Saturday 22 July 2017

Sailing: Atlantic pursuit under way

An Atlantic pursuit race got under way in the Conway Media Round Ireland Race last night as the front-runners passed the famous Fastnet Rock off West Cork.

Dutch leader Tonnerre de Breskens has managed to evade the favourite for line honours, Rosslare Europort, with its bigger overall length but has struggled in the light winds so far.

That was about to change late last night as the chasing 60-footer also passed the Fastnet in company with Inis Mor, a french owned 39-footer from Clifden.

The Dutch team had opened up a 26-mile lead on the water and was enjoying a better wind angle in preparation for the west coast sleigh ride. But Steve White's Open 60 will also revel in similar conditions and should reel in the Dutch team over the next 240 miles to the north coast.

At this pace, the first finishers may reach Wicklow sometime tomorrow night.

In the two-handed division where eight boats are contesting both that class and the overall IRC handicap prize, Mick Liddy and Mark Pollock were suffering similar slow speed issues due to the headwinds.

Their lead depends on staying further and further ahead of their smaller rivals such as Psipsina and Dinah, both smaller boats with lower handicaps.

Irish Independent

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