Ellen MacArthur aided by British Americas Cup sailors Ian Walker and Simon Fry fought hard with Sill skipper Roland Jourdain in both the one hour long windward leeward races
Racing under grey skies and winds that freshened from 15 to 25 knots as the afternoon drew on, first blood went to Ellen's sparing partner Jourdain (Jourdain finished one place behind Ellen in both the Transat Europe 1 New Man Star and Vendee Globe) with Kingfisher close on his heals.
"It was fantastic to be back out on Kingfisher" said Ellen, "Although a little strange to have 6 people there with me racing a boat inshore that was designed to be offshore for one person. This brings a whole new set of Challenges and it was a good day for learning and great to see that Speedo touch 20 knots once again!
Ian Walker of GBR Challenge for the Amercias Cup commented on the day's racing, "I've never spent so much time on the bow before and I never want to do it again! It was a tough first day for us to learn how to sail these boats but it was great to get out there, I realise why they prefer to sail downwind to upwind. At times we felt under crewed and I have to ask myself how Ellen managed to Gybe in 40knots on her own"
The conditions from this evening have been forecast to freshen to gale force, however the fleet will leave for the next race just before sunset for an overnight offshore race to Shoreham (West Sussex)