A tactical channel hop

 

A tactical channel hop

The start of the race yesterday saw the Class 40’s latest additions gain the edge in the drag race out of the starting blocks. This was the case for the likes of Redman (161), Banque du Leman (159) and Crédit Mutuel (158), the first three Class40s to round the first course mark to the south-west of the Saint-Marcouf islands, though having to punch tide in the easing wind conditions radically reshuffled the cards. As they launched into their channel hop, the boats with a scow bow, which have less of an advantage in the present conditions out on the racetrack, saw the older Class40s like Tales 2 (123), Vogue avec un Crohn (135) and Fondation Sextant / Amiral Gestion (134) make up the lost ground and reposition themselves in the peloton.

After a night punctuated by tactical repositioning right across the board, the fleet has been embroiled in some close-contact racing, where close marking of fellow competitors has been key. The head of the fleet is now expected to reach the Isle of Wight at around 10:00 hours GMT before attacking the passage through the Solent over the course of the day. The current at the start of the latter should favour the Normandy Channel Race fleet, before gradually easing and thus enabling the front runners to steal a march in this long tricky section.

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