Just in from Phil aboard Imerys Clean Energy

Position: 1st / Distance to finish: 763 nm

“It was incredible after the start how everyone fanned out with different strategies, and Carac and Tales II basically disappeared east over the horizon in the first hour. I was pretty worried about them until I recently downloaded positions to see they were behind. I think they will struggle to make up ground today as they are effectively now upwind of us and so will have to gybe more than us to get to Gijon.

“Although we have had flat seas and fairly light winds over the first night of the race, the wind has been very unstable and constantly shifting which means it has been very difficult to get any rest.

“Currently we have the spinnaker up sailing in 6-7 knots of breeze, but with wind shifts of up to 40 degrees. Each time I seem to go below to take a rest, the spinnaker collapses, which means I have to quickly rush back on deck to re-trim the boat, and each time it is valuable distance lost! Due to these conditions it has been tricky to manage both eating and sleeping.

“I currently have Aina and All in for the Rhum just one mile behind me. I managed to put a couple of miles on them during the night, but recently they have taken some distance back, which could mean that they are in more wind. It is great fun to have a battle like this evolving, even though it is intense and highly fatiguing!

“The weather will give us some good downwind conditions to Spain, but tonight could be really tricky as we converge with Spanish coast as the wind is set to drop almost completely… This could be a very long race!

“All is well onboard. There are currently a lot of dolphins swimming around the boat just now. As I write this from inside Imerys Clean Energy, I can hear the high pitch squealing they make – maybe they are asking for some food, but they are not getting mine – it is far too valuable!  Myself – I am both tired and hungry… breakfast up next!”