Current position: 1st

“Good morning from Imerys Clean Energy!

“It’s very nice to finally be back in consistent winds after the very light and variable conditions we experienced yesterday…

“Yesterday felt like a bit of a roller-coaster ride, we had some ups and some downs throughout the day rounding the very tricky Isle of Wight. A park-up west in the Solent enabled us to play a bit of catch-up with Aina and Carac, but then at the Needles the wind died completely and we lost complete steerage of the boat – we went where the tide took us! We ended up being carried right over the Shingles Banks with only one metre below the keel! Inside the boat you could actually here the sand on the seabed being stirred up by the current. I can tell you, it was not a relaxing time!

“After losing wind inshore and dropping a lot of places yesterday pm, we were happy to position ourselves a bit further offshore, where last night we had some really nice reaching conditions, first with the spinnaker and then with gennaker. We were actually quite surprised with our speed against the newer Mach 3’s (Aina, V&B, Lamotte) and Lift 40 (Carac), and are making the most of seeing them behind us, whilst Aina is just 300m in front!

“The next leg up to Tuskar Rock looks like it’s going to be upwind and will take some time, taking the best part of 24 hours, and if we can keep our tactics clean I hope we can maintain a strong position. It is going to be a long race, that’s for sure, and we are only just starting to get into a decent rhythm.

“Life on board has been quite fatiguing for Julien and myself with lots of wind changes meaning that we haven’t yet really had a chance to get into a consistent watch system. However we managed to pack in a couple of hours of proper sleep each last night, and are feeling better for it…

“Julien has got to grips really quickly with this boat, despite only sailing the boat once beforehand. In fact to learn the ropes he took a marker pen and wrote the names of every rope in French all over the cockpit! This is helping improve my technical French so I can start to understand what on earth he is shouting about sometimes, which will make sail changes faster in the future for sure! Phil.”