The X332 fleet do battle with cruising yachts, while the first IRC Group 1 boats cross the finish line

At 1230 today, the X332 fleet was grouped tightly together along the south coast of the island, having rounded St. Catherine’s Point half-an-hour beforehand. The members of the fleet are following almost identical race strategies, reports Alex Beasley, skipper ofBlue Max. Two-sail reaching eastwards under No.3 genoa and with a single reef in the main, Alex commented thatBlue Maxis making good progress, although he is unsure whether this is because or despite of sharing the helmsmanship between his dinghy-trained crew.

Blue Maxhas not been without her share of setbacks during the race; Alex criticised the cruising sailors who don’t seem to be aware of the port-starboard rule, causingBlue Maxto crash-tack no fewer than three times. She also picked up a floating line around her keel earlier in the day, but successfully managed to sail backwards away from the hazard.

The IRC Group 1 fleet is now starting to cross the finish line. First over the water wasVenomwith an elapsed time of 5 hours 10 minutes, with first place on handicap currently awarded toBear of Britain. Top favourite for winning IRC Group 1,Leopard of London, has retired from the race due to broken runners.

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