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Advantage inshore on Irish Sea chess match

Tom Dolan (Smurfit Kappa-Kingspan) upwind photo Alexis Courcoux

At 0900hrs this Monday morning the leaders on Stage 2 are just offshore between Rosslare and Wexford after a very slow, difficult night, Leader is Hugo Dhallenne (YC Saint Lunaire) who took the initiative to stay inshore, close to the coast out of the current, Basile Bourgnon (EDENRED) is best of the group which stayed out offshore but tacked back just before dawn this morning. They seem to have lost out a lot and Bourgnon is 11 miles astern of Dhallene. The lead group are in decent breeze making about six knots. Switzerland’s Nils Palmieri (Teamwork) is the best international in fifth, 2.5 miles ahead of Tom Dolan (Smurfit Kappa-Kingspan) who is tenth. With a better forecast than expected it seems probable the longer course – to Chicken Rock, SW of the Isle of Man – will be set.

“There was one major stop in the late evening when the high pressure ridge spread north again to trap the fleet. In the south of the ridge there was a NE’ly flow which allowed them to get going at around 0100hrs in the morning. There were two possible choices – complicated and not at all simple – there were those who went east because the weather files predicted a shift to the right but with more current, or to stay on the coast in less current but with the risk of less wind, and getting the right shift later. In the end the wind was more north and so very left, and the right shift never really came.” Explained Yann Chateau, Race Director this morning.

They said: Charlotte Yven (Skipper MACIF 2023): “We were treated to a magnificent sunset followed by a beautiful moonrise. And so a great first evening, despite the calm. But that’s part of the game. We kind of expected it. At the last ranking I was in the lead. I just followed my wind, I positioned myself roughly where I wanted to be. I'm pretty happy with my course, I just turned around. We have 12-13 knots of wind upwind; Things are progressing well, and we can head north towards the tip of Ireland. The current remains an important factor, especially since the wind is not very strong. The tide is such an important part of this climb up to the mark.”