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A Finish Tonight

Published on 06/06/2019

After four nights at sea competitors this morning have their first sight of the Irish coastline but will probably not turn right at the Fastnet until afternoon, maybe even as late as 1400hrs local. Given the light winds expected for the final 50 miles to the finish at Kinsale, Race Director Frances Le Goff reported that he envisages shortening the course before the fleet enters Kinsale's estuary of the Bandon River.

Le Goff reported this morning, ” It’s lovely this morning, nice cumulus clouds hanging over the Irish coast. Just a little wind, dolphins, pilot whales, seals. It’s an idyllic approach to Ireland but we would prefer more wind. Nothing is won at this stage and that has been the case since the start. The two leaders Yoann Richomme and Pierre Leboucher are almost stopped as we speak this morning. Banque Populaire is going better in the North and might well join the pack in the lead. All these twists are incredible . Even the skippers seem stimulated by it, at least those we spoke to this morning by VHF.

The TSS (to the S and SE of Fastnet) will be less of an influence than Ushant. The group from the west Yann Eliès and Xavier Macaire have restarted are moving to the TSS and Armel and Seacat Services have had wind coming in from the east. But, really anything might happen. We will not give an official ranking at the Fastnet as it would not be very accurate given the size of the light and the Solitaire prizes can be decided by a few seconds. There are eight to 12 knots of wind expected by the afternoon so I am not too worried. We may choose to finish at the Old Head of Kinsale rather than bring the fleet into the bay in a light northerly wind. That last 11 miles could be a bit random and we want to ensure the solution is as fair as possible.”

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