Day #1 8 pm: With Mick Cotter’s 94ft Windfall the on-the-water leader as she puts Cahore Point astern at 2200hrs, it’s intriguing to note that the unstable but brisk northerly airflow is generous if unpredictable in spreading its favours to different sections of the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle fleet at different times writes W M Nixon
We signed off at 2000 hrs with Andrew Hall’s J/125 Jackknife from Wales holding the corrected time lead. But since then for a while defending champion Rockabill VI (RIYC), Paul O’Higgins’ JPK 1080, was running south on the sluicing ebb with most purpose, and took her turn at the top of the leaderboard.
But now Jackknife is back in business in a big way with a Corrected Time overall lead of 28 minutes over Rockabill, while third - just ten minutes behind the O’Higgins boat - is a new player in the lead role drama, the J/109 Outrajeous co-owned by ICRA Chairman Richard Colwell and Johnny Murphy, with the latter skippering for the dash to Dingle.
Conor Fogerty’s Figaro 3 Raw seems finally to have found her mojo, and is moving into contention – she may be back at 7th overall on CT, but on the water only Jackknife and Windfall are ahead of her.
While most of the fleet have stayed fairly close to the coast, gallant westerners Dan Mill and Yannick Lemonnier in the Mini 650 Port of Galway have tended to embrace the offshore option, and at the time of writing it’s doing them no harm at all, as they’re logging a cracking 12 -13 knots over the ground and are still ahead of the bulk of the entrants.
Early in the small hours, the favourable ebb will begin to lose its power, and when the adverse flood begins to set in, all will depend on how far your boat has got past the Tuskar Rock, if indeed you’ve managed that at all.
Once you get west of the Coningbeg off the Saltee Islands, the tides are no longer so important. But the tidal gate off southeast Ireland could divide the fleet in a way which will have a lasting effect for the remainder of the race. Get clear of it, and the next turn at the Fastnet Rock beckons, as does the prospect of tomorrow seeing a temporary improvement in the weather.
Track Chart below:
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