Sailing: Team Daft hot on Tonnerre's tail
Piet Vroon's Dutch entry Tonnerre de Breskens holds a narrow lead over the biggest racing boat in the Round Ireland race as the leaders reach the north coast this morning.
However, the downwind capabilities of both 60-footer Rosslare Europort and 40-footer Team Daft started to pay dividends last night as the pursuit of Tonnerre intensifies.
Although Vroon's boat is a new Ker designed 46-footer, the larger boat should, in theory, have over-taken it much sooner, but has been dogged by light headwinds since Sunday's start. But last night saw Steve White's boat hit higher speeds as winds freshened off Donegal.
The overall race is decided on IRC corrected handicap time and Inis Mor is currently listed as the provisional leader.
The tidal gate at Rathlin stands between success and failure for the fleet should winds fall light on the north coast. Round Ireland crews are frequently obliged to anchor if strong tides run against them and this causes losses on the clock.