Mike Slade's mission for another race record is behind schedule, but more wind is predicted

Having rounded the Fastnet Rock at 07:30 yesterday ICAP Leopard is leading the BMW Round Ireland Yacht Race. Mike Slade’s quest for the race record, however, is a little behind schedule as she needs to better 11 knots of boat speed. She has averaged just over 9 knots over the first 24 hours.

In second place on the water but in first position on handicap is Dutch entry Formidable 3 skippered by Piet Vroon, closely followed by the other Super 0 boat, Lee Overlay Partners. In second place on handicap is Aodhan Fitzgerald sailing Ireland West ahead of previous race winner George Radley on VSOP. Current holder of the race title, Cavatina, skippered by two times winner Eric Lisson is in ninth place.

Of the 46 entrants in the 2008 BMW Round Ireland, only 41 managed to cross the start line at midday on Sunday, mostly due to damage caused by the severe weather experienced on the east coast. Since the start a further three boats, Legally Brunette, Inis Mor and Mighty Max, have been forced to retire from the race.

Mumbo.ie, sailed by Patrick Cronin and John Chambers, is first in the Two-Handed class, with second and third places filled by Slingshot and Jalfrezi. Sailing non-stop for anything from 3 to 9 days in the race is a relentless test of endurance and seamanship, particularly for those who have entered the Two Handed class.

With Met Eireann predicting up to gale force 8 conditions on the west and north coasts everything is still wide open for a record-breaking attempt and an exciting finish to the overall handicap competition.

For more information, visit www.roundirelandyachtrace.ie