08.08.17 @10:00 BST
Class 40 Position: 1st
“After yesterday afternoon’s unstable and light sailing conditions it is good to be back into some decent breeze this morning, even if we are pounding upwind once more.
“It has been unbelievably close racing at the front of the Class 40 fleet, and the battle is really on between us and the boats to the north; Campagne de France and V&B, who seem to have taken a riskier option where the forecast winds are appearing quite unreliable. Currently it is very difficult to predict who is going to come out of top, even though we are in the lead now.
“Life sailing upwind at a constant tilt is never too comfortable, particularly sleeping. There is only one bunk to windward so if a second person is asleep out of 4 crew members (2 on watch, 2 off), the second wedges himself between the structure of the boat to stop him falling from the high side. Quality sleep outside on the deck is difficult and now that we are out into the Celtic Sea it’s too cold.
“We are pushing every fraction of a knot out of the boat, and due to reach the Fastnet Rock at about 1900 UTC today. We can’t wait as it means no more upwind, and instead a very fast downwind blast under spinnaker. So lots to look forward to!” Phil Sharp, Skipper of Class 40 Imerys