Sharp stays competitive
PHIL SHARP was in a fight to hold on to second place in the 2018 Drheam Cup yesterday after rounding Fastnet Rock in Ireland within touching distance of the lead.
The Jerseyman, who left La Trinite in Brittany earlier this week, is now on the return leg to France in his second Class 40 Championship event of the season. Having past the Cornish coast, he is expected to reach the finish line in Cherbourg late this evening, surrounded by a number of newer vessels which – on paper at least – are significantly faster.
‘I can’t believe how tight the racing is still,’ he said.
‘[Tuesday] night was a very wild night… It felt particularly wild because of the super slow start to the race. Racing in these conditions is totally exhilarating – the boats really come alive and start screaming down waves, and just go faster and faster. I had one massive broach where the boat laid flat on its side.
‘Right now I am close reaching with the boat, and unfortunately for me, this is where the new boats shine. They are incredibly fast on this angle, I was literally just behind [leader] Yoann Richomme on Veedol at the Fastnet, and since then he has left me for dead.
‘I don’t have much control over the rankings on this leg, so currently my objective is damage minimisation and to sail as hard as I possibly can to try not to lose any places. However, I have Aina [Aymeric Chappellier, third place] breathing down my neck.’
The Drheam Cup is being used by many as preparation for this season’s Championship finale – the Route du Rhum, from St Malo to Guadeloupe in the Caribbean.