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Morning Race Report - Tuesday 24th August

UK Keelboat Academy's TP52, John Merricks II. Photo: RORC/Rick TomlinsonAfter yesterday's dramatic start, the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race is well under way. At 0800 this morning, all of the yachts racing had passed through the Straits of Dover and turned northwards into a westerly breeze of 15-20 knots, giving them a fast sleigh-ride up the Suffolk coast. This morning, there was the added luxury of clear skies and bright sunshine, in contrast to the wet and wild start. No doubt the hundreds of competitors in this epic challenge will be taking the opportunity to dry out wet weather gear this morning.

News in from ICAP Leopard is that the goose-neck fitting, attaching the boom to the mast, was the reason for their retirement.
"After a great fast start and only two hours into the race, we were obviously bitterly disappointed in not being able to continue in this fantastic race. The boom failure left us with no option but to retire, everything is now in order and we are making our way back to Southampton." Message from ICAP Leopard received: 17:30 Monday 23.08.10

Averaging over 18 knots, Volvo Open 70, Telefonica Azul, are smoking along and leading the race for line honours. But Groupama, the French flyer, is only seven miles astern. After their delayed start, Groupama are making a bold move inshore, which looks to be paying off. Johnny Malbon, skippering IMOCA 60 Artemis, is following their line as they approach Lowestoft.

The British Keelboat Academy's TP52, John Merricks II, had a fantastic start yesterday and this morning, they are leading the race overall under IRC. Tony Lawson's young team, on Class 40 Concise 2, had a blistering start and they have opened up a lead of over 30 miles on their class rivals, South African entry Phesheya-Racing.

The two sailing school entries from Sailing Logic are both top of the class this morning. Philippe Falle's Reflex 38, Visit Malta Puma, and Peter Robson's First 40.7, Playing Around Logic, lead IRC One and Two respectively.

The two-handed entry, Luca Zoccoli's Ostar 35, In Direzione Ostinata e Contraria, is making good speed. Averaging 10 knots over the ground, the Italians have 1641 miles to go. If they maintain that speed, they will finish the course in a week, but as the competitors have already experienced; there are many twists and turns to one of the most challenging races in the world.

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