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Sevenstar Round Britain - 52 Knots at Muckle Flugga

 
Seven days into the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race and the majority of the fleet still racing are experiencing full-on conditions around Out Stack at Muckle Flugga.

The most northerly point of the course is at the same latitude as Alaska. Hannah Stodel, skipper of Class40 Region Normandie reported: "52 knots from the south west, we are hanging on in!"

Nineteen teams are still racing in the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race.

Benjamin Schwartz and Chen Jin Hao's Figaro 2 El Velosolex SL Energies Group is the new provisional leader after IRC time correction.

Phil Sharp's Imerys Clean Energy leads the race for line honours chased by Tony Lawson's Concise 8, skippered by Jack Trigger.

The leading Class40s are in big breeze in the North Sea where Phil Sharp's Imerys Clean Energy heads the fleet with 365 miles to go (09:00 BST 18 August).

Concise 8, skippered by Jack Trigger is 29 miles behind. For the moment, the wind is forward of the beam and both combatants are travelling at roughly the same speed.


Hannah Stodel at the helm of Class40 Region Normandie. Even when there's water coming at her from every direction, she's still smiling!

In the Class40 fleet, Charles-louis Mourruau's Class40 Colombre XL (The Lost Boys) is third, and fourth is Aparito, skippered by Elin Haf Davies racing with her husband Chris Frost and Pip Hare.

Elin's blog makes amusing reading. She came late to sailing after playing rugby for Wales A and rowing both the Atlantic and the Indian Ocean:

"I've been getting involved in pulling on ropes and making tea (Mam, you'd be proud!), bailing water and stacking 150kg worth of kit every time we tack or gybe. That's a lot of weight for a desk-based bum like me.

'Tubs' our boat has been gathering pace. At times she's charging ahead like a Welsh prop forward about to score a try in Twickenham - 35kts of wind does that to you!"

El Velosolex SL Energies Group is the new overall leader after IRC time correction.

The French and Chinese duo, racing two handed in the smallest boat in the race, rounded Out Stack at midnight last night.

They will be relishing the prospect of the forecast downwind conditions which will suit the team far more than Giles Redpath's Lombard 46 Pata Negra, which is now second overall, but leading IRC 1.

Ross Applebey's Oyster 48 Scarlet Oyster has been going well through the night and is now up to third overall as the team round Out Stack.

Performance Yacht Racing's First 47.7 EH01, skippered by Gareth Glover, is also rounding the top of the course and is up to third in IRC 2.

In IRC 3 Ian Hoddle's Game On (Virgin Media Business) is leading and set to round Out Stack Saturday morning.

In IRC 4, the only class with no retirements, Charles Emmett and Tim Winsey racing Sigma 36 British Beagle rounded St. Kilda Satyrday morning and is experiencing a building breeze and sea state as the two handed team head north at full hull speed.

Chris Staples Sigma 36 Tantrum Of Langstone is off the wild west coast of Donegal, Ireland.

Charlene Howard's American Sun Odyssey 45.2 AJ Wanderlust is due to round Black Rock later today.

Constructed in 1864, Black Rock Lighthouse is one of Ireland's most remote lighthouses and the most westerly lighthouse off the Mayo Coast.

Retired as at Sat 18 August:
R&W
Campagne de France
Phosphorus II
Phort-y
Oman Sail
Esprit Scout
Bam!
Corum
Azawakh
Joanna of Cowes DNS

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