Almost 10 hours after the lead trimaran Ultime, the brand new ClubSwan 125 Skorpios of Russian Dmitry Rybolovlev became the first monohull to sail around the most famous rock in the southwest of Ireland tonight. Due to the predominantly close-hauled conditions this year being more “typical Rolex Fastnet Race”, even the massively fast Skorpios, was unable to improve the record monohull time to Fastnet Rock of 26 hours 45 minutes. 47 seconds, set in 2019 by George David’s Rambler 88. Skorpios’ time was 30 hours 38 minutes 43 seconds.
Skorpios veered just behind the last Ultime trimaran, the elongated ORMA 60 piloted by Jacek Siwek, Ultim’emotion 2, but most worrying was a boat less than half her length biting her heels. Despite having raced outside the IRC fleet, Charlie Dalin and Paul Meilhat on the 60ft IMOCA Apivia have done a phenomenal job leading the IMOCA fleet since leaving the Windy Solent 24 hours ago. As Fastnet Rock approached, the talented Frenchmen, both former class winners in this event, led the IMOCA class, 35 miles ahead of Charal, second reigning IMOCA champion, piloted by Jérémie Beyou and Christopher Pratt.
In the MOCRA multihull class, American Jason Carroll, aided by his cast of stars aboard round the world and Olympic heroes on Argo, led the water and tonight was on his return trip from Fastnet Rock , halfway to the next turn mark at Bishop Rock, wide reaching 22 knots. However nearby and in the opposite direction to Fastnet Rock was the leader of the MOCRA class, the 84-foot racing-cruising catamaran designed by Nigel Irens by Adrian Keller, Allegra.
Allegra’s Australian skipper Paul Larsen, the world’s fastest sailor after his escapades with Sailrocket 2 nine years ago, was happy that they had survived the harsh conditions of the first 24 hours, even though he didn’t repeat not his antics of the 2019 race when, in doubles with the Vendée Globe heroine Pip Hare, they found themselves at the head of the entire fleet of monohulls from the first night.
“It was pretty fruity last night, but we’re all good,” Larsen reported. “Obviously we have a bit more to deal with in these difficult conditions, but we chose the right side of the course so I think we’re in a good position for the future. We had everything stacked in the main saloon, all the sails and all the crew which made it easier to pitch on the waves. We only had around 28 knots last night, but the heavy rains made it very difficult for the pilots.
Previously, Allegra passed west of the Land’s End Traffic Separation Scheme just behind IMOCA Charal and Arkea Paprec. “Our routing is a bit odd – it cracks us at 65-70 ° TWA towards Kinsale and then beat to the Fastnet, so we’re going to stay more towards the rhumb line and go quick to the mark and see how we’re doing.”
East of Allegra, Robert Gwozdz’s Sailing Poland was leading the other VO65 round-the-world boats to the north Celtic Sea load. “We are doing well against the other VO65s,” commented Dutch round-the-world legend Bouwe Bekking, who is racing on board. “Yesterday afternoon, we sometimes had gusts of 33-35 [knots] but in general it was around 25-30. And then last night, the breeze calmed down in the evening when the sun went down and we first changed to the big jib then in the night we had 25 knots, so we just came in and unsheathed the big one. -veil. You know how it is, you go around and the wind is blowing. It should be forbidden to sail upwind!
Although arriving directly from the Copa del Rey MAPFRE, Bekking had little chance to rest. “I haven’t taken out my weatherproof gear yet! “
While Sailing Poland was leading the VO65 competition, her compatriot, the Polish National Foundation’s VO70 I Love Poland, was further up the course leading IRC Zero under IRC, her crew including British Figaro sailor Alan Roberts and Volvo Ocean Race sailor Martin Strömberg.
In the Class40s, there was a disaster this afternoon when one of the favorites, Axel Trehin’s Project Rescue Ocean, dismasted as they approached Land’s End. No one was injured and she managed to get to Penzance for repairs. This left the 2019 winner of Luke Berry, Lamotte-Module Création, at the top of the class of Tales 2, the only Class40 designed by Botin, now led by the Italian Andrea Fornaro, but with the Courrier Redman of Antoine Carpentier in the ascent.
On board Greg Leonard’s Kite, Vendée Globe skipper Miranda Merron was taking advantage of the conditions this afternoon. “Right now it’s nice and sunny with 16 knots and we’re just heading up the east side of the TSS off Land’s End. The routing is thus shorter, otherwise you have to put two extra long edges. The wind is more to the left than we thought.
“The weather was very nice after yesterday, which was not so good, with gusts to 35 knots and quite bouncy. We were happy with where we were until we had to crash to avoid a foreign warship that refused to acknowledge our presence.
In IRC One, Andrew Hall’s Lombard 46 Pata Negra leads Rob Bottomley’s Mat 12 Sailplane, but with Chris Schram and Patrick ten Brincke on the Corby 38 Double Edge on the climb. However, out on the water, RORC Commodore James Neville’s HH42 Ino XXX was still leading Swedish Jonas Grander’s Elliot 44CR Matador, as they headed for the Celtic Sea. All of the IRC One leaders were heading to the east side of Land’s End TSS.
Behind them, the first of IRC Two approached Land’s End this evening, following IRC One ahead of TSS. While France generally dominate this class, at the moment Tom Kneen’s JPK 10.80 Sunrise, including a young RORC crew, is one step ahead of Ross Applebey’s Lightwave 48 Scarlet Oyster.
“It was pretty close-hauled, a little bouncy, but we sailed smart and kept it in one piece which was really good,” said Applebey. “It would be nice to be somewhere other than upwind at some point, but we don’t know how long it will take before we start hitting anywhere! We try to keep Sunrise in sight. We sail pretty well and are pretty fast, there isn’t much more we can do. “
A well-traveled racing boat, Scarlet Oyster took the rough conditions of yesterday in her stride. “It was a lot of rain which was quite unpleasant for the guys,” Applebey continued. “We had everyone on the safe side with only three people down at a time. It was quite difficult. Fortunately, there is less water entering the boat now!
In IRC Three, the JPK 1030 Léon of Alexis Loison and Guillaume Pirouelle comes back in front of the Sun Fast 3600 Fujitsu British Soldier, the first in the category just after the Lizard at the end of the afternoon.
In IRC Four, the JPK 10.10 Raphael of David le Goff was leading on the water, approaching the Lizard, but the Dehler 33 Cruising Sun Hill 3 of François Charles and the X-332 Trading-advices.com of Alain Guelennoc were still the strongest contenders for IRC corrected time. .
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