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IRC European Championship - Beneteau Firsts first

 
Once again the two FAST 40+s, Michael Bartholomew's former GP42 Tokoloshe II and James Neville's HH42 Ino XXX led the charge, with the faster Tokoloshe II sailing to her rating to win the race overall.

Yesterday's round the cans winner, Robert Bicket's Club Swan 42 Fargo, ended up third with Gallivanter fourth.

Sadly today's racing didn't go well for everyone and Andy Williams' Ker 40 Keronimo in particular suffered with a bad spinnaker wrap on the first run, followed by a low tide grounding on Egypt Point within sight of the finish.

Both keel and rudder struck solidly and tonight Keronimo is out of the water being surveyed for damage at Hamble Yacht Services.

King 40s and Beneteau-built First 40s are quite different boats but were travelling at near identical speeds around the IRC Two course in today's conditions.

Ultimately La Réponse won the race by one minute seven seconds from her sistership, despite a last ditch attempt at distraction tactics by Wishart's crew on Adventurer.

At the end of day four she trails the IRC Two leader Nifty by just two points.

The two horse race in IRC Three is in danger of becoming a three horse one, with Michael Mollmann's X-37 Hansen having a difficult day, scoring a 12th, despite a worthy effort at a port tack start.

This result the Danish team has immediately thrown now that the first discards have come into play. Meanwhile IRC Three had another winner today in the French First 40.7 Pen Koent of Emmanuel Le Men and his crew from Val-André in northern Brittany.

J Lance 12 had managed to edge in front at the Hampstead Ledge weather mark and finished second overall, but tonight continues to lead IRC Three by two points from Hansen.

In the Commodores' Cup the Celtic Team, comprising Adventurer, Shaitan and Keronimo is still leading, but whether this continues remains in the balance, dependent upon the extent of the damage to Keronimo and whether/how quickly she can be repaired after her grounding.

Thursday the IRC European Championship fleet will be sailing a race round the Isle of Wight. This will be on an anti-clockwise course scheduled to start at 0900.

However the forecast indicates this coinciding with winds gusting to 30+ knots.

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