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Howth's Yacht Club Fogerty & Knowles in Wing Position in Round Britain & Ireland Fleet

14th August 2018
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Howth's Yacht Club Fogerty & Knowles in Wing Position in Round Britain & Ireland Fleet

After the second night at sea in the RORC Sevenstar Round Britain & Ireland Race, the fleet find themselves still slugging to windward in the area west and northwest of the Isles of Scilly writes W M Nixon.

They’re in the frustrating position of knowing that those who can get quickest to southwest Ireland will find more favourable westerly winds. But in the Isles of Scilly area itself, the wind has stayed doggedly in the northwest, and while progress is reasonably good, the prospect of easing sheets and getting to better speeds remains tantalisingly elusive.

Conor Fogerty and Simon Knowles of Howth Yacht Club in the Sunfast 3600 Bam! In the Two-Handed Division found themselves in loose formation with their sister-ships southeast of the Isles of Scilly at 0100 hrs today, with the Sunfast 3600 Game On (Ian Hoddle & Ollie Wyatt) coming in on seaward on port tack and passing five miles ahead of Bam, which had been working to windward further north.

Game On then elected to leave the large Traffic Separation Zone to the south of the Scllies to port, but Bam and sister-ship Tigris (Gavin Howe), which was four miles astern, held on starboard out into open water south of the separation zone in search of the elusive backing of the breeze.

At this morning’s 0800 position fix, Bam was making unspectacular but steady progress at 5.3 knots on a course of 264 degrees, while Tigris was seven miles astern at similar speed and course. Game On in meanwhile well to the northeast with a slightly better breeze to give 5.8 knots, though with little difference in course at 260.

Overall, the fleet leaders on the water continue to be the large Class 40 contingent, with the new Corum (she made her successful debut in the Volvo Round Ireland race in June) skippered by Nicolas Troussel in a battle for line honours with Phil Sharp’s Imerys Clean Energy, When you consider the speeds they’re capable of, their current progress around the 7.7 to 8.5 knot rate is modest enough. But Corum is now the most westerly boat in the fleet, sailing on port tack, and with a course of 323 finally laying the line to take her round the still distant Mizen Head.

Equally, Bam is the most westerly of the smaller boats, and it will be intriguing this morning to see when Fogerty and Knowles call their tack to start making serious progress towards southwest Ireland.

Race tracker here: http://yb.tl/rbni2018

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