Davies leads in Fastnet race

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The Independent Online

Vendee Globe sensation Sam Davies and her three crew, including Transat Jacques Vabre partner Sidney Gavignet this November, led the Open 60 class round the Fastnet Rock in Artemis this morning, with Vendee competitor Seb Josse and Jean-Francois Cuzon, using the Rolex Fastnet as a TJV qualifier, chasing them in BT.

Third in the Open 60 class was another British woman Vendee competitor, Dee Caffari, in Aviva, with yet another Vendee man, Brian Thompson, in the crew.

Leading the 297-boat main fleet - three have retired so far - is Mike Slade's 100-foot Leopard, hoping to be back in Plymouth before midnight, but well outside the 44-hour record it set in 2007.

By mid-morning less than a dozen had rounded the rock and lighthouse off the south-west tip of Ireland. The pack was still making rather slow progress between land's End and Ireland and is not expected to finish until Thursday.

In New York yesterday honours were even as Judge Shirley Kornreich left open the date on which America's Cup challenger BMW Oracle and its representative the Golden Gate Yacht Club should deliver a certificated notice of the dimensions of its boat to the Swiss defender and its representative Societe Nautique de Geneve.

Oracle confirmed that it would be racing a modified version of the 90-foot trimaran it has been trialling off San Diego, California, finally squashing rumours that it was building a second boat, possibly a catamaran to match that of Alinghi, at its Anacortes facility in northern California. Alinghi wants its opponent tied down as sonn and as hard as possible into the boat it will use.

GGYC also offered to open talks over the nomination of the southern Persian Gulf emirate of Ras al-Khaimah, which it believes needs its mutual consent to make it compliant with the late 19th-century trust document which governs the event.

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