Oyster boss Richard Matthews is en route to the Cape Verdes after his Oyster 72 was dismasted in the ARC yesterday

Richard Matthews and his crew on the Oyster 72 Oystercatcher XXV are motoring to the port of Mindelo in the Cape Verde Islands after being dismasted early yesterday morning. None of the crew, which includes Harold Cudmore, was injured.

Oystercatcher was one of the more southerly ARC yachts at the time, in a position to the west of the island of Santo Antão. She is expected to arrive in Mindelo on the adjacent island of São Vicente later today.

According to reports from the ARC organisers, Mindelo has seen ‘a steady stream of arrivals’ as yachts divert to take on extra fuel after an exceptionally light winds start to the rally. However, the tradewinds breeze was beginning to kick in to the west of the Cape Verdes, as is reported by other ARC yachts finally managing to rack up better daily runs surfing downwind.

The situation has been much less pleasant for some of the boats that took the northerly route. Beneteau 57 Charliz reported 25 to 35 knots of southerlies on the fringes of tropical storm Delta. ‘We avoided a few squalls last night, but still got very wet?with sea water. Two reefs in main and small amount of genoa are producing 8.5 knots,’ they commented.

The leading yacht, Round Ireland record holder Jean-Philipppe Chomette in his Nacra 60 Solune, was holding a middle course and has been making good speeds despite strong headwinds. Her current distance to go of under 1,500 miles suggests that she will finish by next weekend, but outside the current ARC record of 11 days 13 hours.