Sharp gets Imreys’ nose in front after Lands End

DEFENDING Normandy Channel sailing race champion Phil Sharp was right up in contention as he headed for the Tuskar Rock yesterday evening after a performance with Imerys that surprised and delighted him.

Phil Sharp
Phil Sharp

Sailing with co-skipper Julien Pulvé they held a narrow lead after rounding Land’s End. Said Jerseyman Sharp: ‘After losing wind inshore and dropping a lot of places yesterday afternoon, we were happy to position ourselves a bit further offshore and we had some really nice reaching conditions, first with the spinnaker and then with gennaker.

‘We were actually quite surprised with our speed against the newer Mach 3s (Aina, V&B, Lamotte) and Lift 40 (Carac). We are making the most of seeing them behind us!

‘The leg up to Tuskar Rock looks like it’s going to be upwind and will take some time, maybe the best part of 24 hours, and if we can keep our tactics clean I hope we can maintain a strong position. It is going to be a long race, that’s for sure, and we are only just starting to get into a decent rhythm.’

‘Life on board has been quite fatiguing for Julien and myself with lots of wind changes meaning that we haven’t yet really had a chance to get into a consistent watch system. However, we managed to pack in a couple of hours of proper sleep each last night, and are feeling better for it...

‘Julien has got to grips really quickly with this boat, despite only sailing the boat once beforehand. In fact, to learn the ropes he took a marker pen and wrote the names of every rope in French all over the cockpit! This is helping improve my technical French so I can start to understand what on earth he is shouting about. I should make sail changes faster in the future, for sure’.

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