After a short postponement due to towing delays the race got off to a glorious start.
The breeze was up in the teens and the sun was out, most of the fleet favoured the committee boat end of the line with Yannick in the Pogo2 FRA692 nailed a near perfect start and with only a short beat to the first mark, easily held on to his lead, have a look at the photos and videos section of this website to see just how glorious the next leg down the solent was!! Jake is his home designed / home built proto soon powered through and soon overtook Yannick to take the lead. By the eastern end of the Isle of Wight the fleet was still tightly bunched, and even though there seemed to be a bit of a difference of opinion as to whether to go inshore or offshore there was still no real spread front to back.
The best way to see where every body went is to use the slider on the bottom of the tracker screen to take the positions back in time!!
Just before midnight the fleet rounded Needles fairway and headed off into Christchurch bay and on to Poole bar buoy reasonably quickly, here they parked as the wind ran out!!
As they drifted around off Swanage going in circles positions became pretty irrelevant it was all going to be about who found breeze first, Artemis came round the corner towards the front and made a bold move offshore, the following pack stuck closer to the rumb line, this offshore move was to prove disastrous as they re-joined the pack later on at the back!! By this time the fleet were heading towards Portland in very thick fog and minimal breeze and the race was on to make Portland before the tide turned!
Pip Hare in 743 and Jake Jefferis 794 both made it round with fair tide and started to stretch away from the rest as the tide slackened for the middle and turned for the back of the fleet. Luckily by this time the fog had cleared and the breeze was up so the tide only slowed rather than stopped.
The race across Lyme Bay was fairly processional but by now there was a reasonable spread and the inevitable slowing as they reach Start point and the wind fails but still the order remains.