Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race 2018 – West of Ireland
At 7am Wednesday, August 15th, the race fleet was being led by Phil Sharp’s British entry Imerys Clean Energy, a class 40 monohull.
Second place is Nicholas Troussel’s Corum, and lying third is Tony Lawson’s class 40 Concise 8.
Paralympic Hannah Stodel’s Region Normandie, also a class 40 which we photographed fitting out in Hamble Marina, is lying further down the fleet but still in the running.
This gripping race started on Sunday from the Royal Yacht Squadron’s line before heading out into the English Channel and facing some challenging conditions with the weather.
Currently the bulk of the fleet is hugging the West of Ireland and the forecast for today is challenging.
At 7am it was observed at buoy M4, lying to the northwest of Black Rock, that the wind is West to WSW force 6 to 7 and is forecast to veer to WNW by Thursday lunchtime.
Buoy M3, southwest of Tearaght Rock, where most of the fleet is located this morning it is a little less at force 5 to 6 WSW.
The shipping forecast is not for the faint hearted for shipping areas Shannon, Rockall and Malin.
Shannon looks tough with winds SW veering West force 5 to 7 and the sea state becoming rough with visibility dropping as rain bands sweep in from the North Atlantic.
Gale warnings were issued for Rockall and Malin earlier with winds increasing to force 8.
However in the open sea all weather conditions have to be expected at some time or another.
So long as the wind stays behind the mast and the waves are running up from behind them it should be an exhilarating ride.
When the wind is on the nose and the waves are big and you can only tell the difference between the rain and the spray is by tasting it, it’s miserable.
The leaders have the big advantage that once around the top of Ireland they can bear off before the wind veers.
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race 2018- West of Ireland