Vincent Riou and Jean Le Cam continue to fight it out at front of Calais Round Britain and Ireland fleet 7/6/07

Vincent Riou and team on PRB have maintained their lead at the top of the Calais Round Britain and Ireland Race but Jean Le Cam (VM Materiaux) is still fighting every inch of the way – just under three miles astern – to break through. Dominique Wavre on Temenos remains in third a further five miles behind.

Still in a light northerly breeze between 5-10kts the leading trio are just clearing the tip of Ireland (55 22.52′ N, 10 50.00′ W) but will need to keep an eye on the pursuing pack with Johnny Malbon and team on Artemis Ocean Racing now in fourth place and currently making over 9kts of boat speed, despite a keel pin problem yesterday afternoon see previous news story here .

Stamm chatting yesterday said: “The last 24 hours have been difficult for us, we concentrate on making adjustments in the variable wind then we hit a wind hole? we were very below target speeds. However, the regatta is interesting and is far from being finished.”

Fellow British team, Aviva (Dee Caffari) remain in seventh place but have lost about 20 miles over the last 24 hours. Caffari reporting from the boat this morning said: “It was a bitterly cold night with upwind sailing conditions making us realise just how far north we are heading. After much discussion as to when and how the watches work, after four days we have re written them and now have them stored on the computer?.With the weather turning and everyone being keen to stay warm, we are now wearing all our layers of clothes and movement gets a little restricted.”

Nigel King added: “?It’s very close racing and we’re really enjoying it. Our main aim is just to try and stay with the others.”

The leaders are now heading offshore to benefit from the slightly stronger breeze but the prospect of any significant change in conditions looks highly unlikely, at least for the next couple of days, due to the high-pressure zone still situated over Ireland.