#soloFastnet - After a frustrating first 36 hours, the majority of the soloFastnet fleet have now passed Land’s End — with the lead solo sailors already halfway across the Celtic Sea towards Fastnet Rock.
All three classes got away from Cowes on Saturday afternoon (2 June) in bright sunshine and a 15-knot southwesterly, but that wasn’t to last as a wind drop and a turn of the tide saw most of the 28 competitors going in circles overnight.
There was some drama at the start when a cruiser heading towards the shore wandered into the middle of the Class 2 start line.
Meanwhile, Richard Clarke with his Sunfast 3200 Fury was unfortunate to T-bone a folk boat. Clarke continued racing but it soon emerged that the collision had cracked the bow structure, causing a leak into the crash box area, forcing his retirement after 140 miles sailed.
Sunday morning (3 June) saw the breeze pick up for some, with Stephane Bodin’s Wasabi Enertek making the best of the conditions among the more southerly boats, flying at double the speed (6kts) of their more northerly competitors.
Offshore certainly paid off by Sunday evening with those boats flying downwind in up to 25 knots, but more challenging seas — as shared by the Royal Western Yacht Club of England’s Round Britain & Ireland fleet.
As of 10am this morning (Monday 4 June), the lead is held by Ari Kansakoski’s Class 40 Fuji, with French entry Raging Bee 2 in hot pursuit.
There’s also been one more retirement from the fleet, at Matt Smith’s Full Circle headed to Plymouth after issues with a line joining floats in the water.
Irish solo sailing fans may be interested in the annual Solo Racing Festival at the Royal Southern Yacht Club, Hamble on Saturday 12th March.
Given the Figaro race is coming to Dun Laoghaire in August a talk on the Artemis Academy with John Thorn (Figaro 2) will be of particular interest.
Owen Clarke's designer Merfyn Owen, who lives in Hamble will be attending as well as colleagues from their brokerage partners Boatshed Performance.
So whether your interest be solo sailing or short-handed sailing in general they will be there to answer questions on design, construction, as well as sale/purchase and charter of offshore performance yachts.
The Race Fair is an open house from 10.00 for race organisers to meet and greet potential skippers from; Global Ocean/Class 40, Mocra, UK mini group, RORC, SORC, Biscay Challenge, AZAB. Floating boat show, 8 boats including the OC class 40, 2 minis, A35, J105, Figaro 2, Sunfast 3200.
There is a Book Signing, Alex Bennett signing copies of High Seas High Stakes and showing Fuji DVD Mike Golding is opening the talks at 11,00.
Winning Mind Set with Ian Brown, sports psychologist
Global Ocean race with Oliver Dewar
Two Star/Ostar with John Lewis, RWYC
30m trimaran design with Nigel Irens (Idec, Sodebo)
Artemis Academy first term report with John Thorn (Figaro 2)
Route du Rhum with Marco Nannini, (class 40)
all in the spendid riverside setting of the Royal Southern Yacht Club, Hamble.