Sharp and crew toughing it out

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JERSEY sailor Phil Sharp will be hoping to have his spinnaker up on Imerys Clean Energy today and make up lost ground in the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland race.

Jersey sailor Phil Sharp aboard Imerys during the Round Britain and Ireland race Picture: PSRacing

Battling to maintain second spot last night, being neck-and-neck with British entry Phor-ty, yesterday was about damage limitation as Class 40 and overall race leader, French yacht Corum, slowly built a near-two-hour advantage as the fleet reached the south west coast of Ireland.

Said Sharp: ‘We had just come out of a night of upwind sailing in a very overcast and grey Celtic sea, playing the shifts as we battled against headwinds trying to seek out any advantage on Corum. As it happened we took different strategies, but it all came together [yesterday] on different tacks, with exactly the same distance as before … evidently it will be hard to shake them off!

‘We had quite strong beam-reaching conditions, which is the Mach 3’s sweet spot. We will be saving our energy instead [for last night and this morning] and the strong downwind forecast as we head towards the approaching depression north-west of Ireland. Here the sailing will start getting really fast.

‘We had a visit from a snipe last night, the long thin fish with the sharp beaks – which wanted a bit of Class 40 action and jumped on board. Funnily enough we didn’t have any takers – everyone preferred to eat the tuna sandwiches onboard, so luckily for him he got returned to the water.’


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