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Celtic Sea Conundrum En Route to Lundy

Published on 07/09/2021

Another regrouping after Land’s End where the strong tides and changeable winds meant the fleet compacted right up, the second group of boats making up a couple of miles. Xavier Macaire (Groupe SNEF) saw his lead disappear and Alexis Loison (Region Normandie) has a tiny lead for the first time along with Pierre Leboucher (Guyot Environnement-Ruban Rose). The leaders look set to go east of the Celtic Sea Power wave hub cluster exclusion zone, while Tom Dolan (Smurfit Kappa-Kingspan) and Pierre Quiroga (Skipper Macif 2019) are more to the west but the breeze is heading all the time. The Irish skipper Dolan is up to fourth.

Tom Dolan (Smurfit Kappa-Kingspan) : “There was little wind and a lot of current and everyone restarted, one after the other. I made a bad start and spent a long time catching up. With light winds and a lot of current I catch up and then it restarts. I had a bad start to race and then was not quick going across the Channel I was nearly last. I have a good idea of what I want to do now (going out to Lundy) with the wind backing and strengthening and the current. I am just looking to get to Lundy with the group.”

Xavier Macaire (Groupe SNEF): “ I had a good lead at the end of the night, unfortunately it just melted away because we were against the tide and the wind dropped away. It’s a new start once again! It is spectacular because it is so tight again. We ended up with about 20 boats side to side after me having a 2.5 mile lead passing the cardinal. The current against us will last another two or three hours, we are at the height of the tidal coefficient. You have to be calm, I hadn’t envisioned a calm here. It’s unexpected for me, you have to stay calm, the race starts again from there, I have to keep doing a good job. In terms of the current we should be close to the coast, you get stuck there stuck with lights winds, so we have to go offshore. Close to the land it’s very erratic, very soft. It seems to be betters offshore at the moment. There is high land on the coast it’s quite high, quite impressive as a landscape, it’s really majestic, very beautiful but very problematic for us racing. “

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