The latest arrival into Cherbourg, finishing at 15:22 BST Tuesday afternoon, was the on-the-water leader in the MOCRA class.
American Jason Carroll’s MOD 70 trimaran Argo, which sailed a relatively lonely race after Giovanni Soldini’s near sistership Maserati retired after her exploded winch.
Argo is the first boat in the fleet to take the longer route around the North of the Casquets TSS en route to the Cherbourg finish line.
“That was because we had five knots of tide against us on the final approach,” explained Thompson. “If we had come the other way we would have been VMG running with five knots of tide against us. Another factor was that the wind that was there – 8-10 knots – was up by Start Point.”
“After going around the TSS, we then crossed the worst of the tidal stream [heading south] at high speed.” The last hour was their fastest doing 30 knots, excitingly with 5 knots of tide beneath them.”
Among the IMOCAs, Charlie Dalin and Paul Meilhat on board Apivia continue to hold a monster lead of 45 miles over second-placed Charal, sailed by defending Rolex Fastnet Race champions Jérémie Beyou and Christopher Pratt.
This afternoon Apivia was close to the Cornish coast, just passing the Lizard.
All of the IMOCAs are now around the Fastnet Rock with Clement Giraud and Erik Nigon on board Compagnie Du Lit / Jiliti bringing up the rear, rounding shortly after midday.
The IRC Four front runners this afternoon were half way across the Celtic Sea making around 7.5 knots. Here David le Goff’s JPK 10.10 Raphael continues to lead both on the water and under IRC corrected time from Harry J. Heijst’s S&S 41 Winsome.
Pulling up the field over the course of today have been the JPK 10.10s, the Pinteaux family’s Gioia and British favourites and doublehanded Richard Palmer and Jeremy Thwaite on Jangada.