At their current ballistic pace, Musandam - Oman Sail's estimated finish will be at 10:24 BST, Thursday 14th August. The MOD 70, skippered by Frenchman Sidney Gavignet, is two hours inside the course record set by Banque Populaire 5 in 2011 of 3 days 3 hours, 49 minutes, 14 seconds.
Sidney Gavignet contacted the RORC Media team at 1000 this morning, just 100 miles from the top of the course, having raced approx. 600 miles in 24 hours.
"Right now the wind speed is 20 knots from 230 degrees, Jan Dekker is at the helm and the boat speed is 30 knots," commented Sidney Gavignet. "We blew out our old J1 yesterday, so we have to be very careful with our J2. Record or no record, we try to be gentle with this lady but she is strong. This morning I can see that the crew are starting to get a bit tired but they are doing fine. Sami (Al Shukaili) and Yassir (Al Rahbi) are having an amazing experience and even Jan Dekker says that it is a long time since he has experienced such a high speed for so long. Last night, the sea state was a bit rough so we had to slow down but the night is short at this time of the year and there was a big moon. The night made me reminisce about my last race around the course alone."
With the fast reaching conditions experienced so far, the battle for the overall win for the 20 yachts racing under IRC is looking like it will favour the light displacement carbon fibre flyers. Andrew Budgen and Fred Schwyn's Volvo 70, Monster Project, has been in pole position since the last update and remains so. Monster Project gybed offshore shortly before sunset yesterday to open up a 40 mile lead on the water from Brian Thompson's IMOCA 60, Artemis-Team Endeavour.
Monster Project has been having a tremendous battle with Volvo Ocean 65 Team SCA. Team SCA gybed offshore yesterday at 1630 BST past the entrance to the Thames Estuary but the move didn't pay off. By Lowestoft, Monster Project had pulled out a 30 mile lead on the all-female team. However, Team SCA fought back taking on Monster Project in an all-night gybing duel and by 0800 BST Team SCA was 3 miles ahead of Monster Project.