image of Thalia, built in 1888, is the oldest boat in this year's Race, helmed by David Aisher. Image: Patrick Eden
Thalia, built in 1888, is the oldest boat in this year's Race, helmed by David Aisher. Image: Patrick Eden
Cowes, Isle of Wight | 2nd July 2016
Rupert Holmes
The eastern Solent is starting to slowly fill up with many yachts on the final leg of their race. At this stage most of these are high-end racing yachts, often with professional or semi-professional crew on board. The strong winds mean few of the family sailors in the bulk of the fleet are flying spinnakers, so for them it may not be a super fast race. Fortunately, the tide is now turning in their favour, which will also help to flatten the sea state.
ERIVALE III, IRC Division 0. Image: Patrick Eden
Derek Gilbert of Raymarine, on board the Bavaria 36, Larissa, was just past Ventnor and enjoying the sunshine at 1430.
“We have about 27 knots of wind right now,” said Derek. “We are going about 10-11 knots with a reef in the main. We have a number of boats around us and can see a few spinnaker tears. The helmsman is doing a sterling job, especially in the two-metre waves.”
Most boats are now past the half-way mark at St Catherine’s Point, with the back markers – the last few boats from ISC Groups 7 and 8 – half way between there and the Needles. With the west-going tide easing off, the sea state has reduced since earlier this morning. They have until the time limit of 2230 to reach the finish.
The Farr 100 Leopard took monohull Line Honours earlier today. Image: onEdition
Highlights to date
  • Lloyd Thornburg’s MOD70 trimaran Phaedo 3 shattered the multihull race record in a time of 2 hours 23 minutes, 23 seconds, an impressive 28 minutes ahead of the record Sir Ben Ainslie set in 2013. “Today was incredible – one of the best sails we’ve ever had on the boat and the sun really shone on us,” says Thornburg. “We’re over the moon, the team work on board was fantastic and it was just on the edge where we could keep the full main up, so the boat was totally powered up. Reaching and downwind it was right on the edge.”
  • The largest monohull in the fleet, Mike Leopard’s 100ft Leopard, took monohull line honours, but failed to beat the record time he set in 2013 by 13 minutes.
  • Bernard Langley’s TP52 Gladiator was second monohull across the line, in an elapsed time of less than four and a half hours. Currently Gladiator is at the head of the overall IRC leaderboard on corrected time, although that may change as the finish times come in for the hundreds of subsequent finishers.

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