Light winds make for a stressful final slog to Calais Round Britain and Ireland finish line 14/6/07

The final three boats to finish the Calais Round Britain and Ireland Race including Akena Verandas (Arnaud Boissieres), Cheminées Poujoulat (Bernard Stamm) and Aviva (Dee Caffari) are struggling to reach the Calais finish line after 12 days at sea.

The wind has dropped off again leaving the final trio making not much more than a knot of headway. Caffari at the rear of the fleet is now just 24 miles from the finish but it could be some while before she arrives.

In her last report from the boat Caffari (pictured) said: “…As we reached five miles to go to the Dover] buoy we were still sailing at 8 knots assisted by the tide. Excited by our progress we kept a keen look out for the busy ferries running in and out. At this point the wind died. Only 1 knot of wind couldn’t fill the sails and we dropped our boat speed to zero. Only the current beneath us was making a difference and it took forever to reach the mark.

“Frustrations ran high onboard as we hoped to finish this race this morning as the food stores had been emptied this morning. So at the moment morale is low and we are still sat floating off Dover.”

Alexandre Toulorge on Maisonneuve crossed the finish line at 04h 47´ 21´this morning taking seventh place and Sam Davies and the Roxy team comprising Miranda Merron, Jeanne Gregoire, Alexia Barrier and Sharon Ferris took eighth place at 0630 hours.

The best of the British contingent – Artemis Ocean Racing – finished at 1223 last night claiming sixth place overall. Chatting as he crossed the finish line, skipper Johnny Malbon said: “We are super tired but super happy. The race was pretty difficult, being an old boat in a new fleet but we feel like we have done a good job in the tricky conditions we had.

“There was a lot of tactical and weather analysis, which I was doing full on for the first time by myself! We felt we had to be in the top six to justify a position and it was a big aim but we did it, arriving just 42 minutes after Generali, a brand-new boat, and getting up to third on more than one occasion! Gringo, Paul, Frazer and Gareth are a great bench of people, some really experienced sailors and the atmosphere onboard was fantastic. We didn’t have a single bad word, even when we were going backwards and had to anchor which was a tough test.

“We are pretty happy with everything and to have a bit of time off, but before we are now going to celebrate with the French Generali crew.”