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31 May 2005, 04:25 pm
Hard First Day At Sea
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Faraday Mill OSTAR 2005

The 35 sailors who left Plymouth Sound on Sunday at the start of the Faraday Mill Original Single Handed Transatlantic Race (OSTAR) are, after their departure in glorious sunshine and light airs, still struggling to make the Atlantic their new home.
The fleet, which since rounding the Eddystone Light and heading west have been experiencing very light winds on what should have been an exciting first night at sea are bunched together, and virtually parked between the Scilly Isles and Lands End. It has been the slowest start to an OSTAR race that the Royal Western Yacht Club can remember and, even though it is beneficial to the skippers to have a gentle getaway to settle down, by now they would prefer to be beating into stronger headwinds synonymous with a west to east transatlantic crossing and what makes the OSTAR such an esteemed race.

However, by this morning, the fleet which is being lead by two of the larger multi-hulls, Roger LANGEVIN on Branec IV closely followed by Anne CASENEUVE on Group Acanthe should be clear of Lands End looking forward to better wind. A depression should mature by the afternoon and set the boats on a faster course to Newport.

For two of the boats though, the race has come to an end with early retirements from one of the favourites Ross HOBSON, whose trimaran Mollymawk suffered a broken daggerboard. HOBSON reluctantly phoned the race office at midday on Monday to let them know he will be returning to Plymouth, great Britain and is expected to arrive in the early hours of the morning.

The other boat, Blue Shadow, who was involved in the early dispute with Chivas III, restarted at 1630 hours local time on Sunday after returning to make repairs but Jacques DEWEZ reported in to say that although there was no structural damage to the boat his communications gear was causing him concern and in the interest of safety would be returning Plymouth.

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