Close-fought battle for lead in Tall Ships Race

The Tall Ships’ Races 2008 got off to a flying start yesterday as the race got under way just off the northern coast of Northern Ireland. The Royal Navy provided three start vessels for the race team, including HMS Mersey who will now be following the fleet all the way to Maløy in Norway. On board is the race communications team who will be contacting the fleet twice a day for updates.

The first morning report, conducted this morning at 0600 GMT (0700 local time), saw Christian Radich (Norway) leading the fleet on corrected time, with fellow Norwegian ships, Statsraad Lemhkuhl and Sorlandet in second and third respectively both in Class A and overall. On the water Mir (Russia) is leading having already passed the first waypoint, with Christian Radich and Dar Mlodziezy not far behind.

Jolie Brise (UK) is in the lead in Class B, Black Diamond of Durham (UK) is leading Class C and Urania (Netherlands) is leading the Class D.

As well as the race for the lead of the race overall, there are a number of other battles taking place, notably between the three Norwegian Class A ships, but also in Class C with three UK vessels.

Winds are continuing in a favourable direction helping some of the fleet average around 10 knots. The next update will be posted on the Sail Training International website at around 1930 GMT.

To view the fleet tracking online, visit: the Tall Ships Races website