Three dismastings and a quarter of the Rolex Fastnet Race fleet have now retired, Elaine Bunting reports

Some 61 yachts of 271 starters in the Rolex Fastnet Race have retired this morning, with more coming in all the time, according to the RORC race office.

Three yachts were dismasted during the night: Andrew Bird’s J105 Jambalaya; US sailor James Place Thompson’s Swan 47 Ariel and Nick Barlow’s Prima 38 Oz Privateer, dismasted south-west of the Eddystone during the early hours. All requested assistance. Jambalaya has been towed into Salcombe by the Salcombe lifeboat.

The RORC also reported numerous minor injuries, mainly bumps and bruises, and widespread seasickness.

The problems overnight were more to do with the rough sea state than with wind strength, says the RORC. This first gale has already passed over the race leaders. There are reports of 10-15 knots at Land’s End and 15 knots from the north-east at the Fastnet Rock, but storm force north-westerlies will kick in tonight or early tomorrow.

We will update news throughout the day.