Team Artemis Ocean Racing closing in on finish of Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race 13/8/06

The Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race has really come alive now that the leading yachts have passed the turning point of Muckle Flugga and set their spinnakers for a marvellous downwind sleigh ride home. Artemis Ocean Racing out in front is clocking speeds in excess of 17 knots whilst J-P Chomette’s Nacira 60, Solune, is pushing hard over 143 miles behind in second place enjoying surfing conditions in excess of 15 knots as the wind stays in the north to north-west and gusting to 25 knots.

Renowned meteorologist and navigator Chris Tibbs onboard Solune briefly gave an account of life onboard as they passed the waypoint of Muckle Flugga last night.
“We passed Muckle Flugga at 2200. It’s wet and wild as it should be in the twilight! Everyone onboard is well and very glad to be under spinnaker at long last and also to be heading south. Personally I’m very happy as I have a dry pair of socks hidden away!”

Ger O’Rourke’s Cookson 50, Kingspan – Chieftain, was the next to round the remote outcrop and head for home some three hours later at 0100 hrs on Sunday morning and still looks good for the overall corrected time victory in Division A IRC. As of this morning (0830), Piet Vroon’s Lutra 56, Formidable 3, was making just 8 knots as she struggled to pass the waypoint but for sure the crew are looking forward to finally bearing away and getting on their way back home. Formidable 3 is currently the predicted overall IRM winner.

Meanwhile back in mid-fleet, crew member Neil Basil onboard Global Yacht Racing Incisor who is raising nearly £7,000 for the charity NACC revealed the contents of his diary to race control saying: “This northerly wind is here to stay. We’re currently beating up the west coast of Ireland, hopefully we will pass Black Rock in the next few hours, and we may be able to bear off a little. Not much chance of sailing downwind which is a shame, partly because that is where the boat goes fast and we could make up some time, but also because it will make life easier for the crew. In these conditions it is a real job to do even the most basic tasks like getting into a sleeping bag or eating. Using the heads is pretty difficult. With a recently created internal pouch going to the toilet isn’t much fun for me even at home, but on a racing yacht in a 20 knot breeze it’s a mission, then throw in some Atlantic swell and it’s a really harrowing experience!”