Tony Bullimore and his Team Legato crew are hoping for a favourable window in the weather early this morning that will allow them to set sail for Barcelona in readiness for the start of THE RACE on December 31.
After waiting a week for the recent huge storms to subside, Bullimore is optimistic that they will be able to pass through the lock at Avonmouth and head out into the Bristol Channel at around 06.15 UTC Thursday. "It's been very frustrating, particularly for the crew who have been itching to get going on our 2,500 mile proving trial since last Thursday, but the winds have been up to 80knots."
Conditions remain far from ideal. The Weather Centre at Bracknell are forecasting force 5-6 winds from the SW until later in the day when they are due to swing round to the NW. "We will start out by hugging the Welsh coast under engines, then set some sail when the winds change. Hopefully, we will be able to make Lands End on one tack."
The 102ft Nigel Irens design will then head for Falmouth to drop off a camera crew and then continue south across the infamous Bay of Biscay and down to the Mediterranean. Bullimore and his crew hope to reach Barcelona around December 19.
Meanwhile, further north, Team Philips is still afloat in the Atlantic. Team Philips Mission Control are still in satellite contact with the boat. She is afloat approximately 650 miles West of Ireland but the team is unaware as to whether she has sustained any further damage.
Salvage plans are being formulated the team is currently seeking a suitable vessel to tow Team Philips back to the UK. The vessel has to be able to sustain the Atlantic weather, sail for at least 2,000 miles without refuelling, tow Team Philips and be away for approximately 20 days.