Artemis still leads, medical evacuation from Puma Logic 9/8/06

At 0400 hours last night, Sara Stanton (27) from the Reflex 38 – Puma Logic – was taken off the boat by the Newlyn Inshore Lifeboat with a stomach upset suspected to be gastroenteritis. The team had been monitoring the situation since the start of the Sevenstar Round Britain & Ireland Race on Monday evening and had taken medical advice that had suggested the ‘bug’ would pass and that the experienced sailor would be able to complete the course.

However, having monitored the situation closely over the last 24-36 hours, and with the Celtic Sea approaching, the sensible decision of ‘safety first’ was taken by Puma Logic’s skipper, Philippe Falle, to contact the Falmouth Coastguard and transfer Sara ashore for further rest and medical attention. The yacht diverted to the Penzance coastline and the crew-member is now safe and well in the West Cornwall Hospital. The condition was said to be not life-threatening and the remaining crew of Puma Logic are back in the race on their way to Land’s End. Puma Logic and the RORC would like to thank the Falmouth Coastguard and the RNLI for a highly professional transfer and would further like to praise the medical services for their swift response to the situation.

Meanwhile, Robert Lutener and Martin Elwood’s Cutting Edge on Venom has been forced to retire from the Sevenstar Round Britain & Ireland Race following a torn mainsail. A spokesperson for the team commented: “Last night the main sail ripped across the middle, and although the chaps have sewn it back up the decision has been made to retire from the race as they do not believe the repair will hold in any sort of wind.” Skipper Derek Saunders is planning to stop in Dartmouth tonight for a beer and then head back to Cowes, arriving sometime Thursday afternoon. All the crew are safe and well but very disappointed obviously.

At the front of the fleet however, it’s been a night of fast reaching towards the Fastnet Rock with the Open 60 Artemis Ocean Racing, skippered by Jonny Malbon leading the fleet and managing to put around 11 miles of distance on second place Jean-Philippe Chomette’s Nacira 60, Solune. Ger O’Rourke’s Kingspan-Chieftain cemented her place overnight in third place some 25 miles ahead of Piet Vroon’s Formidable 3 who is heading the chasing pack.

The changing conditions from light easterlies in the Channel to moderate northerlies have meant that competitors are starting to put away their bikinis and swim-shorts in favour of foul weather gear. A text message last night from the ‘5 Girls in a Boat’ – Ilex of Upnor – an X332, read: “We spent most of the day topping up our tans in bikinis. The main disaster is that we have no mint sauce for our roast lamb dinner but the girls are putting a brave face on it and there have been no tears?yet! However, the GPS has packed up and we’ve managed to tear our new number 2 genoa!”

Over the coming two weeks the RORC will continue to bring daily updates and position reports from the boats highlighting the highs and lows of this premier coastal yacht race. All yachts competing in the Sevenstar Round Britain & Ireland Race have been fitted with a tracking device developed by the RORC in conjunction with OC Technology. Yacht positions will be updated hourly and can be followed on the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s dedicated micro site accessed via