg and Arild Schei in Solo were greeted by a cannon as they crossed the line at the Royal Western Yacht Club at 13:07:02 on 25th June 2010, taking line honours and a class win in a time of 19 days 0 hours 52 minutes and 2 seconds. Having always been in the hunt at all the stopovers, she has come from behind in the last few hours to clinch the lead.
She was quickly followed by SunGard Front Arena skippered by Marco Nannini and Paul Peggs at 13:20:33, then 3rd place Fujifilm at 13:24:37, Phesheya Racing (Nick Leggatt and Pip Hutton-Squire) came in 4th at 13:33:59 and Roaring Again with Hans Plas and Robin Verhoef came in 5th at 13:44:43. All results are subject to official confirmation.
Less than 38 minutes separated the first five yachts after 2000 miles of testing conditions. It was also a truly international finish, with Solo from Norway, SunGard from Italy, Great Britain represented by Fujifilm, Pheshaya Racing being a South African entry and Roaring Again from the Netherlands.
Douglas Irvine, speaking on behalf of the race sponsors Shetland Island Council, said: “We offer our hearty congratulations to the crew of Solo, and to all the other competitors who have made such a memorable spectacle of this year’s race. We wish all of the remaining competitors well, and a fair wind to bring them home to Plymouth.”
Lerwick marked the half way point in the race, where all of the boats had a compulsory 48 hour stopover. Alex Bennett, speaking today after the race, said that that all the competitors were looked after very well during their stay there.
There are still more than 40 yachts out at sea, and the Royal Western Yacht Club at Queen Anne’s battery will be manned in the coming days and weeks to welcome each and every one of them home, whatever the time of night or day. You can continue to follow their progress via live satellite tracking at www.rbandi.com