A fading wind and heavy rain slowed the progress of Ludde Ingvall and his team on CQS in the Rolex Fastnet Race on their first night at sea. The 100 foot super maxi had the benefit of a favourable tide for most of the night, as they sailed west down the English Channel.
At 09:00 BST this morning CQS was approaching Land’s End, the south western most tip of England, and assessing their strategic options for crossing the Celtic Sea to the Fastnet Rock, off the south west coast of Ireland.
As they approached the famous promontory, that marks the end of the English mainland, the breeze dropped to just 4 knots, but they were in a tight race with the 115 foot Nikata, and narrowing the gap with Ramble 88.
The team are expecting to deploy their huge code zero headsail as they round Land’s End, and strike out across the Celtic Sea. They will initially turn north to avoid an exclusion zone, which is designed to keep the fleet out of the busy shipping lanes.
Also in close company with CQS, at this stage of the race is the IMOCA 60 SMA, one of the very high tech boats that are sailed in the Vendee Globe single-handed race around the world.
The breeze is expected to stay light, less than 10 knots, for most of the day, with an increase likely late this afternoon or early evening. These conditions should suit CQS, with her narrow waterline and low wetted surface area.