Records still set to tumble

First boats around Muckle Flugga in the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race

Tuesday August 12th 2014, Author: James Boyd, Location: United Kingdom

The record-setting pace continues in the Seven Star Round Britain and Ireland Race with the Sidney Gavignet-skipper MOD 70 Musandam-Oman Sail passing Muckle Flugga, the most northern corner of the race course at 1440 BST.

The Omani trimaran must cross the finish line before 12:49:14s on Thurday if she is to beat the outright Round Britain and Ireland course record set by Loick Peyron and the crew of Banque Populaire V - a trimaran twice her size. To date Musandam-Oman Sail has averaged around 24 knots since she set off on Monday morning, putting her just ahead of Banque Populaire V's pace - she averaged 23.48 knots for the entire course.

With the wind currently blowing 25 knots from the NNW, the Omani MOD 70 is staying high for some reason to get her around the remote Scottish outcrop of Sula Segir (40 miles north of Lewis) and then St Kilda both of which form marks of the course, before she can crack off and head south down past the Hebrides and west coast of Ireland. Incredibly the strong 20-25 knots northwesterlies are forecast to show no let up all the way to the finish. For Gavignet and his crew this potentially means a brisk charge down to the Sicily Isles, one gybe and then home.

Behind Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing was the first VO65 to round the top of the Shetlands, at around 19:45 BST, followed around half an hour later by Iker Martinez's crew on Team Pedro Campos. Team Alvimedica and Dongfeng rounded pretty much together two hours behind Abu Dhabi. The all-women's crew on Team SCA was around 30 miles behind at this stage having shaken off the Monster Project VO70. The latest to round have been on the wind passing up the east side of the Shetlands.

It has not been the finest hour for the Class40s which have been having a difficult time in the big conditions. Following Concise's retirement and that of Conrad Humphreys' Cat Phone yesterday so Arwen, the formerly Philippa Hutton Squire's Pheshaya Racing has pulled into Great Yarmouth and the German Mach 40 Stella Nova has also retired after sustaining structural damage after hitting a large wave. The sole Class40 still racing is Rod Knowles' Swish.

The main trophy and a $20,000 shipping voucher from Sevenstar Yacht Transport are up for grabs in IRC and Monster has been overall leader for the last two updates. Behind, Jens Kellinghusen's Ker 51 Varuna has maintained her average speed of about 15 knots and is closing the time correction gap on Monster Project at virtually every tracker update.

Brian Thompson's IMOCA 60 Artemis-Team Endeavour has slowed since last night but her estimated finish time of 4 days, 20 hours, 54 minutes and 55seconds is well inside the IMOCA 60 record set in 2010 by the same yacht.

Two yachts in IRC Two have made big gains today in terms of corrected time under IRC: Ross Applebey's Oyster 48 Scarlet Logic and Ian Hoddle's Figaro II, Rare, the latter ahead on the water despite being some 15ft shorter. Both yachts have averaged well over 9 knots since the start of the race and are now 4th and 5th overall. Scarlet Logic is leading IRC Two and is estimated to finish the race six days quicker than the 2010 winner, Harry Heijst's S&S 41, Winsome. Rare is leading the Two-Handed Class and should they complete the course, will be the smallest yacht ever to complete the race.

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