Ludde Ingvall’s team, competing in the Rolex Fastnet Race on the super maxi CQS, rounded the Fastnet Rock at 06:25 this morning, second on line honours, and turned for the run back to the finish in Plymouth. They reported soon after rounding the famous rock, off the south west coast of Ireland, they were sailing at 14 knots in 15 knots of wind.
The breeze has been fairly consistent all night, and they have maintained their advantage over Nikata, and are looking forward to a fast downwind ride back to the finish.
Speaking from onboard, Kiwi helmsman Chris Dickson commented just before they rounded, “we’ve had a great night on CQS, we’ve got Nikata tucked away safely behind us, we’ve got the Fastnet Rock directly ahead, the sun’s about to come up, and we’re ready to put the spinnaker up and go for home.”
While CQS still trails the American yacht Ramble 88 in the battle for line honours, the conditions for the leg back to Plymouth look much more suitable for Ludde’s high tech boat, and they hope to start reeling in the Americans.
With the breeze forecast to stay in the north for most of the next 24 hours, CQS should be able to fly her massive spinnaker and deploy her foils, at least until they turn east at the Bishop Rock lighthouse.
The team will also have to weave their way through the whole fleet behind them, over 350 boats, still on their way to the rock. Once back in the English Channel there will also be two tide gates to negotiate, at the Lizard Head, and Dodman point.
The current estimated time of arrival in Plymouth is approximately 09:00 on Wednesday morning.