At 10:30 local time today in Cuxhaven, Germany, the on-shore contact for the yacht One Step Ahead notified DaimlerChrysler North Atlantic Challenge race headquarters that the boat has retired from the race.
One Step Ahead, a Bashford 41 built in 1999, is owned by Hans OSTMEIER and skippered by Kaspar STUBENRAUCH, both of Germany, reported that the onboard electrical system had failed. The boat is currently en route to Great Britain.
The yacht Meltemi, a Comfortina 42 owned by Harald Graf von SAURMAN-JELTSCH of Germany, also retired due to electrical problems on June 29. The crew will continue to Cork, Ireland.
Of the 63 yachts to start the race from Newport, 55 are currently still competing in the 3,600 nautical mile race. Zaraffa is the only boat to finish the race, having done so on June 28.
Aside from these retirements, TEMPEST from Sweden, SNOW LION from the USA, DISCOVERER from the UK, ZUKUNFT from Germany with others in close pursuit continued their close struggle today to round Fair Isle in this epic DaimlerChrysler.
Tempest © Daniel Forster/DCNAC
Shetland Coastguard gave today's weather forecast for Fair Isle: "Wind variable becoming SE 2-3 later increasing 4. By 20.00 tonight the wind is expected to back to NE 2-3, locally 4."
All the yachts will report to Shetland Coastguard by VHF radio as they pass.
In the Atlantic the vigorous low pressure system which gave the fleet heavy weather during recent days, is moving slowly away to the SE, allowing wave heights to reduce and surface winds to ease though fresh to strong NE winds are still being experienced by many boats. The forecast is for winds to back slightly (move anti-clockwise). Boats on port tack this morning will be hoping for a "lift" as the wind direction allows them to head more nearly for Fair Isle.
Britain's TEAM888 - formerly known as Ellen Macarthur's KINGFISHER - has been giving strong competition to their fellow second-start competitor UCA (Klaus MURMANN). TEAM888 skipper Mark DENTON: "We're under grey skies with 25 knots of wind - just had a drama as a halyard broke - we brought it down to re-splice it then hauled Johny MALBON up the mast to replace it. We had to run downwind on 150 degrees while we did this but now we're back in the hunt and keen to get up to Fair Isle. We are having a great race. Keep some cold beer for us in Hamburg!"
Next arrivals in Cuxhaven are expected early Thursday morning.