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Normandy Channel Race - Sharp and Manuard lead into Channel

Briton's Phil Sharp and teammate Sam Manuard of France had the honour of being the first to make it back into the English Channel.Phil Sharp and Sam Manuard -

They had a slender 5-mile lead over the Spaniards on Talès II, who were quick to make up ground on the Anglo-French pairing.

The trio of leaders were offered up the tricky task of slaloming between the three Traffic Separation Schemes (TSS), zones which are forbidden to sail in to the East and West of the Scilly Isles, off the south-west tip of England.

Imerys (Phil Sharp - Sam Manuard), Talès II (Pablo Santurde - Fidel Turienzo) and Solidaires en Peloton - ARSEP (Thibaut Vauchel Camus - Fred Duthil) each chose a different option to negotiate this chicane in a light north-westerly breeze.

Some 215 miles from the goal now, Imerys will have to tackle the English Channel with little breeze, before a steadier north-westerly wind punches in.

Clearly there is still everything to play for with around 24 hours till the conclusion of this action-packed Normandy Channel Race off Ouistreham.

ETA: 04:00 GMT on Friday for the front runners, 14:00 GMT for the bulk of the fleet and Saturday at 16:00 for the last boat.

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