Francis Joyon’s 60ft trimaran led the fleet away from Cowes and she has led them into Plymouth as the first to finish in this year’s Rolex Fastnet Race

Eure et Loir has finished first in the Rolex Fastnet Race. Despite conditions that were less than helpful, Joyon and his all-star crew, including Rodney Pattisson and Thomas Coville, have zipped around the 608-mile course just two hours slower than race record holder Fujicolor.

Eure et Loir, monitored from several miles offshore, crossed the finish line six seconds before 1030 this morning, giving her an overall time of 1d 18h 19m 54s and an average speed of 14.36 knots.

“It was a great race with no serious problems,” said Pattisson. “Sadly we had to beat all the way to Lands End but were surprised that we might even break the record. It went light at Bishop Rock and so we realised we didn’t have much hope. We can always try again.”

Out on the track motoring magnate Giovanni Agnelli’s 92ft Stealth crept around the Fastnet Rock at 0137 this morning, six hours behind the victorious trimaran. Just an hour behind her are the two maxi entries, Hasso Plattner’s 82ft Morning Glory, stuffed to the gunwhales with Team NZ crew, and Ludde Ingvall’s 79ft Nicorette with Shirley Robertson onboard for her first Fastnet.

Next the VO60s are engaged in their own private battle with Jez Fanstone’s News Corp topping the table at the moment. Roy Heiner’s Assa Abloy had closed significantly overnight to challenge News Corp but Assa Abloy lost 15 minutes when a shark wrapped itself around her rudder. Problems with the main halyard thereafter cost her more time and all in all, Heiner reckons he is three-and-a-half miles further back thanks to bad luck.

Stealth is expected around 2100 tonight with the first VO60 – News Corp at present – expected a couple of hours later.

Catherine Chabaud’s Lombard design open 60 Whirlpool is still leading the Open 60 class and Catherine will be keen to pull something special out of the bag in her final year of ocean racing.