has secured first place over the water for the monohull classes set the fastest time over the water for a monohull this year, completing the course in 4 hours 42 minutes, 36 minutes short of the record. Racing in the ISC Group A category, their handicap position is by no means secure: when corrected, their time stands at 8 hours 5 minutes!

The race has already seen a broad selection of disasters – on board Sir Robin Knox-Johnston’sSuhaili, Toby Hodges witnessed no fewer than three dismastings, and the lifeboat was called out to free a vessel with a fishing mark caught around the keel. Out in the press boat we also sawProsperoof Hamble being towed back through the fleet with a jury rudder.

A few minutes ago, Toby reported thatSuhailiwas sailing at 4.5kts among the tail-end of the fleet, significantly ahead ofLively Ladybut still with up to two hours sailing needed to reach St. Catherine’s Point. With a fair tide, the heavy teak boat made good time to the Needles and is still doing well, but it will be a some time before Sir Robin’s crew can relax in the Island SC bar.

For more information on the boats mentioned in this article, click here