The Atlantic stage of the BMW Round Ireland Race has started to bring relief at last to the 43 boat fleet after more than 36 hours of constant pounding by headwind conditions.
On the water leader is 02 Team Spirit skippered by David NIXON from Howth and the 60 footer is currently crossing Galway Bay in a time that matches the 1998 course record.
The majority of the fleet are located along the south and south-west coasts, passing the Fastnet Rock.
At the first official check-in point, Cork entry Minnie the Moocher, one of the smallest entries was leading overall with GBR entry, the Mark MILLS designed DK 46 Fidessa Fastwave placed second - both results calculated on corrected handicap time that determines the overall race winner.
Lighter winds than expected are hampering progress according to the Navigator Ian MOORE on Calyx Voice & Data, an Irish small boat pre-race favourite.
The crew on the 32 foot Dun Laoghaire boat are pleased however to have a more comfortable point of sail as they race north to try and catch the bigger front-runners.
Full positions are available on the event website at the address below.