Spirit of Minerva, with Yachting Monthly photographer Graham Snook onboard, has crossed the finish line of the Rolex Fastnet Race off Plymouth

The Joint Services Command and Staff College entry Spirit of Minerva finished at 0410 this morning, securing fifth in class and winning the Culdrose Trophy in the process.

Graham Snook, Yachting Monthly’s photographer, reported on a dramatic voyage that started with a parted genoa sheet in the Solent. Later, a problem with the stern gland while south of Lyme Bay was spotted before too much water ingressed.

The ride to the Rock was pleasant enough but the return journey was plagued by the same light airs that delayed the big boats yesterday. Later however the breeze returned, as snapper Snook reported yesterday.

“We passed Bishop Rock light at 1530, under spinnaker and making 13 knots in 17 knots of breeze. Great sailing in the sun and we’re cracking open the beers. We heard during the night that our rival’s mainsail split when their boom came off.”

Don’t forget to check back soon to see a selection of Graham’s pictures of the voyage.