Young team on Farr 45 rounds top of Britain doubling speed and fun on downwind sleigh ride on Round Britain Race 15/8/06

The young team aboard the Farr 45 Unlimited Sailing / John Merricks has finally turned the corner at Muckle Flugga and is now just over 450 miles from the finish line in the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race.

Heading down the east coast of Britain, the boat and crew, all members of the Volvo RYA Keelboat Programme, are finally experiencing the fast-paced reaching conditions that they have been craving over the last 1,300 miles. Overnight the boat has jumped up four places into fourth overall, gaining back miles lost during their essential sail repair on day seven.

Crewmember Charlotte Lawrence (19) from Lymington commented: “We finally went around Muckle Flugga at about 1700 yesterday, hoisted the spinnaker and watched our speed double. We’ve been getting on average 21 knots out of the boat which made the fact that there’s water coming over the deck and that my socks have been wet for the last five days worth it.

“We’ve spent the entire trip waiting for this moment and it’s so exhilarating to finally be off port tack and to get the boat on a reach. We have spent the night dodging massive oil rigs, which at night are all lit up like Christmas trees.

“We’re trying to keep the boat at max speed, which has meant that several crew members have been falling out of their bunks while trying to catch some sleep; however, there are a lot more smiling faces on deck.”

“We’ve recently caught site of Norddeutsche (a 56ft race boat), on the horizon. Norddeutsche pulled away from us while we made some repairs, all of which are holding really well. Today we hope to reel Norddeutsche in and close the gap.”

Lawrence concluded: “It’s great fun out here now so let’s just hope the wind, currently at 32 knots, holds in this direction.”