Since exiting the Solent yesterday afternoon, the Normandy Channel Race fleet has been merrily zigzagging its way along the south coast of England towards Wolf Rock lighthouse with the back runners now around 70 miles shy of the head of the pack. Still leading the way westwards with the tide in their favour for the next five hours, albeit in little breeze, Antoine Carpentier and Nicolas Groleau aboard Redman (161) are still being closely tailed by two duos who earned their stripes on the Mini 6.50 circuit, Ian Lipinski and Julien Pulvé on Crédit Mutuel (158) and the Swiss pairing of Valentin Gautier and Simon Koster aboard Banque du Leman (159).
And so the tactical battle continues to rage throughout the fleet, which this morning extends from around 10 miles East of Falmouth to about 23 miles East of Start Point. The skippers are currently making headway in a light wind as they prepare to negotiate a stormy low pressure system providing a somewhat unpredictable scenario for today’s sailing programme. The top trio will have to negotiate the legendary Lizard peninsula over the course of today, with Land’s End 50 or 60 nautical miles or so ahead of their bows. As such, the next passage mark of Wolf Rock is some time off yet and the skippers will be hoping to make the most of the favourable tide to make as much westing as possible. This tricky series of obstacles will likely see some different options opening up according to the conditions at any one time so there are sure to be some winners and losers in the race to get around the south-west tip of England.
Several exchanges between Race Management and the Jobourg MRCC have confirmed that no competitor has entered the Casquets TSS (Traffic Separation Scheme).
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