Edmond de Rothschild 10 miles from the finish
After setting out from Cowes at midday on Sunday, the MOD Edmond de Rothschild is set to complete the 600-mile course of the Rolex Fastnet Race this Tuesday morning. However, after a second bracing night, making headway downwind across the Celtic Sea, conditions are conspiring to hamper their progress as the sailors are having to negotiate a zone of calm on the approach to Plymouth. At the 0830 GMT position report, Gitana XV was 9 miles from the finish, making just 2 knots of boat speed. As such Sébastien Josse and Charles Caudrelier are having to grin and bear it as they try to inch the one-design towards the finish line.

Aboard the trimaran fitted out by Baron Benjamin de Rothschild, Yann Riou described the final hours of racing this morning:

“A final night slipping along under gennaker. Initially, in a steady wind of around twenty knots, enabling high speeds to be racked up, then in an easing light breeze on the approach to Plymouth. As such it was a rather pleasant night for Sébastien and Charles, though they’ve had to battle against the sleep and fatigue accumulated during the initial twenty-four hours of racing. And it’s out of the question to lose focus… The reasons for this were initially due to sailing a multihull at high speeds, which doesn’t excuse the slightest discrepancy, and also because we crossed tacks with a few monohulls competing in the race and also making headway towards the Fastnet, not to mention the traffic and fishing around the Scilly Isles and offshore of Cornwall. Just a few miles from the finish, at daybreak, Edmond de Rothschild powers along at 18 knots on flat seas. On the helm, the fatigue is written on Sébastien’s face. The moment of the watch rotation arrives. Charles, a little more rested, puts in an appearance on deck. A short briefing ensues and Sébastien disappears into the cabin. A quick glimpse at the nav’, and into the bunk! Outside, Charles is busying himself with the trimming. The wind is gradually dying away: “It’s white up ahead!” And here we are, virtually at a standstill a dozen miles or so from the goal. Our navigation software, which was predicting an arrival in an hour’s time a while ago, is now displaying four hours… The last few miles may take a while yet.”

Track proceedings at: http://fastnet.rorc.org/2013-fleet-tracking.html

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